My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I saw this on Netgalley and picked it up because I used to play Magic back when I was at uni (in the mid 1990s) – not at any professional level, just sitting on the floor of my friends’ rooms. So when I saw a history of the game, I was intrigued.
The book is part chronicle of the journey of Wizards of The Coast from start up to global behemoth, part memoir/love letter to the game that changed the author’s life.
I hadn’t appreciated just how popular the game was/is. It was fascinating reading about the ragtag beginning of it and the various commercial decisions that made it stand out from the rest of the roleplaying/table top games available at the time. The evolution of Magic:The Gathering and the evolution of the internet seem to have coincided and helped each other out.
I was particularly interested in the section about how women playing the game are treated (and how WOTC is trying to fix the gender balance at professional level). I only ever played with friends (mostly male, all of them nice), so I never really had to face the misogyny described. On the other hand, I have had the odd ‘a girl in the comic book shop’ moment. It’s a shame that a game that embraces outcasts has created outcasts of its own.
This is an interesting book if you know about the game already. If not, it’s still an interesting book about a business.