Goodreads Book Review: Generation Decks by Titus Chalk

Generation Decks: The Unofficial History of Gaming Phenomenon Magic the GatheringGeneration Decks: The Unofficial History of Gaming Phenomenon Magic the Gathering by Titus Chalk

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.

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