Imagine a convention with hundreds of thousands of people in attendance. Now hand all of them a playable deck of Magic: The Gathering cards when they check in. Then add in a newbie tournament where they teach people to play M:TG and give them more cards. Congratulations, you now have the best advertising method ever devised. There were so many people sitting around playing during PAX, my friends and I included. A few of us played in a actual tournaments. I didn’t, I had only learned that day. I admit, it was more fun that I was expecting. I hadn’t been a fan of Yugioh when my friends were playing it in middle school. It was kind of great to wander around the convention floor and see all the different groups of people playing M:TG in the lines waiting to go in for talks.
As far as the tournaments went, the only one I personally competed in was for Munchkin. I ended up placing in the top 3 (though not winning) and won an expansion deck called Clerical Errors. It was fantastic. Now, for those of you who have yet to play Munchkin: FOR SHAME! Munchkin is an absolutely amazing game that more or less makes fun of Dungeons and Dragons and is full of fun little jokes. The basic idea is that you’re a party of adventurers going through a dungeon and each of you wants to be super powerful, and by that I mean make level 10. The first person to make it to level 10 is the winner. And you can curse the other players or send monsters after them. This results in my joke that its actually a game about how mean you can be to other people.