Magic: The Gathering is a collectible card game. I think it will be benefit all of my readers to be aware of this game. This is a big reason why I am writing about it. But instead of telling you what it is, I would like to describe to you what I have learned from it.
Recently, I have been listening to a podcast called “The Voice of Job Seekers”. On this podcast I once heard one of the featured guests describe their companies interview method. The guest explained how they valued people who could explain the logic of their decisions, and could think logically and ignore their emotional demands when making decisions. This also describes the greatest lesson of magic. Magic is a game that allows you to choose any card to put in your deck and use whenever you draw it in a game. The art, the flavor, your experience with the card, your mental projections of what type of players uses that card, and how you got that card will sway your emotional, instinctive opinion of the card. But Magic is also a very competitive game, where players accept the random nature of the game and fight it by taking any advantage they can find. The moment you let your emotion mislead your opinion of a card, is the moment you lose a game somewhere down the road. The only way to even identify your biases is to describe what it is that is good about a card, and if you can’t describe it without telling a long subjective story, then you know your lying to yourself. Sure this is longwinded, and might apply to plenty of games, but I learned from this game, and I know anyone who succeeds at the game must have also learned this lesson. And I think that is impressive.
Above I mentioned the random nature of the game. You shuffle up your cards and draw them in random order. Countless times I have known I had a 33% chance of winning, and that’s the best I can do. At that point, the result doesn’t matter. All the matters is how I got to that point, and how I can avoid that in the future. Randomness is extremely brutal, and even “average” luck is rare (Really!). This teaches you to be process oriented, because it is the only thing you can control.
Lastly I want to mention how the game demands social interaction, this above all else is why I chose to play Magic. I could play a lot of other games, but I couldn’t get over not being with my friends and making new ones. This is just a perk, the lesson here is that it teaches you to cooperate with others. This means you can’t push others in ways they don’t want to be pushed, improving people around you will always help you improve, and that you cannot take others for granted.
Unfortunately, this won’t work in a job interview…