A Story from our Travels

Today I thought I would share a story from our travels. We were on a plane, just a short flight, not a lot of time. We’d pulled out an iPad, like we do, and had started playing Elder Sign. We unlocked all of the locked heroes! Lots of good Elder Sign nail-biters.

There was a young man in the row with us, and he turned to me and asked if I played Magic. I told him I hadn’t in years, and that was that. Well, we went back to our game, and he pulled out his deck of Magic cards, looking through and considering his deck.

And that’s the actual end to the story. We didn’t say anything else to each other, we landed, and we went off to be tourists, and he went off with his family. But it’s also not the end. I kept trying to think of what else I could say to him.

Do I tell him it all gets better, that here I am, married, gaming? That it doesn’t have to end someday? That was the sort of thought that came to me first. Felt pretty heavy-handed, felt a lot like my stuff about what it means to be an adult that I’ve been blogging here.

But then I was thinking deeper. Wanted to say something more generally, about board games versus trading card games. For the latter you have to be in on the hobby too; for the former, if you have it, you can invite others to play. It’s great to find someone, though, who shares your hobby too, your fandom. So this didn’t seem like useful advice either.

Then I realized I could just have gone with the obvious – could have just told him what the game was. Maybe what the game maker was, as Fantasy Flight makes all sorts of great, complicated games that someone who plays Magic could enjoy. This would have been easiest, and probably the sort of thing he might actually have wanted to know, but by the time I thought of it it was too late.

What might you have said or done? Or if you were the boy, what would you have wanted to hear? Let me know what you think down in the comments below!


14 responses to “A Story from our Travels

  1. You’re probably right that chatting about the game you were playing, etc., might be the sort of thing he’d actually want to know.

    Magic is kind of retro now, (or “classic,” depending on how you look at it), but not necessarily a symbol of a lonely teenage life. 🙂 He was probably just interested because you were playing a similar sort of game, so he thought you might share his particular interest.


  2. My mind was totally going in a different direction with this post before the end, haha. The image painted in my mind of the solitary guy using his paper-made deck in a world of digital card games (I assume that is what the game you are playing is…) would find it hard to find someone else to play with, but you’re right, also, that the biggest issue with that stuff is that you have to find someone else with the stuff to play.

    I would have talked about the game you were playing, or ask him the status of Magic these days, since he was carrying around a deck. 🙂


    • Yeah – he had the physical, paper cards with him. The teenage me rumbling around in my head somewhere approves 🙂

      Ours was a digital board game, but the idea still holds. For portability, it’s amazing. We’ve traveled with board games before – the boxes are now crushed in on the sides. It’s rough. We now travel with like ten good board games, on our iPads. Some that we have even traveled with the “real” copies of before!

      And yeah, I think talking about what we were playing would have been best – but I somehow only got to that in my head once we were landed.


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