7 Reasons Why We All Love Trading Card Games

7 Reasons Why We All Love Trading Card Games


– If you grew up in ’90s, you’re probably familiar with
collectible trading card games like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon
or Magic, The Gathering. You either participated in them yourself or you probably knew
somebody else who did, and for good reason. These games have been around for decades and each with great levels of success. Magic, The Gathering reportedly
generates over $300 million in annual revenue, the Pokemon Company turns over 2 billion Pokemon cards per year, and Konami has sold over
25 billion Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. In fact, according to a study in 2017, over 9.1 million people
actively play or trade with some type of
collectible trading card. So as you can probably tell,
this is no small niche. Trading cards have become
a worldwide phenomenon. But the question that I wanna
answer into today’s video is why? What is it about these
cardboard rectangles with pretty pictures and
maybe a little bit of foiling that attracts so many people to spend so much money and time on them? Well, after a bit of
research and consideration, along with playing Yu-Gi-Oh!
myself for nearly 20 years, I think I’ve boiled
down seven main reasons why people like trading
card games so much. At the core of every one
of these trading card games is the collectible aspect. Cards typically come in
a tiered rarity system that makes some cards just
more desirable than others, even the same card just
in a non foil rarity. But not every card game player wants to amass a huge collection of rare cards. Some people are only looking
for very specific cards and they want to trade, buy,
or sell in order to get those. Trading, as you guys know, is the act of two people exchanging cards of the same perceived value, but sometimes cards aren’t actually traded for other cards at all. With the blooming popularity
of trading card games, some cards are simply worth so much that it’s not practical or feasible to trade other cards for them. So, how do we fix this? With the great equalizer itself
and the root of all evil, money.
(cash register ringing) Well known websites like eBay and Amazon, as well as specialty
websites like TCGPlayer, allow us to place cash
values on trading card, and it’s where the majority of
trading takes place nowadays. What this creates are two
different types of collectors, there are collectors who keep card with the intention of holding on to them, potentially forever. There are also collectors who get cards with the intention of letting
them sit and accrue values so they can then trade or sell
them away later for a profit. These people are often called vendors and they’re not at all
uncommon in the community, people who buy and sell cards on a daily at events, local card
shops, that sort of thing. There are even legendary cards worth 10s or even hundreds
of thousands of dollars. For example, in Magic, The Gathering, there’s the infamous black Lotus, a card that’s been long
since banned from play, but is worth over $20,000 and is seen as a sort of
status symbol in the community. A lot like the thrill of
throwing all of your money into a slot machine and
hoping to see sevens lineup, trading card games also have their own sort of lottery system. I like to think the most
accurate comparison to gambling in card games is the famous
Japanese Gacha! system, where you put your money
into a small machine and random prize comes out. This same system has seen loads of success in the mobile gaming world. And it’s not very different
in trading card games. In fact, it’s the basis for
how booster packs tend to work. A typical booster pack
might cost three to $4, and contain anywhere from
nine to 11 cards per pack. You’re guaranteed common cards, and maybe some uncommon cards, but getting the rare cards
is elusive and difficult, and thus requires you to
purchase more and more packs in the hopes of finally
getting a card that you want, or at least a card that’s more
valuable than what you paid. This Gacha! system relies
on creating an expectation for a rare or flashy item and the dobutamine kit you get when you finally pull a rare prize. Even if the prize that you get isn’t the one that you wanted, it’s the idea that it could have been, and the fact that you can try again, which is usually more than
enough to keep people buying. Even if you’re not very familiar
with trading card games, you’ve probably seen a Pokemon
or a Yu-Gi-Oh! booster pack in a bookstore, a grocery
store, a department store, or even a pharmacy. For some competitive minded players, the idea of having to
go and purchase packs and hope to pull the cards
you want seems tedious, but for more casual
players or newer players, the rush is a lot of fun. And no matter what, getting the cards means that you are going to spend some amount of money, which makes booster packs a staple of all the trading card games. For most people, the feeling
of stopping by Walmart or Target or at your local game store after school or work, and just spending a couple of dollars to pick up one or two
packs and see what you pull can be a really fun rush, and it’s especially exciting when you just randomly get a card that you weren’t expecting, especially if it ends up
being really valuable. Card games are a little bit different than other competitive games, like a fighting game or a shooter. In card games, we’ll get
some basic guidelines, like how many cards we can
play at most in our deck, or maybe a few cards that you can only use
certain numbers of copies of, but for the most part, you kind of just get free reign over the cards and
strategies that you use. From the outside looking in, it might seem a little bit weird to compare trading card
game to a fighting game, but it actually makes
a little bit of sense if you think of a fighting
game character’s kit as a deck of cards that’s a little bit randomized
each time you play them. I’ll get a little bit
more on that in a second, but in terms of customization, I would say that trading card games have fighting games beat. Unlike other games where
customization might just be limited to a skin or a play style, in trading card games
you get 40 to 60 cards that you completely get to decide on, and that’s not even
including cosmetic options for things like sleeves,
deck boxes, and playmats. The best way to describe it is if you were playing Street Fighter and you were able to
choose what techniques were you could perform, tuning is normal, and special attacks into
exactly the moves that you like. This depth of customization lets us form our own sense of identity with our trading card decks, and it usually enables
quirky tech card choices and unique strategies that
might go against the grain of the existing competitive field. So, we all know that
games are a lot of fun, but we don’t go committing
hundreds and hundreds of hours into playing them just for fun. More times than not, we fall in love with the
strategic elements of a game and the way that those
factor into how you win. For some people, it’s
as simple as a strategy that their deck uses to
reach its win condition. For many others, strategy
includes the in game and even the physiological
elements that you can use to predict what your
opponent will do next. Take it a bit further, trading card games allow you to bluff, and cause your opponent to make mistakes that might end up costing them the game. For this reason, it’s
oftentimes the strategies that aren’t written directly
on the cards themselves that provide the most gratifying
feeling of satisfaction for players when they win. You can always win a game through reaching your deck’s
prescribed win condition, but reaching victory by
bluffing your opponent or out playing them just makes the victory
feel that much sweeter. It might be a bit of a stretch to say, but in terms of strategy, you can compare a lot
of card games to chess, with your deck’s win
condition being checkmate, and each card that you play basically being a piece on the board. So, I previously compared
trading card games and fighting games, and I feel that the similarities become a lot more pronounced when you start talking about competition. Card games are typically played at a few different levels of competition. There’s the super casual level where you’re just starting out and playing with a
small group of friends. There’s the casual and
semi competitive level at your local card shop for instance, and then finally there’s
the competitive level, where you start competing at regional, national, or even international events with some of the best players
from around the world. Like any other competitive game, card games oftentimes will
have what’s called a meta game. That’s to say, certain strategies and card
choices will be more successful and thus become more popular with players, while less popular more niche strategies eventually fall to the bottom. Truly adept players can
level what they know about the meta game to utilize different tech cards and make unexpected
strategies and decisions that blindside their competition. A lot of people like to
think that trading card games can’t possibly be competitive because of the luck elements that are existed in these games, but it’s a rare occurrence
when a less prepared player can beat a more prepared player
in a full tournament match, and believe me when I say prevailing in a tournament feels amazing regardless of what game you’re playing. Contrary to what the memes might tell you, trading card games are
actually an excellent source of face to face interaction. Unlike most video games where there’s really only
a voice or a text chat to communicate with other players, card games, at in real life, have to be played with
a physical opponent. Because of this social style of gameplay, many of us end up making plenty of friends while we play trading card games, some of whom we might end
up traveling to events with, and we might end up competing with people that we would have never met otherwise. Granted, this might have
changed a little bit with the release of
things like Hearthstone or even Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelings, but the basic principles still apply. In fact, for many people, weekly meetup to local
card shops or libraries are just a regular part of their routine. Perhaps this is a bit of a darker side, but you could say that trading card games provide an avenue for socialization that many people just wouldn’t
have gotten otherwise. And last but not least, trading card games are just fun. Players get to form a deep
and personal connection with the cards that they play. Along the way, you’ll learn plenty of life lessons, you’ll suffer some painful defeats, and you’ll get to grow as a person. I almost feel like
playing trading card games is sort of like a journey. You start off as a casual newbie who’s just getting their
feet wet in the game, and by the end of your journey, you’re a seasoned veteran who’s able to teach others how to play the game. Of course, we wouldn’t do
anything it wasn’t fun, but it’s great that games like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic, The
Gathering, and plenty of others offer a truly unique experience that’s just not quite like
playing any other game. This video was sponsored by YGORed. YGORed is a website that
makes deck building a cinch. You can find virtually any
deck you’re looking to build, and that even includes the latest decklists from tournaments. It’s never been easier to take a deck file from Yu-Gi-Oh! Pro or Dueling
book straight to real life. YGORed’s importing and exporting features combined with its always
updating card prices, makes it one of the
most reliable resources for deck builders, and has a smooth and easy to use interface that almost seems like it
would be great as a mobile app. It’s available on both iOS and Android. Check out the links in
the video description for more information. And that’s the video. Hopefully you guys enjoyed
and learn a thing or two about trading card games
and why they’re so popular. Maybe you’ll even consider
picking one up for yourself. Anyways, if you enjoyed the video, be sure to give the video
a like and subscribe, and I’ll see you guys in the next one. Pastern. (upbeat music)

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