I am going through the approximately 10,000 or so Magic: The Gathering cards I have. I am sorting them into four groups: A) cards worth more than the paper they are printed on, B) cards worth more than a dollar, C) cards worth more than five dollars, and D) all the rest.
My plan is to take in groups A and B in to a place that buys them and leave them to be priced out. The C group is small enough that I can stick around while they buy them. Once I am done with those three groups, I will take D is to sell as bulk cards.
I didn’t really want to sort them all, but it isn’t that hard. It is actually one of the few tasks that I can do without getting distracted, since you can name a card in the collection (which goes across five binders, one large card box [5000 cards], 12 card boxes of assorted sizes, a bankers box and about 15 deck boxes) and I can track it down in a few minutes. M:TG really was a game that was made for me.
However, there are various reasons that I don’t want to play anymore. First of all, the game is a moving target, and if you are not following it you drop behind quickly. The game has power creep built into it, though I will admit they have been trying to slow that down in the last few years (though the tops cards in the last few blocks wouldn’t indicate that). Even when we had a strong group of players going, there was a discrepancy in play every six months as one or more of us, but not all, got new cards. Some people like the meta-game. I like expressing myself through gaming. It wears on my after a while.
The other thing is that I won’t play a CCG again. I would rather care for bonsai or build bitcoin rigs. Those two hobbies would give me peace and money, respectively. CCGs just give you a huge number of near worthless cardboard rectangles. Seriously, in Magic you buy a booster and get 15 cards, of which at most half are going to be of value to you as either a player or a collector (or an after-market trader). And that is a rarity; most of the time you are going to keep one or two of the cards, and put the rest aside.
That brings us to the inherent waste of buying boosters in the first place: they are wrapped in plastic that has no other purpose, and will be discarded immediately. I cringe to think about the literal ton of plastic wrapping that is thrown away in the first day a new block of cards is released.
Those things together, the changing game with its power creep, the uselessness of most of the cards that collect like dust, and the inherent wastefulness of the whole thing, they pretty much prohibit me from participating in this game anymore.
So, to make room, and to turn the collection into snacks and other games that are more social and easier for anyone to pick up, I am sorting the cards and selling them.
The process is bumming me out, though. Despite my reasons, I really do enjoy the game. I have so many fond memories, and sorting cards is the same as sorting experiences. I love that I have way more blue and artifact cards than the other colors. I smile widely every time I look at Shared Fate (why do I have so many copies? =P ). And while pre-release event cards, with their foil finish and embossed date are nice, they can’t beat the Crazed Goblin with “Aug 16” written in blue marker across it.
I am glad to be in this process, it is like de-cluttering my brain. I guess it isn’t bumming me out as much as it is just nostalgia. And that is okay.