Posted by JR Olson | Posted in Health And Fitness | Posted on 18-04-2015
Though it may seem that a majority of people think that card games such as Magic: The Gathering are designed for nerds or geeks, there is a very compelling reason to consider taking up this entertaining hobby. Magic: The Gathering can be incredibly helpful and healthy for the mind. Brain development is a constant process throughout someone’s life with neural pathways being built each time new information enters the senses. While any hobby stimulates brain activity, Magic: The Gathering offers a bit more of a complex array of benefits to keep a mind healthy.
Focus on Strategy
In addition to the interesting fantasy character aspect, it is a game of patience where focus and withholding or saving a spell may clinch a win. In the modern age of ADD and ADHD, it is advantageous to market a hobby that requires focus and sticking to an objective while simultaneously working with distractions. In a skilled Magic: The Gathering match, a red herring might be offered by another player to entice an attack, or draw the use of a countering spell. If the player is not focused and paying attention to which cards have or have not been played, then it may result in a catastrophic error that costs him the match.
Players must maintain seven card hands, discarding down to seven at the end of each turn. When deciding which cards to forfeit, it requires planning that benefits the same type of brain functioning as a chess player uses. The heart of strategy in Magic: The Gathering comes from understanding what could potentially happen in a match with the opponent. Whether to discard down, use spells or declare attackers hinges on the permutations of choices an opponent can make, or the cause and effect of future plays.
Staying Young Longer
Strengthening memory is an incredible tactic that can slow down aging and make everyday activities much less taxing. Magic: The Gathering cards total nearly 13,000, with over 6,000 of those being creatures. In a deck, conventionally made up of 60 cards, any permutation of those 13,000 cards could be used. In addition to remembering the lands, which are the most basic and commonly used cards, those many combinations are the basis of playing strategically. The more data a player remembers from all the possible combinations of cards increases the chances of winning the match because he or she can anticipate an upcoming play.
It is not uncommon for newer players to the game to feel completely overwhelmed at the sheer amount of information to take in for their odds of winning a match to increase. Brain development and memory-flexing comes from the repeated use of these cards in matches, or by repeated deck construction. Constructing a deck assists in memory management because while there may be 400 cards that fit the theme, objective, or strategy a player chooses for a deck, only 60 can make the cut. Subtract the 22-26 lands and it leaves just 34-38 available choices. Knowing what cards are available to fill those vacancies in deck design builds the player’s memory as a winning combination is sought.
Consider the benefits for the brain when taking up playing Magic: The Gathering. It is a simple game to learn, but will exercise a player’s neurons through strenuous exceptions to rules, combinations of cards, and all the little nuances that make it an exciting fantasy escape from reality.
In addition to Magic the Gathering, Dillon Prescott writes on CCGs, video games, movie trivia, board games, collectible gadgets and other neat topics.