Gameplay and ludologie first assignment Alexandre.B
UFR: (DT801 ERASMUS MEDIA)
Section: Film and Broadcasting
ESSAY: You are to pick a game of any kind, something you like or love and write about it under the
following headings: Description of the game, Rules, Played rules, what do you like and dislike about the
Lecturer: Brian Vaughan
The 6 October 2013
➔ Introduction: Magic
➔ First part: Description of the game
➔ Second part: What are the actual rules of the game?
➔ Third part: Played rules
A) What are the de-facto rules?
B) The rules that most people use when they play?
➔ Four part: What do you like and dislike about the game?
A) Are there things that you do not like about the game?
B) Does it have some personal significance?
Magic: The Gathering is a game of “playing” cards and collectible cards created by Richard Garfield in 1993.
In the Magic game, you play the role of a wizard who fights for fame, knowledge, and conquest. Your deck (deck of
cards) represents all the weapons at your disposal. It contains spells and the creatures you know (because you are
the one that built your deck of card) to fight for you. Card games like Magic: The Gathering combines the appeal for
the collection (in order to have the rarest card) and for the strategy that the game offers. One of the two main
qualities of the game is that every year, cards, rules, variant of playing the game, is constantly renewed. The second
main quality is that you design and build your own unique decks; therefore, each Magic game is different. New
extensions Magic are published several times a year, and each offers you new ways defeat your opponents.
Description of the Game:
Magic is a strategy game involving chance and skill. The game is played by two or more players, each own a
personalized deck of cards Magic.
The cards have different capabilities (Possible action, power, constraints).
This game differs from traditional card games by the fact that there are over 13,000 different cards with which each
player can build his deck of cards. Each card has a level of rarity – Common – uncommon – rare – rare mythic .
Example of magic card
During the game, each turn, each player plays cards like lands = Mana = the only way to play any other cards such as
creatures, spells, rituals cards. The number of card minimum for playing is 60 and the maximum in the hands is 7.
Each player starts with 20 of life. When you reduce the hit points of your opponent to 0 by attacking with creatures,
playing spells or that your opponent can’t draw any other cards of his library, one or the other you win!
There are regional, national and global tournaments with prizes and are based on a network of partner shops.
Behind every successful game they are a story and the one of magic his real thorough and evolve every new
The pitch would have been: You are a Planeswalkers. Planeswalker1
is a powerful mage capable of
travel in different planes of existence. There are an infinite number of worlds in the Multiverse and planeswalkers
are the only ones able to move from one plane to another, amassing power and knowledge through these new
This amount of power gives you the choice, working for the good or the bad, choosing you type of game and your
type of ambition. These choice results in the type of mana selected.
Magic players to create their own decks selecting cards suited to their style of play and their favorite strategies.
Building a deck has most often try to take advantage of the inherent powers of each of the five colors of mana in
Magic. Each of these colors has two allies and two natural enemies, one in balance between these four and one is
neutral. These manas are the only way to cast spell and so to play.
If I give so much importance to the mana colors it’s because for me, all the Magic game is based on it (of course with
the golden rule). The fun purpose is to create your deck and in order to do so you need to understand the multiple
combinations between the cards and how they are related to each other. If you have this comprehension you can
create a better deck that some regular player.
-White: Magic of equality, order, civilization, righteousness, justice, faith, purity. This magic is connected to the element of the light. Typical
creatures include angels, knights, soldiers, clerics, minds.
- Blue: Magic of knowledge, illusion, imagination and dreams, cheating and deception, reason and ingenuity. This is linked to the magic
elements of water and air. Typical creatures include wizards, merfolk, aquatic creatures, and minds very often in relation with water or air.
- Black: Magic of Death, evil, fear, corruption, contamination, plague, cruelty and greed. This magic is closely linked to the element of darkness.
Typical creatures include rats, zombies, demons, vampires, skeletons etc.
- Red: Magic of destruction, war, chaos, force, brutality and anger. This magic is associated with the elements of earth and fire. Typical
creatures include giants, goblins, barbarians, dragons, elementals, the spirits of fire and earth.
- Green: Magic of life, nature, growth, instinct, interdependence, the wild and untamed aspect of the terrestrial flora and fauna. This magic is
not related to any particular element, if not the animal and plant life in the forests, built in this color at a real element. Typical creatures
include beasts, elves, centaurs, Druids, the Wurms.
- Colorless: The cards have no color are colorless. The majority of land and artifacts are colorless.
- Multicolor: Multicolored cards have several colors at once.
All of the specification color: Sources : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic:_The_Gathering
What are the actual rules of the game?
Five Colors of Mana Parts of a Card
Abilities of the cards
Building Your Own
Parts of the Turn
Each player aims to eliminate the other opponents. A player can loses the game, if its life points drop to zero, if the
library is empty at the moment of drawing a card, if it has ten poisons, or if he abandons the game. The player
initially has 20 points and a hand of 7 cards (except in some variants). There are two main types of cards: the land
and spells. The grounds give mana (magical energy) to initiate spells. It usually involved (90 ° turn) the land to make
them produce mana. If mana is not used, it disappears at the end of each stage or phase of the turn. We can only
play one land each turn. Spells are spells, creatures, artifacts that the player rolls. The majority of spells have a mana
cost, which determines how many land are needed to launch a spell (very few spells have no mana cost, so you
cannot start normally, but the offer other ways to use it).
Magic: The Gathering has a large number of rules because each extension includes additional rules that apply only to
cards in this expansion. In addition, the release of new rules may force the developers to change the old rules. The
knowledge of the basic rules is enough to start and manage the vast majority of game situations.
These basic rules are involving every aspect of the diagram above:
What are the de-facto rules?
The rules that most people use when they play?
The rule called the golden rule is the most important one because it’s allows some card to disregard some of the
game rules. This rule adds some fun. Nothing is most fun that transgresses the rules and that give you the element of
surprise against your opponent(s).
The golden rule3
: When a Magic card contradicts the rulebook, the card wins. For example, the rules say creatures
enter the battlefield untapped. But Imposing Sovereign is a creature that says “Creatures your opponents control
enter the battlefield tapped.” Imposing Sovereign changes the rules as long as it’s on the battlefield. One of the
things that make the Magic game fun to play is that there are individual cards that let you break almost every rule.
So, in an undeniable way, the golden rule is the main rule on which the game magic is base. Each player plays the
magic game are being “de facto” obliged to use this rule. This flexibility allows the player to decide with rules he
want to rule out, by using different type of cards. In addition of that, it’s let the player the liberty to appropriate the
game and this is a game changer.
The only example that come in mind about the improper use of a rule (here a card) to win more easily. The Black
Lotus card (the most symbolic of the magic game) is known to be in the list of “spoiler card”. She is in other word
one the most unbalanced card. A player found a way to use the card with other cards and win almost every time.
This, as change two things:
- The creation of a list of banned cards from every official tournament.
-The creation of fun card really unbalanced.
Here are the extracts from an interview with the creator of magic in 2009:
“Magic has certainly exceeded my expectations in just about every way. I have very few regrets about the game.
Mistakes were made, but decisions were made with the best information at the time. So I don't regret seeing ante go;
it was fun while it lasted. I don't regret that we created snow-covered lands or that I made unbalanced cards like
Black Lotus. I think we made pretty good decisions with the information we had”4
Source : http://media.wizards.com/images/magic/tcg/resources/rules/MagicCompRules_20130927.pdf
Source : http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/41h
The black Lotus card
What do you like and dislike about the game?
Are there things that you do not like about the game?
Does it have some personal significance?
The game magic uses to rime for me with geek. We, all human are subject to judge without knowing. But I
let a friend make me discover the game. He gives as a pretext that I love games with infinite possibility, great
universe and he shows me the fun part “building deck”. What I like about magic? The infinite combination
and the “uniqueness” of any deck. It became your game with your rules (golden rule). Every party is
Before the video game existed you needed someone to play it. Buy cards are expensive. In order to have a
good deck you need to be smart but most of all you need to have a lot of money. At first the number of rules
can be rough to ingest. The last thing is, if you play with the same regular group of players, you lose interest
very quickly (that's what happened to me). You have an intensive period of magic but that’s all. Short but
I don’t know if the game as any personal signification, maybe unconscious ones. But what I know is I like a
fun game, with a vast universe, being confronted to other player (competitive spirit). Being the best and
have the most powerful deck use to be my goal. I no longer play at magic, but once in a while, I turn on my
console and play it against the computer despite I use to preferred to play with the cards. (The visual game
didn’t exist at the time and its offer a poor flexibility compared to the card version.)