Magic: The Gathering Arena is the venerable card game's new entry into the digital space, and the free-to-play game is finally in open beta on PC after several months of closed beta. I've been playing it for those several months. I have some opinions.
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I spent the better part of a decade with my head deep in Magic: The Gathering. I spent all my spare money on M:TG cards, I went to tournaments, I crafted decks, and I woke up in the middle of the night with ideas about possible combos.
I never did particularly well. Although I'm a competent player, I was an ordinary deck-builder, and stubborn enough not to net-deck everything. And even though it's been more than ten years since I "retired", there are life lessons Magic: The Gathering has taught me that have nothing to do with gaming and everything to do with living.
Magic: The Gathering has been running for as long as I can remember. Even when I was young, going to the games store to pick out new Game Boy games, I could see the packs and decks hovering over me. It's always seemed interesting but daunting. Arena makes those apprehensive first toes in the water a little easier to dip.