Pens, Paper and Pretzels

Collectible Card Games and Tabletop Games

Pens, Paper and Pretzels

"'I was very wary of becoming the creator who had to control everything, that despised business concerns, and ended up killing his creation or being forced out by rational minds. - I am not sure where this attitude came from, but it has served me well. I guess maybe it comes partially from understanding that it is very easy to believe something and be wrong - so when you have responsibility, it is important to constantly re-evaluate those beliefs and really listen to those that differ.'"

Allen Varney speaks to Richard Garfield, creator of Magic.

Pens, Paper and Pretzels

"At German game shows, press and public flock to see new releases and purchase them - picture an E3 where you can buy the games you see demoed right away. The SPIEL game fest (aka "Essen") regularly grosses crowds of over 100,000 people - 151,000 in 2006! Compare that to Gen Con, the largest specialty game convention in North America, which generally tops out around 25,000. Now consider that Germany is a country with 27 percent of the population of the United States."

Tyler Sigman explains why some of this year's hottest videogames were born in Germany - on paper.

Pens, Paper and Pretzels

"In the mid '90s, the CRPG snowball turned into an avalanche, which led some to wonder whatever happened to all those great game ideas they used to see in stores like Perfidium. After Blizzard struck it big, the name of the game became "Chase WoW," and so the videogame industry sent a hypnic jerk along the length of its ancestry, hoping something would twitch. And something did."

Russ Pitts explores the death and rebirth of the game store.

Pens, Paper and Pretzels

It's certainly not a well-kept secret that Nintendo began life well over 100 years ago as a playing card manufacturer, but as with all aspects of Japanese culture, the basic truth is far removed from the intricate, tightly woven facts.

Spanner looks at the history of Japanese playing cards.

Pens, Paper and Pretzels

"By E3 of last year, it was time to cash in. Confident after shipping an LOTR game, Martins spent May 2006 on the show floor, bothering anyone with intellectual property he could entice into an online trading card game deal. Even Will Wright was enthusiastically day dreaming about a Spore-themed TCG during closed door demos for his game. Martins' persistence paid off in an unexpected way. After storming the gates of the closed Sony Online Entertainment show booth, he was surprised by SOE head John Smedley's response. "Smed," as he's called in the industry, wanted to buy Martins' company."

David Thomas speaks to the men who want to sell you a virtual card, for real money.