Another special guest post, this time from Lisa Brien of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, talking about the value her community gets from the regular Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments the library runs. One point I neglected to mention in the general post on rules-play games was the way in which CCGs excel at fostering metagame discussion as cards are compared for their merits, strategies discussed, and trades made (as Lisa shows us below, trading is a key part of collectible card games, and in fact an alternative acronym for “CCG” is “TCG”, Trading Card Game). In my defense I can only say that there are so many interesting aspects of games to mention that I am bound to miss some… anyway, thanks for the post, Lisa, and over to you!
There is no game in Topeka that is more intensely played than the bi-monthly Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments held at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. Teens from all over the county gather to pit their decks and skills against each other. As they wait for the doors to open to our teen room, The Edge, they pace the halls outside as they check and double check their decks in preparation.
Our library has hosted Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments continuously since the card game was first released nearly 11 years ago. Many of our young patrons come to the library after school to meet up with fellow players and practice their dueling skills, but the tournament marks the highlight of the month.
Throughout the years we have tested many forms of game play, from multiplayer casual play, to traditional one-on-one dueling. However, for our official tournaments we use advanced play, which involves banning certain cards that are deemed to be too advantageous. Thankfully, we have a volunteer Yu-Gi-Oh! expert who has competed at a national level to help run these tournaments.
After the brackets have been played, and the winners have exercised their bragging rights, the top players are given an unopened pack of cards. These are highly prized as they always have the potential to reveal a rare, powerful card. Then the trading begins! This negotiation for cards is nearly as intensely anticipated as the game itself.