RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Nov 21st 2008 at 05:09:28 PM by (Sirgin)
Posted under Magic, The Gathering, TCG, Trading, Card, Game, Free

Maybe you've read how I went to the gaming event called Next two weeks ago. I was somewhat dissapointed with the (small) amount of goodies given out. However I did get two Magic: The Gathering Theme Decks (The Green & White one) for free, which was pretty cool.

A couple of days later I took the time of going through the many flyers and product booklets that I had put in my plastic bag without even looking at them. Many of them had nothing interesting on them, however three of them caught my eye.

The first one was a very nice booklet about the Nintendo DS. Although many of the shown games don't interest me at all there was one thing I found "shocking". On almost every page there was picture of a 30-year old woman playing on the DS. Now get this: In the entire booklet there was only one guy, at the very last page! I knew that Nintendo's focus isn't the hardcore gamers anymore but I didn't knew that men weren't part of Nintendo's audience anymore either. What a difference compared to the Game Boy Advance.

Second was a booklet of a brand I never heard from before, called Onkyo. Onkyo is a Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer, specializing in home cinema and audio equipment including receivers, audio networking equipment and surround sound speakers. The receivers really look cool and would be a handy all-in-one solution for us, retro gamers. Just look at one and see what I mean:


Just imagine hooking up all your consoles to that thing. The only other cable that you'd need is a HDMI cable to hook up the receiver to your HD TV and you're all set to enjoy all your games in 1080p upscaling glory.

Well, that statement isn't entirely correct because the receiver doesn't seem to have an RF input. But still, hooking up all your consoles with composite output or better is still pretty nice. Unfortunately, these things aren't exactly cheap. Luckily, there are models with less inputs/outputs available that cost a more "manageable" $700 or so. (Compared to the $2000 price tag of this one)

Anyway, what I wanted to talk about in this post was, you've guessed it, Magic: The Gathering. I had this flyer that told me I could get a free 40-card Theme Deck if I registered at www.playmagic.com. Pretty ironic because I already had two of those theme decks, but a third one wouldn't hurt so I registered anyway. What I didn't knew was that you can only receive the cards at an official Magic dealer. (Which not too many shops are, apparently) so I selected a shop near to me, in Brussels.

Yesterday I finally did the effort of going down there. I had beforehand checked out the shop's website to make sure it would be open. It was, and according to the website it's opening hour was 11AM. Because I had no school yesterday (and today) I decided to be there at 11AM, so I still had the rest of the day to do whatever I want.

Armed with the flyer, a copy of the mail that included the code you must show at the shop and a Google Maps print of the location of the store I embarked on my epic quest for a free Theme Deck. (Notice the sarcasm) A bus, a subway and 15min of walking later I arrived at the store at 10:55AM. The store wasn't open yet but waiting for 5min isn't long anyway. At 11:10AM the shop still wasn't open and I began to wonder whether I misread the calendar on the website. 10min later there still was no sign of life, so I asked the shoe store owner next to the game store whether they always open that late. He said they were indeed always late and that the owner would probably show up in 10min or so. I waited for another 10min but at 11:30AM I really started to get impatient. I was about to leave when suddenly the shop owner showed up, 35min late. Now I don't demand stores to open precisely at their opening hour, but letting a customer wait for 35min just isn't acceptable in my opinion.

So I was already a bit annoyed with having to wait there that long but things got worse when I showed him the code because he said that he only had one deck left, the Green one in French. Obviously I didn't want that because I already had that deck from the event and secondly because I don't want my cards to be in French. After talking with him for a couple of minutes he suddenly "discovered" some more Theme Decks behind the counter so I chose the Red one, Kamahl's Temper. (Shown above)

Then he suddenly started talking about this "closet" that is filled with cards. I didn't understand what he meant but he took me to this closet at the front of the store which I didn't even see when I entered because everything is painted rather dark/black. So he opens up this "closet" and it was literally filled with loose cards. He then said I could "fill up a box and take it home". I didn't believe what he said so I asked him why they are free and he said that they are all cards left behind by players who don't need them anymore.

I did as he said, thanked him, and left the shop. Seeing I took home about 800 cards I'm guessing that there were somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 cards in that closet, pretty awesome to say the least. It's funny how I went to that shop with the intention of getting a free Theme Deck and walked out with over 800 cards instead.

Everything in the picture below was free.                                                                       After organizing the cards:

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Wow that is amazing. I'd love to find a place that did that with video games Cheesy
@jcalder8:Yes it is.  And you're a fast reader, lol! I just posted this like 4min ago. Shocked
@Sirgin:Since I started my own blog I have discovered how cool they can be to read, I guess I just happened to check them at the right time Wink
I used to love Magic cards!  I still have soooo many, but it got to be very expensive, so I kind of faded from it.

@Mezmoron:Yeah, they're not exactly cheap. But what is, anyway?

My biggest "problem" with this game is finding others who actually play it. You're pretty much forced to go to events in a specialized shop to find some opponents.
I also used to love playing magic I sucked at it but it was till fun.  Every now and then I'm tempted to start playing again.
I have one friend that I still get together with a couple of times a year and play a few games of Magic. It's still a great game, I just don't have the time or money to keep up with it.
Never thought they'd have to give the cards away to get people to play it.  Used to play back when revised first came out but stoped a couple years ago.  Game got more expensive then gaming and wasnt half the fun.  Magic was more fun when it wasnt so dead serious.
@Fuyukaze:Yeah, I guess they feel the need to lure in additional people by giving out those decks.
According to the guy in the games store it works. They got 16 new people in one year because of that. (that attend their Magic events)

But what do you mean with the game being "dead serious"?
Tournaments and pre-release events.  The whole tour circuit became big over here.  I cant say if WotC did much in Europe but in the states it was huge during the 90's.  It got so ugly because some players would go nuts over certain rullings and abuse the rules even when the judges said differently.  It gets boring when you have to carry a huge binder with rules, rule changes, card corrections, and turn cycle info just to play a game that should have been fun.  Certain cards became all the rage and deck creation took a large back seat to copy decks.  It became even more so during the Ice Age/Aliances/Mirage block as certain cards became so popular and powerfull that the only reason someone wasnt playing one perticular deck was because they were playing the anti for it.
@Fuyukaze:Yeah, that's most likely true.

But then again, you can choose not to enter tournaments and just play with friends. Then you can be as casual as you like. But if you're used of tournaments being casual then I can see your complaints. Guess it became more popular as well (and therefor all the strict rules, etc...)

You know, that Onkyo receiver does not have the most plugs I've ever seen on a receiver...

Nor does it have an acceptable number of toslink ports. Then again it's not a high end receiver anyway and the price reflects that.
@c3450:Then what could be considered a high end receiver and what price would that have? Around $5000 - $10000 maybe?

I understand that there's always something better out there but spending $2000 on such a thing isn't that low end either. Wink

Actually a $2-3000 receiver would only be considered the upper crust of low end. You have to remember that there are people out there would renovate an entire room in their house/condo just for home theatre, and that a home theatre stereo costing $20k including speakers, excluding the TV isn't unheard of nor is it the max either. For that matter you can easily spend $500-1000+ or more just on cables and wires alone.

For that matter, you can buy home theatre surge protectors at Best Buy/Futureshop that cost more than that receiver does. Tongue

I see, thanks! Smiley Guess I don't know that much about receivers/home cinema but it isn't unimaginable that people would spend that much money on it.

Do you have such an installation at your home? Oh and could you please post some links of companies that sell high end receivers? I'm curious to see how many inputs there are on those. Tongue
No I don't have anything like that, we live in an apartment so it's seems a bit moot to have such a huge home theatre setup like that. Our stereo in total cost something like $3500 between receiver and speakers when we bought it several years ago. That's small fries compared to those who own houses with rooms dedicated to this kind of stuff.

As far as a nice receiver with plenty of inputs:


I've seen a helluva lot bigger ones than that but you get the idea of what these can be capable of with extra features like serial ports, USB, ethernet, RF, extra toslink ports, etc. etc.

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