And I don’t think that’s good news.
Near the end of last year, I talked about how I planned to tighten up my Magic budget in 2020. I hoped to spend $30 or less on Magic per month. As you read above, I’ve sure as heck met that goal.
Partly, that’s because my budget has functioned as intended. I have not built any new tabletop Magic decks in 2020. In fact, aside from tournament winnings (I ran hot in tournaments for a bit, which also defrayed some costs), I have not acquired any new physical Magic cards. There were cards I planned to purchase, but I planned to purchase them after completing the cross-country move I’ve talked about here before.
And then, as I was moving across the country, the pandemic shut down local game stores.
For Me, Finding a New Local Game Store Is Part of Moving
I’ve lived in Saint Paul, Minnesota for almost two weeks now. I’ve been applying for jobs, exploring my neighborhood, and getting situated as best I can given everything that’s going on. But what I have not done is visited my new local game and comic book stores, which makes the move feel incomplete.
I’ve been frequenting local game stores for nearly twenty years. Getting to know my new nerd scene is as much a part of moving for me as finding an apartment or getting a library card. Back when I figured the local job market would be easier to manage, and when I figured local game stores would be open and within easy reach, I set aside some money to spend as I toured the Twin Cities’ gaming scene. Now, I have no idea when I’ll get a job (don’t worry – I’ve got leads), and I have no idea when game stores will be allowed or feel safe to reopen.
What I’m trying to say is that I don’t quite feel like I live in Saint Paul yet, and local game stores being closed contributes to that feeling. I’ve looked in the windows of three different shops in the past couple weeks. They all look sweet. They all look empty. Playing Magic on Arena or Tabletop Simulator is all well and good, but as you’ve doubtlessly heard at some point in the past couple months, the beauty of Magic is in the gathering. So here’s hoping that local game stores get to reopen soon, and that the Magic community turns out (safely and responsibly) when they do. With any luck, I’ll still have some extra money to spend on Magic when that happens.