Where Do You ‘Magic’?

Magic coffeeI think everybody has a particular favorite place to play Magic: The Gathering. And there are a lot of factors that play into the decision – the surprisingly important decision – of where you sling your spells.
Comfort. Convenience. Availability of other players. Ease of finding space.
For me, that place is the local coffeehouse. I’ve been playing there for seven years, off and on, though it hasn’t always been that way.
Before I started playing there, I played at home. At that time I didn’t know any other players, and I simply played Magic with my brothers.
I tried once playing at a gaming group at the local university, but that just wasn’t my scene. And gaming stores were just plain too far away for me to get to conveniently. Playing at conventions is hit or miss, and tends to be fairly restrictive.
But the coffeehouse worked out great – and continues to. First of all, for the local players, it’s a place they’re all familiar with and, generally, able to get to. Second of all, its one of those places where people just plain tend to gather and do what they want – read, do homework, hold meeting, and, yes, game. I’ve seen (and played) all kinds of gaming going on at the place, from in-depth board gaming to mah jong to RPGs of varying kinds. They hold a weekly chess night, for Pete’s sake. The fact that the place has it’s own board games to borrow also speaks volumes – it’s a gamer-friendly space.
But, honestly, that’s not the only factor to playing there. A lot of places in my town, honesty, are gamer-friendly. I’ve played Magic at a sandwich chain located in the downtown, for instance. More and more places nationwide seem to be eager to let games come. Another coffeehouse of my acquaintance even holds gaming days.
No, the main reason I play there is the atmosphere. The minute you walk in, you smell coffee. And its always bustling, and filled with bookshelves and racks of vintage vinyl records. It’s an eclectic place, and it suits me.
Every once in a while, someone will stop and ask us what we’re playing. Or a former player will ask what format we’re engaging in. Playing Magic at a table there, we’re like islands in a river, with the movement of the people flowing around us. It’s nice.
So, where do you play Magic?

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