Is Yu-Gi-Oh Really a Kids Game?

Is Yu-Gi-Oh Really a Kids Game?

Looking into the hit card game of the 90s that’s still strong today
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A few months ago I began to pick up an old childhood hobby again, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. As a kid I was utterly obsessed, owning a mountain of poorly kept cards that I eventually gave away or threw out because of a lack of interest and the down-casting it caused in the middle and high school years. I had fond memories of pulling the rarest card in a booster set and challenging the best players/duelists on the playground. It was something that connected all the guys at the time and was a blast to play. Not too long ago, when I started the decade of my life most people cherish as their 20s, my younger brother asked if I would play Yu-Gi-Oh with him. He had a deck I gifted him not too long ago but never had anyone to play with, and although I had no interest in picking up the game once more, I eventually gave in and bought a simple deck.

Now, being the obsessive and semi-competitive person that I am, tried to learn more about the game and what tweaks I could make to make the deck of cards I owned more competitive. All that did was hurl me past the casual layer that the game offered and banging my head on a plethora of decks, strategies, expensive cards and rulings I never knew existed. The game changed drastically from what it was when I was a kid. I remembered a simplicity that I child could pick up in a few minutes and found myself confused on how to play with the newer cards in my 20s. Granted, I did learn most of the rules and strategy I had from the anime I watched as a child, which is not the most accurate. Surely, the newer anime delved into the newer types of cards and helped kids learn but it was still surprisingly difficult to catch on to.

With due time I learned the rules and picked up cards I enjoyed using, but I could never imagine playing this properly as a kid. Yu-Gi-Oh is far from a simple kids’ game, at least the newest iteration is. As a kid, the game consisted of five types of cards: Normal/effect monsters, spells, traps, fusion monsters, and ritual monsters. Once I returned they added a few other types: synchro, XYZ, and pendulum cards, all with their own unique set of mechanics. Moreover, the effects and texts of what the card could do were noticeably long and detailed. I am confident that I would have little to no idea how to actually function them as a child, at least not without some sort of help.

Even after learning all the rules, constructing a personal deck that worked efficiently was a monstrous challenge and I often had to refer to Youtube other players’ take on the decks first. To be fair, Konami, the company responsible for producing the cards and regulating the game does provide structure and starter decks for the younger audience and newcomers, often with strategies inside and a direction of what to buy next if you’re interested. These decks are never fully competitive, though, and only manage to be fun with friends that also happen to play very casually. This leads to the next topic: what cards do you buy?

Let it be known that several thousands of unique cards exist in this card game and most are all playable, with a few being banned or of limited use in professional play. The selection is overwhelming and it can be incredibly difficult to know here to go from without having a good understanding of the game and the history of the cards available. No child picking up this game would be able to handle the challenge of selecting all the cards themselves, making the entry point to playing more competitively and creatively significantly more difficult. Even after knowing what to obtain, people run into a whole new realm that they may have known existed in the game: the card price market.

If I had to choose the most staggering and sometimes insurmountable barrier from playing this game the way you would like to play it, it the marketplace to obtain these cards and their prices. While Konami sells and distributes booster packs and tin sets for reasonable prices, it is difficult to get what you need from them since they are almost entirely random from a selection of cards designated for that specific set you bought it from. While many useful cards are common, the one with the most utility, versatility, and potential are rare to obtain. Thus, purchasing single cards from merchants would save players much more time, money and space. While the game encourages trading, not everyone will give you what you want or for a fair trade/price. Thus you must find where to get the cards you want for the lowest amount. Unfortunately for me, I quickly came to realize that I couldn’t even afford some of the valuable cards I needed, some costing $40-60. Some I wasn’t interested in but were very competitive and rate would spike to prices as high as $130 per card.

To be fair, getting the core cards of the deck can be as cheap as 5 cents apiece, but that is not always the case, and it must be considered that at least 40 cards are needed to operate the deck and that’s excluding the 15-card extra deck that is always pricier due to its versatility and usually higher rarities. A functional, somewhat competitive deck can be as cheap as 20-30 dollars, but the ones that compete at the championship level of world tournaments are as pricey as $500. Note that you don’t need to be or have to have the desire to be such a competitive player, but the money barrier is huge for those interested.

To be fair to Konami, their efforts to make cards cheaper by reprinting them later on and the anime is super appealing to kids and even adults alike. They do their best to cater to kids while maintaining the aspects that make Yu-Gi-Oh fun for everyone, whether it be winning a match with a cool monster or pulling a $60 card from a $4 pack. The company has recently pushed the designing and support of older cards to the forefront as well to reel in fans from across all age groups, especially considering that a huge portion of the fanbase is actually in their twenties at this point.

While the card game still has plenty to offer younger audiences, the barriers present and the effort required to fully understand the card game and the meta that exists in it is not something the average kid can overcome. It’s a double-edged sword that makes it more fascinating and complex for older audiences but more challenging to expand the community and scene. If Konami continues with the efforts to reel in old-school players and making valuable cards cheaper, more quickly, I believe a better balance will be found. For now, the card game is still holding strong two decades since its original release and continues to deliver on nostalgia and fun for all fans alike.

Cover Image Credit: Kiratwig2

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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It's 2019 And Gun Violence Is Still All Around Us

Every day, 100 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are shot and injured. The effects of gun violence extend far beyond these casualties.

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A year ago, my cousin's husband was murdered at his job along with a co-worker. The weapon used to commit the double homicide? A shotgun purchased at 4:15 p.m. on the day of the murders from a pawnshop in town. The perpetrator asked for the cheapest shotgun and paid $145 for it. My cousin lost her life partner and their son lost his father.

$145 to take the life of two men who had families and loved ones.

On March 15, 2019, I saw news reports of a hate-fueled mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. At least 49 people were killed and 20 seriously injured in two mosques. Last year, in October 2018, a hate crime occurred in Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania, in a Jewish synagogue, leaving eleven dead and six injured. In November 2017, a gunman killed 26 people at a small Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Nine people died in 2015 at an African Methodist Episcopal church after a shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

This list could go on and on. Shootings at schools, malls, movie theaters, concerts; almost any public place you can imagine. Many of them are based on racial or religious discrimination.

A crime I will never forget is the hate-crime committed against Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Abu-Salha. They were killed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in February 2017, for no reason other than their race, their religion, and a dispute over a parking spot. As all three of them were leaders in their schools and communities, a foundation has been set up in their honor in the hopes of bringing awareness to and ending implicit racial biases.


Another name I will never forget, Eve Carson. She was the student body president at UNC-Chapel Hill who was shot and killed in March 2008. Gun violence happens every day in our communities and leaves a lasting impact on all of us, whether we realize it or not.

I'm not going to lie. My favorite kinds of shows are crime dramas, real or fiction. Guns and gun violence are prominent in some of my favorite shows, and some of my favorite characters use them with no hesitation. We, as fans, know these images impact us. In film and TV, a weapon — most often, a gun — is the equalizer, the thing that gives you the power to turn the tables on all those things holding you back.

Gun violence is prevalent, not only in entertainment but also in reality. Yet so far, a tragedy of this nature has yet to break the hold that the gun seems to have over American culture.

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I'm not here to try to force my personal opinion on you. But I think we should ask ourselves questions.

Why do states impose 'waiting periods' for abortions but not for gun purchases? Why can a man just walk in and out of a store with a cheap gun that he will use later that day to destroy lives?

Why are there so many hate crimes with such a blatant disregard for life, and no discrimination on who's on the other side of the gun?

We are so overloaded with information on a daily basis that it's starting to blur together. These things keep happening because we just keep arguing about it and never do anything real to prevent it from happening again.

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