April 18, 2003
I’ve started playing Magic again, in it’s online manifestation, which for reasons that are unknown to me is called “MODO.” I’m dragging AB down with me, too. He just played his first tournament tonight. It went… not excellently. Unfortunately he lost one game due to inexperience with the interface, which is pretty common for beginners to the program. It’s not at all like playing the cardboard version. That game was enough to put him out of the tourney 😦
The funny thing is that we don’t have to pay to play this game. I mean, we do, but it’s easy enough to come into the necessary funds without actually working. How, you ask? Arbitrage.
The Magic Online economy is strange. The medium of exchange is the event ticket, which costs $1 when you buy it from WotC, but can usually be bought in bulk from traders for a little less. Most importantly, though, there is no fractional currency. Thus, something will trade for a whole number of tickets only. Given that there are no transfer costs, it is easy enough to exploit any discrepancy in price. Since the real price point is usually somewhere between two whole dollar amounts, we just buy at $x and sell at $x+1. We probably make around $20 a week doing that. Now, I’m not exactly about to quit school here… but it does afford us the opportunity to play magic for free, something that I dearly miss from the old days.
You see, I used to be good at this game. Sadly, I haven’t put in the time or effort to stay on top of my game, so I can’t coast on my winnings anymore. Now I have to coast on market forces. C’est la vie.