Teach Your Kids Magic: The Gathering and Keep Them in School

Arlington students Magic The Gathering School Club

Keep your kinds in school, teach them Magic: The Gathering

The school librarian at Arlington Community Schools wears many hats. By day, Brandon Mues serves as the librarian and media specialist for grades K-12. At other times, he’s a coach of the volleyball and wrestling teams. He also, however, coaches one more unlikely group: the Viper Club.

The unofficial school club is a group of Arlington students who gather over lunch each Tuesday to play fantasy card games while Mues supervises. Sometimes they play Dungeons and Dragons, a pen-and-paper role-playing game that’s existed since the 1970s. This week, though, six boys start up a game of Magic: The Gathering.

“There’s a lot of strategy that goes into it, a lot of creativity. It’s a very niche game.” Mues said.

The club originally started in 2012 when two boys started playing together in the library, Mues said. Eventually, they convinced more friends to join, and the group’s membership has fluctuated since then. One of the original two members is the older brother to current member, Christian Donnelly, 17, a junior at Arlington High School.

“My brother taught me it,” Donnelly said.

The family connection is the reason he joined Viper Club. Eighteen-year-old senior Bobby Kropp, on the other hand, doesn’t know many people who understand the game. He’d have fewer opportunities to play it without Viper Club, Kropp said, leading to his favourite part of being a member.

“The fact that I actually get to use my deck,” he said.

Their 60-plus card decks are an investment, Mues said. The price for an individual card can range from $5 to $30 or more, but this doesn’t seem to deter the Viper Club. Numerous have cards valued at $15 to $20.

How a player customizes a deck can determine his or her competitiveness, and learning the rules takes time, Mues said. Thus, the game requires coaching.

“Check this hand,” Kropp said.

Although he mostly stood watch Tuesday and let the students play, Mues then took a moment to be coach, thoughtfully evaluating Kropps’ cards.

“That’s good,” he said.

Arlington students Magic The Gathering School Club

Community Question: Do or did you have a Magic: The Gathering club at your school? If so then what is the name of the School? If not then have you considered starting one?


This report was originally posted here.

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