Is Magic: The Gathering Occult, Satanic, or otherwise generally naughty?

I just purchased a single MTG card from amazon, Sun Titan. My Mother (I’m 16) Picked it up and told me it was occult, and the equivalent of Ouija Board, saying that this card was “clearly evil” and that purchasing it was a “lapse in judgment”. I have looked up the game, and no mention of Bahopmet, Satan, Wicca, invocation of loa, or transcendental meditation are seen. The “magic” is depicted as an energy like “the force”, only created by God (White Cards like Wrath of God, angels, crusaders,etc clearly allude to this.), while demons are seen as evil and corrupting, along with vampires, witches and zombies.

So where’s occult material in here? How can a chess/poker/lord of the rings hybrid be SO evil, as to be the equivalent of a spirit-calling tool marketed as a game? What exactly ARE the signs of the occult in a game like this, and why is it, that everyone I’ve seen who plays the game seems to be the exact OPPOSITE of a spiritualist/new age “master”.

The scary thing is not exactly her opposition to the game, but her willingness to seek out evangelical protestant sources (all who misrepresent the game, some saying 5-year old children summon devils with sticks to play, lol.) over Catholic resources, because many Catholics play it! In addition to this, she obviously thinks it’s a waste of time, which considering the strategy of building the decks and playing the game, plus the money that can be earned through selling the cards, is anything but!

My point is, what’s a conserative catholic’s opinion on this? I sit REALLY that bad? Have I summoned Cthulhu from the depths of the ocean by purchasing this thing? Really?:frowning:

Is Magic: The Gathering Occult, Satanic, or otherwise generally naughty?

no. They aren’t like tarot cards, or like a quija board. They are more like monopoly…a game. People aren’t afraid of monopoly because it can lead to corporate greed, so people needn’t be afraid of Magic: the gathering to lead to occultish things.

Maybe your mom misunderstands it, or heard something bad somewhere else. Maybe you can have an adult conversation with your parents about this…but it depends on your relationship. Listen to your mum tho. :slight_smile:

What GaryJohn2 said was dead on accurate. It's harmless fun. I used to play all the time when I was in high school (yes, I was/am a major geek! :o ) I had a white/blue turbo stasis deck that was virtually unbeatable!

[quote="Rascalking, post:3, topic:213291"]
What GaryJohn2 said was dead on accurate. It's harmless fun. I used to play all the time when I was in high school (yes, I was/am a major geek! :o ) I had a white/blue turbo stasis deck that was virtually unbeatable!

[/quote]

She'd probably say you've been "desensitized" to evil and violence, what would you say to that?

Here's a (protestant) refutation of the game: christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_Magic.html

Have you personally been attracted to new age or voodoo through this? I find the idea humorous at most. I love how the article mentions cards that are supposed to be EVIL (Necromancers are ALWAYS portrayed as evil in the game.), and says that people are going to accept it. If it was promoting it, it wouldn't be portrayed as bad!

This is hilarious. Not only because I think the answer is "Of course it's o.k.!", but because that was perfectly exemplified by the picture of the card I saw when I clicked on your link. You see, the original picture could not be shown, so instead, the link shows a picture of a card with a cute little squirrel on it...hilarious, and equally as harmless as your hobby. I hope your Mom can relax a bit and see that you are just having some harmless fun, but remember to try to be respectful of her as well! Parents can be tough to deal with at that age.

Wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot magic wand.

I got in trouble "playing" these kinds of "games." One thing led to another - going to fortune tellers with friends after work just for fun, reading my horoscope in the paper faithfully every day just for fun...etc. Not good. Spend the time on bible study. (Read the part about Saul and the witch of Endor.)

[quote="sskelly, post:6, topic:213291"]
Wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot magic wand.

I got in trouble "playing" these kinds of "games." One thing led to another - going to fortune tellers with friends after work just for fun, reading my horoscope in the paper faithfully every day just for fun...etc. Not good. Spend the time on bible study. (Read the part about Saul and the witch of Endor.)

[/quote]

My point is, have you ever played this game? You're generalizing a group of games and saying they'll lead me to the occult. The saying goes, "you shall know them by their fruits", and so far, Magic: The gathering has the exact same fruits as Monopoly or any other game.

Exactly what "game" was it you played? Was it this one specifically?

Well, if you buy the randomized packs of cards I kind of think you're being taken for a ride, but hey it's your money right (to spend at least, I don't know if you earned it)?

No, it's not evil. You can trust me on this. I'm about as right wing as they come, even around here, and I've got a copy of the Malleus Maleficarum hardly out of arm's reach of my computer chair.

Tarot, ouija boards, etc. are definitely evil and you should stay far, far away from them. Magic the Gathering is just a strategy game built around a somewhat dodgy but obviously lucrative business model. And good on you for buying a card from the secondary market... at least you know what you're getting!

A lot of this comes down to a fundamental confusion that I think people have about things and signs of things. Signs are important, and some signs are obviously things in themselves as well as signs. But we cannot lose sight of what thing the sign is in itself.

Here's the classic example, La Trahison des Images by Rene Magritte:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/MagrittePipe.jpg

Take a look at that. The words say "This is not a pipe."

What does Magritte mean when he says "This is not a pipe"? It sure looks like a pipe. But step back for a moment: what is the definition of the thing you are looking at? The thing you are looking at is not a pipe. The thing you are looking at is a picture. That is its most basic definition. That is what you do with it, too: you look at it. You see, if it were actually a pipe, you could stuff tobacco in it, smoke it, etc. But you cannot do anything like that with it. This is not a pipe. It's a picture.

We generally figure this out when we're growing up. You have a Teddy Bear. When you're a child, perhaps you very adorably treat Rupert as if he were "Bear: Subtype Stuffed". But that isn't really true! Rupert is not any kind of a bear at all, and has no actual connection to Ursus. In reality, the amusing childhood mistake is an inversion of the true state of affairs... Rupert is really a "Stuffed Toy: Subtype Bear".

Likewise, Magritte's treacherous pipe is not a "Pipe: Subtype Picture". Rather, it is a "Picture: Subtype Pipe".

Here's another fine example: consider trips to Rome. You can have an expensive trip to Rome, a long trip to Rome, a pious trip to Rome, etc. Some trips to Rome can be several of these at once. There are all sorts of trips to Rome: religious trips, business trips, sightseeing trips, etc. But what about "imaginary" trips to Rome. You don't need a passport for those, do you? That's because an imaginary trip to Rome is not a kind of a trip to Rome! It's a kind of flight of fancy, one about Rome as opposed to being about something else.

So... what is Magic: the Gathering really? It is a game where you put out cards on your playing field that give you certain expanded options in the game, with a view to depleting your opponent's points before yours are depleted, etc. It really has nothing to do with actual wizardry... the game could be about corporate takeovers (Wall Street: the Geckoing), World War 2 (Normandy: the Invading), the Norman Conquest (William: the Conquering) or just about anything else. The game has a theme, and they seem to tie some of the mechanics of the game to that theme so that it is more fun to play, but really the pictures of ogres and dragons and so on are just there to entertain you while you blow up your opponent's hit points.

Contrast this with vile, sinful Tarot cards which are actually employed to try to ascertain the future with the aid of nebulous spiritual powers. They are actually used for divination, a sinful activity. Whereas in Magic: the Gathering even if you play the "Dark Ritual" card you don't actually perform a dark ritual! You just get some extra points to allow you to play that Skeleton from the Ray Harryhausen movie.

Obviously if a magic Skeleton Swordjockey ever appears and starts swording people, consult your bishop immediately.

Boy. Why do some people make it all so complicated?

First. Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and similar games are generally associated with "real" occult activity. I read a newspaper article which included a photo of a Christian minister holding open a copy of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles role-playing game because it had an illustration showing the inner workings of a gun - as if some teenager is going to run out and get the parts or better yet, operate his own metal smelter with a grinding and polishing machine so he can make one from scratch!

The media loves to focus on the occasional misguided religious person, giving the impression that they're all like that. There was a religious group that called themselves BADD, Bothered About D&D, which got some press. Newspapers love offbeat stories like this. One rumor that turned out to be false, was about a young man who died while playing D&D in Ann Arbor, MI. The company that makes Magic also puts out Dungeons and Dragons.

There should always be a concern when anyone associates Magic cards with tarot cards or other similar cards that might be used for divination. Bookstores have sections that feature brightly packaged occult items that can be safely looked at but not actually used.

God bless,
Ed

[quote="edwest2, post:9, topic:213291"]
Boy. Why do some people make it all so complicated?

First. Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and similar games are generally associated with "real" occult activity. I read a newspaper article which included a photo of a Christian minister holding open a copy of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles role-playing game because it had an illustration showing the inner workings of a gun - as if some teenager is going to run out and get the parts or better yet, operate his own metal smelter with a grinding and polishing machine so he can make one from scratch!

The media loves to focus on the occasional misguided religious person, giving the impression that they're all like that. There was a religious group that called themselves BADD, Bothered About D&D, which got some press. Newspapers love offbeat stories like this. One rumor that turned out to be false, was about a young man who died while playing D&D in Ann Arbor, MI. The company that makes Magic also puts out Dungeons and Dragons.

There should always be a concern when anyone associates Magic cards with tarot cards or other similar cards that might be used for divination. Bookstores have sections that feature brightly packaged occult items that can be safely looked at but not actually used.

God bless,
Ed

[/quote]

BADD and other related organizations are REALLY dangerous. They drum up mock fear about MTG, D&D, etc, and then direct kids to really bad stuff like Left Behind and The Shack, which portray skewed versions of God that are hard to shake off in adult life, not to mention giving children absurdly violent content (Left Behind, respectivley), while bashing it in "children's games" (Both MTG and D&D are labelled Ages 13+) I've never played D&D, but my friend has, and I honestly see nothing evil about an elf barabrian fighting Afro Pirates on a seabound sailor bar. As for MTG, the depictions of magic are NOT in line with real evil. On the other hand, the (protestant) religious card game "Redemption" actually FORCES you to use both Biblical heroes And Biblical Demons in a battle against each other. Rather than portraying the demons as disgusting, filth like Magic does, it makes them have a stylized, comic book look, while most biblical heroes have boring-looking (at least to kids) art. I once was in an art class with a kid who played redemption, and he told me how cool the evil cards were. So really, the choice is between a game marketed at children containing real biblical demons and forcing you to play them,, or a game featuring fantasy depictions of various mythological igures, including make-belive demons portrayed as ugly and not as cool as an angel. Easy choice, huh?

Anyway, here's the card I bought:
http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/cards/18089.jpg

And this is, of course, the actual case. I never played much Mt:G – I found the game mechanics dull, frankly – but I was hugely into the several-times-more-complicated Star Trek CCG, and there are hundreds more out there. They all use the same core mechanic: draw cards, play cards, use mechanics on cards to complete objectives and harass your opponent. The pictures and descriptions are incidental.

Dungeons & Dragons is safe, too, in case you were wondering.

Looking at the Sun Titan, I see in no way how anyone could see that as being evil. Unless they see "magic" and then they shut their minds. I guess they take issue with LOTR as well, eh?

Adeodatus is right on the point in several respects, and so is Ed. If anything your mom should be concerned about the "Crack is Cheaper" aspect of trading card games, in the sense it gets pretty expensive to keep a top tier deck (especially if you're net-decking). Like Adeodatus mentioned, good call on getting your cards from secondary sources.

I got out of trading card games because the one I played has it's tournaments too far away, and it also conflicts with my volunteer work. I've considered Hero Clix, but I've got a son on the way soon and too many small super heroes could be choking hazards. I think the main thing is you just need to be moderate about it.

My wife, who puts up with my extreme nerdness, MIGHT MIGHT (hopefully!) be getting me Castle Ravenloft for my upcoming birthday, which takes D&D and puts it in a board game setting.

[quote="Wowbagger, post:11, topic:213291"]
And this is, of course, the actual case. I never played much Mt:G -- I found the game mechanics dull, frankly -- but I was hugely into the several-times-more-complicated Star Trek CCG, and there are hundreds more out there. They all use the same core mechanic: draw cards, play cards, use mechanics on cards to complete objectives and harass your opponent. The pictures and descriptions are incidental.

Dungeons & Dragons is safe, too, in case you were wondering.

[/quote]

It is, but there's always the danger of the DM plugging his/her potentially dangerous philosophies or beliefs in the campaign. That's what led the kids in the 80's to the occult. Not the game itself, but New Age psychologists or teachers using it to undermine the beleifs of kids too young to properly understand the faith (or for that matter, play the game.)

You're a trekkie? Live long and prosper :thumbsup:

No. They’re just an excuse for a nerd get together :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote="MysticalSelah, post:14, topic:213291"]
No. They're just an excuse for a nerd get together :p

[/quote]

[SIGN]So True[/SIGN]:thumbsup:

[quote="TrueBlueAstrax, post:4, topic:213291"]

Have you personally been attracted to new age or voodoo through this? I find the idea humorous at most. I love how the article mentions cards that are supposed to be EVIL (Necromancers are ALWAYS portrayed as evil in the game.), and says that people are going to accept it. If it was promoting it, it wouldn't be portrayed as bad!

[/quote]

No, I've never been attracted to the occult or voodoo or any of that rubbish. It's all nonsense.

Some people look for reasons to get angry/ ban things. It makes them feel more moral.

Wow. I’ve never encountered that. If your statement was true, they would hold 5 minute long meetings. They would run out of things to say very quickly. I’ve examined what they’ve written. It’s longer than a few sentences.

There are predators out there and people who engage in occult practices. Vigilance is important, especially in a secular media environment that denigrates Christianity and is supportive of some New Age ideas.

God bless,
Ed

[quote="Rascalking, post:16, topic:213291"]
No, I've never been attracted to the occult or voodoo or any of that rubbish. It's all nonsense.

Some people look for reasons to get angry/ ban things. It makes them feel more moral.

[/quote]

Patrica Pullman's nonsense only verifies that claim. And, as I've stated before, the fundamentalist approach, in addition to being rabidly anti-catholic, creates moral panic over non or minor issues in order to frighten people into feeding their kids fundamentalist books like Left Behind and The Shack, which end up promoting violence (as long as it's for god!) and hatred against Catholics, Jews, etc.

And then there's the fact that they'll blatantly lie about the things they're against. D&D promotes witchcraft no it doesn't,but "The Hobbit" does,stating that Gandalf used "bewitchments" to open the troll's treasure doors.

Talk about double standards :P

@edwest: Indeed. The fact that games based around magic are safe does not mean that there is no such thing as the occult. We must be vigilant.

In particular, D&D could be co-opted by unscrupulous individuals for devilish purposes. On the other hand, it could be co-opted by scrupulous individuals for catechetical purposes. I did that once. Ran a fun game about it, too. Explored monotheism vs. paganism against the backdrop of a worldwide war between the two powers.

I have 3 decks that utilize Sun Titans. Of all 5 Titans released in the M11 set, the Sun Titan is probably my second favorite, after the Primeval Titan. Anyway, I'm a big Magic player. When I was in high school, my mom was like your mom and wouldn't let me play. I waited years and got back into it. It's a fun game, it's even being used in some schools to teach match as math is such a critical part of the game.

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