It was noon. The lunch hour had struck. It was time to get out of the University Center food court's long checkout line and run upstairs to play.
Business management junior Andrew Garza plays Magic: The Gathering with his friends almost every day.
Magic: The Gathering is a card game where the players play each other with the spells, powers and creatures on the cards they have. The aim of the game is to gather more cards. The one left with no cards loses the game. The trick is to gather the most powerful creatures.
“The game starts with goblins and ends with dragons,” Butler said about the range of characters available.
Garza is not the only one who loves playing the strategy game. At any given time during the day, there is someone playing the card game at that particular table on the University Center second level by the elevator, he said. Chips, lunch and drinks feed their energy between games and classes.
“This is our spot,” Garza said while watching Calvin Shiue and Kyle Bain play. Bain had more cards than Shiue, so Bain won.
Two and more people can play Magic: The Gathering at a time.
At one point, they had about 30 people at their table, Bain, an accounting senior, said.
“Some branched out to the other table,” Bain said.
They pulled together couches and chairs from the area to accommodate everyone, history junior Austin Greer said.
Greer said he is still learning the game. He said he wanted to learn the game since high school, but finally got into it in college.
He said he saw a few students playing the game once in the UC when he decided to sit down and learn.
“If you win you feel a sense of accomplishment,” Greer said.
Greer said he enjoyed the game where he beat Andrew, one of the expert players in the group, Greer said.
“I will cherish that forever,” he said.
A few students joined them. Without disturbing the players, they jumped across the table to the couch.
History junior Caleb Fisher had stopped by to watch his friends play on his way to class.
Fisher said he cheers for the one who is winning. He said he just looks at who has the most cards and cheers for them.
“It’s cool enough to watch,” he said.
Elementary education sophomore Angela Butler likes to eat lunch with her friends and enjoys taking turns while playing Magic.
“I like it because there is no TV or console that you need to buy,” she said.
Garza said he loves games that require players to plan out strategies.
“It is a social game. It is competitive,” he said.
Butler said she feels something is off when there are only a few people relaxing around the players. She likes to have people around cheering for the players.
Sometimes, the game enthusiasts don’t get their usual spot. If someone is sitting at their “spot” they sit there anyway and get the people around them interested in the game, Garza said.
At times the friends will play other games such as other card games or chess, Garza said.
“We are more familiar with Magic though,” he said.
The group will meet again tomorrow at lunch time.