Having been at school, you’ve probably seen some kids hanging out in the back of the Cougar Cafe. Yeah, they’re actually doing something; playing children’s card games. Here are some of the games that they play (I’m not going to explain too much of how they’re played for brevity).

Magic: the Gathering:

The very first trading card game ever to exist and continues to thrive to this very day with over 12 million players. Games are playable by 2 or more people, and each game represents a battle between mighty wizards, known as “planeswalkers”, who employ spells, items, and creatures depicted on individual Magic cards to defeat their opponents A player starts the game with twenty “life points” and loses when he or she is reduced to zero. Players lose life when they are dealt “damage” by being attacked with summoned creatures or when spells or other cards cause them to lose life directly. A player can also lose if he or she must draw from an empty deck (called the “library” during the game), or if they have acquired 10

“poison counters”. In addition, some cards specify other ways to win or lose the game. Although the original concept of the game drew heavily from the motifs of traditional fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, the gameplay of Magic bears little similarity to pencil-and-paper adventure games, while having substantially more cards and more complex rules than many other card games.


The Japanese trading card

game developed and published by Konami. Based off the fictional card game/ plot device from the Yu-Gi-Oh series, it is a battle-based trading card game in which players draw cards from their respective decks and take turns playing cards on “the field”. Each player uses a custom-made deck containing 40 to 60 cards, as well as an optional “Extra Deck” of up to 15 cards that are used in certain situations. Each player starts with usually 8000 “Life Points” (hmm, sounds familiar doesn’t it), and the usual win condition is the reduction of the opponent’s Life Points to zero. This is typically achieved by using one’s “monster” cards to attack the opponent’s monster cards and/or inflict damage to his or her life points. The other two card types are “spells” and “traps”, which have a nearly endless variety of functions. The game was named “Top Selling Trading Card Game” by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009, having sold over 22 billion


cards worldwide, and continues to gain popularity all throughout the world.

Cardfight!!! Vanguard:

Another Japanese trading card game, this game started being played in the cafeteria recently and actually didn’t surface in stores till mid-2011. The basic premise of the trading card game is that the two players represent astral spirits dueling on the fictional planet Cray. The cards in players’ decks, called “units”, represent characters from Cray that players can summon. Each unit has a name, clan, power level, shield value, critical value, one or more skills, and “grade”, which ranges from 0 to 3. Overall strength of units increases with grade, but a unit can only be summoned if the player’s vanguard is of that grade or higher. A deck must contain exactly fifty cards, sixteen of which are required to be trigger units while having no more than four copies of the same card and no more than four total heal triggers. Furthermore, there can be no more tha

n four cards with the keyword Sentinel in a deck. There is otherwise no restriction on how many cards of a certain clan or grade must be used.


The Japanese trading card game based off the anime which is based off the videogames and is one of Nintendo’s last remaining strong links to its heritage as a playing card company. Players take on the role of a Pokémon trainer, using their creatures to battle. Players play Pokémon to the field and use their attacks to reduce the opponent’s “Hit Points”. When a Pokémon’s HP is reduced to 0 it is knocked out and the player who knocked it out takes a Prize card into their hand. A player may win the game in 3 ways; by collecting all of their prize cards (initially 6, some cards can increase this), if their opponent runs out of Pokémon on the field or if at the beginning of their opponent’s turn there are no cards left to draw in the opponent’s deck. The trading card game continues to grow with the release of the games.

Cards can be bought at comic book stores (such as Omni Comics and Cards, the Grid, and Newbury Comics), toy stores, super markets, drug stores, and dollar stores.