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Enter the Maze at MIA

by Jescy Rodriguez

DGM If you are a gamer, nerd, or strategic mind or all of the above, you might know it is hard to confront the sad truth there just aren’t many good places around Sioux City you can just geek out and enjoy a good strategy game or RPG. However, local game store M.I.A. Gaming Lounge is Sioux City’s savior for games, collectible, Role-Playing, and virtual.  Aside from hosting fun and interactive events, they are the sole gaming Mecca in the Sioux City area.

Sure, getting around a table with friends and playing Dungeons & Dragons or strategy games like Dominion, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan or Magic: the Gathering are all possibilities, but there is only so long before that gets old.

Over time, games may get boring. Interactions between the same players get stagnant and stale. You can ask any competitive player who devotes a large amount of time to any game and they would tell you about their desire to play against better people in order to become better themselves.

This is especially true on here campus where only a select few people actually play these games, more particularly Magic: the Gathering.  If you aren’t familiar or nerdy enough to know what Magic is, last year CR Contributor, Jasmine Dirks, wrote an article about the card game.  You can read more about it here.  More or less it’s the Chess version of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

M.I.A Gaming Lounge is a game store recognized by game conglomerate Wizards of the Coast, to host sanctioned tournaments of their product Magic: the Gathering.  MIA is also a retail carrier of this collectible trading card game.

Whether you are into fantasy themed things like the Lord of the Rings, or you enjoy strategic games in general, is perfect for your tastes, as it falls somewhere in the middle.  Many people are drawn to Magic for several different reasons.

Some people play for the strategic properties of the game, some enjoy the collectible aspect the cards provide, some for the art, which is depicted on each individual card. Some people come to the game for the sheer purpose of monetary gain (as some of the cards are worth a pretty penny).  Whatever the reason, this game attracts a lot of college-aged gamers to its demographic audience, and right now is a perfect time to get into it.

The way Magic works is that about every four months a new expansion set of cards is released usually titled something epic like Gatecrash or Worldwake. These expansions are then considered legal to play within different gameplay formats.  There are three constructed formats in Magic: the Gathering.  Constructed simply means that you buy cards and build your deck out of those cards.  There are also two “limited” formats which means each player opens brand new product game packs and attempts to build a formidable deck with that limited pool of cards (hence the name of the format).

Usually every time a new set comes out a Sealed format Pre-Release event occurs at local game stores.  Pre-Release events are the perfect opportunity for new players to go to their local game stores, meet new people, and learn how to play new games that might interest them, and potentially win prizes. New comers will find that Pre-Releases are hugely convenient in order to learn the game and play it with a competitive crowd.

This upcoming Saturday is the perfect time to get into the game Magic: the Gathering for one reason; Dragon’s Maze.  Dragon’s Maze (or DGM) is the third set released from the Return to Ravnica expansion block from Magic: the Gathering.  The reason for this date being so relevant to the game is that it is the Pre-Release for the expansion set.

Events will be held at the M.I.A. Gaming Lounge, 1523 Geneva Street in Sioux City on Friday April 26th at midnight and Saturday April 27th at 3:00 PM.  Entry is $25 and will include tons of door prizes and free Dragon’s Maze themed cookies, and the opportunity to win some packs of MTG Dragon’s Maze, a week before it is released for sale.

M.I.A. Gaming Lounge owner Matt Stansfield looks forward to the festivities planned for this weekend.

“Our Pre-Release event is set to be one of the biggest and most fun events ever held at M.I.A. Gaming Lounge.  We’ll be giving out free products and gaming accessories.  We’ll even have cookies depicting the image of the ten Guilds of Ravnica for participants in the Pre-release tournament, provided by GTS Distribution.  There will also be tons of competitive Magic being played if that’s your cup of tea,” said Stansfield.