Lyn Rambles: Trading Cards and 10-Year-Olds

I recently found out that Paradox Interactive has officially okay’d Magicka Mayhem, a Kickstarter project that is a TCG version of the hit PC game Magicka.

The catch? The person behind Magicka Mayhem is Ethan Erickson, who is only ten year old. With the support of his family, what began as a pretty cool concept turned into a full on business venture as Ethan created his own pitch video and sent it to Paradox. He received the following response:

We get hundreds of pitches every month – most of them are…poop. Not only was yours good – but it also made us happy.”

Ethan also went on to appear in Paradox’s press conference held at GDC recently. Let me just say – this kid is definitely going places, and you can view the Kickstarter here.

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“Already a valued partner.”

So that led me to thinking: what was I doing when I was ten years old? Actually, the same exact thing! (…on a much smaller scale.)

You see, at that point in time I would have been in the 4th grade, and still had a few years on me in terms of video games. One of the things I really liked doing, along with a few other friends, was drawing, well, concept art.

At the time there was one show I was very much into, called Krypto the Superdog. I won’t go into too much detail, but basically the show was a kid’s version of DC heroes + dogs and plenty of hijinks. I was heavily inspired by that show and a lot of my concept art was pretty much other superhero dogs a la Pokémon style. So I had things like Ember Dog, who had but a tiny ember glowing on his forehead, but then evolved into Flame Dog who was completely engulfed in flames – you get the idea.

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So I had all these concepts in a cheap little artbook I got at the dollar store, and my friends who also did their own thing. It was pretty crazy because upon showing our art to other kids during recess, they actually liked them and wanted art for their own. Yes: my friends and I ended up starting our own business where we sold little cards of our art (made from printer paper) and even took on commissions. And boy did we make bank! …Piggy bank, in fact. Quarters, to be even more exact, but I digress.

One day we decided to go beyond just art. Combining all of our designs, my friends and I slapped on some numbers and cool abilities, creating our very own unnamed TGC. We played against each other and it was absolutely hilarious due to the complete lack of balancing and just how different all of our characters and creatures were. In Krypto the Superdog, people in the show were equally as important as the dogs, so I also had some human characters of my own. In our TCG I’d have “Sarah the Businesswoman” dishing out 10 damage with her Briefcase Bash against Giraffe-Looking-Thing that was my friend’s design (exact names vary, as my memory gets fuzzy on the specifics).

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While my cards have long been gone, here are Ethan’s.

And so where my story diverges with that of Ethan’s occurs when I showed my parents all the work I had done. Ten-year-old me brought out my artbook and presented to them all the cards I had made. Quips of praise and intrigue ensued and well…that was it. I honestly feel like this reaction was fairly normal, though.

Let us instead focus on what Ethan and his parents, Ken and Daley Erickson, have done. It brings a huge smile to my face to see the amount of love and support that Ethan is receiving to really make Magicka Mayhem a reality.

Think of it like this: Ethan presented an a idea that through his own efforts had just only budded as a small sprout. His parents saw the potential in this sprout, and nurtured it by watering, fertilizing, and tending to this plant to see it grow into the wonderful tree we have now – and it can only continue to grow.

The world can only benefit from having more gardeners.

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