Over the past twenty-five years, collectible card games (CCGs) have emerged as a cultural phenomenon. Magic: The Gathering, which is commonly regarded as the first in the genre, boasts a global player base of 20 million, a professional circuit with $240,000 in awards and a $50,000 cash prize to the winner. As
a genre, collectible card games are defined as a game in which players purchase and collect cards which are then assembled into decks and played in head-to-head competition. CCGs typically feature a common “starting” set of cards, “booster packs” that expand the basic set and introduce new cards with particular
powers (and differing rarity), and an ever-changing metagame, in which the community identifies superior card combinations and strategies for playing them. This metagame evolves as archetypal decks emerge and players identify weaknesses in it and counter them. Much like poker, hearts, or pinochle, CCGs can be played many ways, ranging from the casual to the competitive. The nature of collectible card games, which feature original artwork and collections of cards, mean that they also support unique modes of engagement, as a player may find pleasure in collecting (or even creating) cards. A truly global game, the top 10 Magic:
The Gathering players (measured by all-time “Pro Points”) come from five different countries (France, Japan, United States, Brazil, and Germany), and the reigning lifetime cash leader, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, has earned over $400,000 in cash prizes.

Managing Randomness and Collectible Card Game Playing as Collective Cognitive Achievement
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