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Making Magic Healthier


I’d like to help Magic: The Gathering become healthier. I’d like to help Magic: The Gathering players become healthier. Healthier is happier.

We know there’s a stereotype about chair-gaming players, and there’s a truth to it. Crackgate exposed it. This is a problem. If MTG convention pictures are going viral, I’d like it to be because of the incredibly fit people.

Let me be clear that this is not a knock against any individuals. I have much love to all. I’m talking about a potentially systematic problem—around the Magic: The Gatherings, the cities, the country, maybe America, and maybe humans around the world in general.

So, what can we do? We can do a lot actually—so much. We’ll get to that.

But first, we should talk about how sitting in chairs is really bad for you.

Sitting in Chairs Is Really Bad for You

Sitting in chairs is really bad for you.

This isn’t something I’m just saying.

There are studies.

Science has been done.

Here’s a study.

Here’re some graphics-

So sitting in chairs is really bad for you.

It makes your chest and belly space smaller, interfering with their ability of your key organs to perform at their peak.

It limits your range of motion over time. It keeps those hips tight. It can make it impossible to squat down to the ground to sit or pick things up over a lifetime.

All this can cause problems, as we see in the studies.

Oh no! Magic: The Gathering is a sitting game!

No, it doesn’t have to be at all. It’s a sitting game at massive tournaments and tiny, cramped shops that can’t afford a better set up. Not to knock those guys either—they are doing the most they can to accommodate giant crowds.

But you absolutely do not have to chair-sit to play Magic.

Bar Tables, Barstools

Ivory Tower
I’ve really enjoyed playing on bar tables with the option of a bar stool. Let’s us straighten out our spines and open up our bellies. Let’s us clear those stomach aches, take deep breaths, and ease the mind—all while playing this game.

Now, standing can put a lot of pressure on our body, and that is another struggle. I believe there is a lot of technique in how we use our bodies to alleviate that pressure. So this isn’t a total “fix.” But it is a nice alternative that I enjoy.

I’d like to see Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour feature matches have bar tables and barstools. If you ask anyone, the preference would be clear. While this could be a cost issue for most, it shouldn’t be a cost issue in the feature area of a Pro Tour.

Let’s see Wizards lead the way with standing Top 8 matches with optional high stools. We will see more dramatic moments. We will see pacing and passion. We will see fit, vibrant, players!

What you think?

Squat Down

Enter the Dungeon
The healthiest people I’ve ever met all squatted a lot. I don’t mean like city weight-room squatting.

I mean these people squat down to the earth to plant vegetables or make art. They squat down to play with children and animals.

It’s good to be on the ground. Sitting on the ground is something altogether different than sitting in chairs. I’d like to see studies on it, but I imagine transitioning between squatting and sitting on the ground while playing is massively better for health than sitting in chairs.

So, squat down. Screw chairs. Screw tables. Get to the earth.

Play outside if it’s nice!

With most modern games, you cannot go outside and play in a park or field. This is a pretty amazing luxury of Magic, and if you can catch me, I’d be happy to play a game shaded under a tree in the woods.

Get out Brewing

Back to Nature
Another great thing about Magic: The Gathering is that half of the game is played in your head while building your deck.

This has always been my favorite part because it means I am able to get moving or play sports all while sharpening my deck axe.

It seems that my decks always come together when I’m closest to nature—by the water, by the beach, in the forest, in the parks, or in the cities. This is where I can escape the noise in my head and think.

You could try to brew while sitting in a chair on a computer. Or you could do one better and get on the ground scouring through deck boxes. Or you could do best and get out moving and brewing.

This is my favorite way to enjoy Magic: The Gathering, and I highly encourage anyone to try it—or try it more.

Health or Naturalist?

I’m writing this from a health perspective—not from a naturalist perspective. I feel the naturalist would maybe say it’s a wasteful game—all the wrappers, all the ink, all the paper. What the hell is this computer I’m writing from? I’m gonna toss it from the balcony into the trees!

But nah, I’m not a naturalist. I like my technology. I like my Magic: The Gathering. But I like to toe the line, and I like to be as healthy and happy as I can.

I’ve spent a lot more time thinking about this and working toward it than most, so I figured I would share my thoughts as of 2014. I suspect I will revisit this in the future. I hope this helps.

What I’m really trying to say is . . . forget kitchen-table Magic, let’s do it on the floor!

Let’s do it under the tree in the forest!

Let’s do it on the beach of the island!

Let’s not do it on the swamp tho.

<3 Travis

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