Wolf’s Wicked Words: The Ace In The Hole
“Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.” – Josh Billings
“May I ask a gutsy volunteer from the audience to please make his or her way to the stage? Ah, yes, thank you miss. Wait, let me see. Yes, you are indeed a miss and not a ma’am. I take it the residential men are too blind to take note of such a magnificent beauty with the result of leaving that ring finger bare naked. Let us hope their eyes open soon enough. Now, I ask you to please select one of the fifty two cards spread across the table after you’ve finished shuffling them yourself. Please take note that none of these cards carry any marks or indicators that may aid me in performing this antic. Thank you. A round of applause for this truly ample shuffler. After you’ve examined the card and remembered to take note of its unique trait, please tear it up into as many pieces as possible. Expertly done. Now, please throw the pieces to scatter amongst the audience. You, sir, in the front row with the top hat, I believe the top left corner of the card landed on your lap. My mistake. Regardless, please make your way to the stage. I do apologise for what I am about to do, but I believe the card name and number is written on the inside of the band around your top hat. We shall repair the hat back to its original state backstage once I’ve identified this lady’s card. Well, that is disappointing – nothing written here. What is your name, kind sir? And your profession? Jack? And you are a jeweller? Well, miss, your card was the Jack of Diamonds, correct? Sublime! A round of applause to dear Jack and the lovely lady.”
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It simply is amazing what one may find while meandering around the internet. I simply started looking up quotes and sayings regarding playing cards and soon I found myself reading about the use of playing cards in the 1850s and specifically in China during the ninth century.
Playing cards sure are one of the oldest and most known forms of social entertainment, trickery and gambling. Depending entirely on chance while playing or sleight of hand when entertaining audiences or annoying friends when performing a trick.
Playing cards have always had a soft spot in my heart as I walked around the house as a very young urchin; trying to figure out a trick seen on TV or even aiming high to invent my own trick or two. Trading cards came along and as high protein shake, steroids and muscular this may sound, I still own a number of Yu-Gi-Oh decks.
It’s interesting to find myself feeling much younger by the excitement a card game still manages to infuse within me — case in point: Hearthstone. I was told a lot about it by a fellow writer and tried it for myself. Little did I know how much I would end up liking it. It feels odd to still have a number of successful card games in digital form with large player bases amongst the hordes of first person shooters and other more bullet-ridden multiplayer titles.
While I never thought of card games as a smothered genre or form of entertainment, I did not look at them and saw the relevance they still possess. In Hearthstone, you have mana, a life counter, many human opponents to play against and different classes to pick. That sounds like a normal RPG and/or online game.
Hearthstone has reignited my excitement towards the turn-based, card-like idea of gaming. It was like discovering a very old chip from underneath my bed that unknowingly fell to the floor as I watched Sniper for the eighteenth time that day. An unexpected discovery, but still holds up despite the expiration date and nine generations of mites that lived inside it.