For our 11th issue of People of Timmins, we interviewed Renee Boucher, a gamer whose wide repertoire of games includes the trading card game Magic: The Gathering.
Q: From what I know about you, I think it's safe to refer to you as a "gamer". What kinds of games do you play?
A: I play all kinds of games: video games, tabletop roleplaying games, and even board games. I do tend to lean more on the role-playing genre as a whole, but other genres have caught my attention over the years.
Q: Kids play a lot of games growing up, of course, but what continues to draw you towards gaming even as an adult?
A: It can be a way to connect with people, as well as keeping reflexes sharp and stimulating your imagination. I also use it as a way to pass the time; since I can't work it also helps to keep me busy.
Q: Do you think it's important that we as adults to maintain a sense of play?
A: Of course! One of my favorite quotes is, "Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional." Falling into the daily monotony of work, home, sleep, repeat can really start to eat away at someone's sanity after a while. A sense of play, no matter whether it's sporting, playing video games, or working on a project car, for example, can be a way to de-stress and add some fun into life.
Q: Tell me more about Magic: The Gathering. Could you describe it quickly for those who've never heard of it?
A: Magic: the Gathering is a trading card game where 2, or sometimes more, wizards face off in a duel of superiority. You summon creatures, cast spells, and play powerful enchantments or relics depicted on the cards to combat the other player and claim victory.
Q: Are there a lot of others in Timmins who play Magic, too?
A: I would say the amount of people who play fluctuates with time. I've been playing for about 11 years now, and the local scene has seen both large and small crowds show up to play. I haven't been able to play much lately due to circumstances beyond my control, but the group was fairly small and close knit when I had to step away.
Q: The location where people gather to play Magic has changed a few times over the years: Anything Goes, then Altered Reality, then Jump City. Have those changes affected who comes out, or do those who love the game stick with it no matter where they play?
A: I find the venue has changed the people who show up to play, yes. Time is a factor as well. The main place to play has changed over the past 10 years, but with every new store we play in, we get new sets of eyes on us, which translates into potentially more people being interested in the game.
Q: If someone wanted to take up table top gaming, or a card game like Magic, how would you recommend they get started?
A: I would say the best way to get started is to find someone who knows how to play already, and get them to show you how to play. We're all friendly people, and enjoy sharing our favorite game with a wider audience. Most people who are already in the hobby have spare decks you can try, so you don't need to commit too much, other than some of your time, to learning the basics.
Q: Now it's time for a few fun, rapid fire questions. If you could invite one famous person to your next birthday party, who would you choose?
A: I would have to say Robert Downey Jr. He seems like he'd be fun at parties, and it's not every day you get to meet Iron Man.
Q: If you didn’t need the internet to get by, do you think you would still use it?
A: Yes, I probably would. Keeping up with the world in terms of big events and news can be a useful source of conversation topics.
Q: If you could Photoshop your face into any famous photo or movie poster, which one would it be?
A: Probably the movie poster for Ready Player One. I really liked that movie.
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