Geek Sports!

By Gareth Branwyn

Years ago, I was channel surfing and happened upon something I first thought was ridiculous. ESPN2 was broadcasting Magic: The Gathering World Championship. They had all of the sport broadcast trappings: announcer, color commentator, referee, engrossed spectators in bleachers, scoreboard, and onscreen graphics to reinforce the action. An hour later, finding myself enthralled and rooting for a specific player and his unstoppable monstrous cave troll (or whatever), I didn’t think it was so silly. Ever since then I’ve been fascinated by the concept of “brain sports” — fun, competitive games for brainiacs and creative thinkers, more inclusive and less cerebral (and serious) than the original geek sport: chess. ...

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