Life Begins in the Library, Asserts New Arizona Statute

Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2012 by KingRamz
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PHOENIX, AZ (4/26/2012) — It’s not uncommon for laws to have unintended consequences, but this is one for the books. Today, a group of top-ranked tournament judges for popular trading card game Magic: the Gathering announced that, because of a bizarre quirk in the wording of a recent anti-abortion law passed by the Arizona state legislature, creature cards in players’ libraries or hands are now officially considered “alive” or “on the battlefield.”

“We were flabbergasted when we first realized the implications of the law,” said Dolph Bebox Aberez, a spokesperson for the group. “For a government body to regulate the rules of a card game, even unintentionally, it’s just – it’s unheard of,” he said.

The game’s publisher, Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, was quick to respond. “Wizards of the Coast does not condone breaking the law under any circumstances,” said Tina Gaffney, Head of Wizards of the Coast Public Relations. “Compliance with government regulations always takes precedence over both the rules of the game and what’s printed on the cards.”

The news has caused problems for the company’s online division, which has had to scramble to avoid thousands of potential regulatory violations from players playing the game through its online service, Magic Online. “We had to take emergency measures,” said Simon Blackwell, Vice President of Technology and Digital Gaming. “As of right now, if you check the box that says you’re from Arizona, the game will immediately lock up and crash. But we’ll get it back up and running for all six of you Arizonan players out there as soon as we can make sure your game client complies with local regulations.”

Arizona judge performs
procedure on player

“The big question on all of our minds is, ‘how is this even going to work within the framework of the existing rules?’” said Aberez. “We’ve decided that, even if they’re technically on the battlefield, creatures in hands and libraries can’t attack or block, and they can’t be targeted. But, oh boy, the first time someone casts a mass removal spell? We’re going to have to go through each player’s cards to find everything that should be affected and put it in the graveyard. The state is basically forcing us to perform a Gitaxian Probe of each player’s hidden zones. What a nightmare.”

“It’s really stupid,” he added. “I hope they fix it soon. Players are just going to go to other states to play Magic anyway.”