This was a fantastic week for PucaTrade.
I had a chance to order the Inkwell Looters format-buttons from Purebuttons.com and submitted the final proof of our card-sleeves to Legion. They’re gonna look great, and I can’t wait to start rocking both.
I also had a chance to make it to GP Portland to meet a fantastic guy named Charles Webber. He’s a veteran of web-project management, avid Magic the Gathering player, and he loves PucaTrade. He has graciously offered to oversee the production of all the great features we’ve been raving about, and manage the process of turning these conceptual dreams into code. Between games of the tournament, we hashed out a fantastic plan for 2013 and can’t wait to get cracking. This is a huge step for PucaTrade, and we’re so excited to have Charles on board.
I also had an opportunity to talk with Zac Hill about all the ways that cards currently move from owner to owner in the Magic community. He and I spoke at length about the effects of unbalanced exchange (unfair trades) in the secondary MtG market, and were able to come to this understanding:
Magic the Gathering players come from all over the place, from all walks of life. This is great because it gives us opportunities to broaden our cultural horizons, but can also foster some unfortunate dynamics between strangers.
Imagine yourself in a trade between you and your friends, or even the acquaintances that you see regularly at your local game store. How do you conduct yourself in this trade?
Now imagine yourself in a trade with a stranger that you’ve never met and will likely never see again. How do you conduct yourself differently in these two situations?
Regardless of what you answered, the reality is that a disparity exists here. We may be allured by the ritz of “Pack to Power” value trading, but in that seduction we neglect the untold story in that quest for financial gain. Can it not be said that every increase to your card-pool’s total value represents the loss of someone else’s? What would the Pack to Power quest look like if you were required to state imbalances in trade value before completing every trade?
It would change the game.
From a conceptual standpoint, most traders agree that they’re entitled to a fair trade. What happens in the moment when they realize that they just lost $10-$50 worth of card-value due to their own unfortunate lack of knowledge? Would they feel cheated? How does this impact the way they will interact with the next Magic trader that they meet? Or even the next player they sit across from?
At the GP this weekend, I spoke with many players who had concerns about the increased prevalence of value-trading in the MtG community, and its impacts on the community at large. Although I originally made PucaTrade as a convenience-service (while acknowledging the benefits of a system that leveled the playing field for traders), I’m starting to realize that PucaTrade may have larger implications and benefits to the way Magic players perceive one another.
I hope to explore these ideas further, and encourage you to reach out to me with comments, questions, or feedback of any kind. As always,
Drive a Tranquil Bargain.