“Magic: The Gathering” – Too Complex For PC Gaming Motherboards

Magic The Gathering
via U.S. Air Force / Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese

Sad news for fans of Magic: The Gathering playing card game. It is not going to be available to the computer gaming world anytime soon. Though the app or download has long been sought by collectors of MTG, it is simply impossible for coders and PC systems.  None of these gaming motherboards of today, even if high powered, are able to process the extensive number of outcomes possible in the fantasy game.

What Computer Game Designers Discovered

According to Kotaku.com, a group of researchers studied ‘Magic: The Gathering’ and created the outline for digital game setup.    What was found, there is likely no possible way for a computer gaming board of day to process all the possible outcomes of a hand played.   As of today at least, there’s just too many options.

After thorough analysis, three researchers together concluded (full report), “We showed that Magic:The Gathering does not fit assumptions commonly made by computer scientists while modelling games.”

The 3 researchers of this study are from the United States and United Kingdom.  Alex Churchill, the first listed member of research documents, is an independent researcher from Cambridge, UK.  Stella Biderman (official website) is a female gaming enthusiast studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia.  Last, Austin Herrick is a future graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

In layman’s terms, the trio found a computer cannot force a live player’s hand in Magic: The Gathering.    Most gaming boards have processors that handle coding powerful enough to predict user habit by knowing all the options one can play.  However, MTG has such numerous cards, with even more numerous options that can be played,  the game is ‘too deep.’ Computers cannot currently swim through the depth of player options to be had.

Billion Dollar Potential

This may change a stroke of genius from  programming team. However, it has not yet been done.   With millions of dollars on the line to make this happen, the solution is definitely being researched by various companies and teams.  It is likely whoever find the answer to this problem will be key to a billion dollar business empire. Some think, Magic: The Gathering could even become as big as a viral success as Fortnite.

Research done to find these results came from coding two decks of the “legacy edition” Magic: The Gathering cards.   Computations were done from mathematical formulas which predict every outcome, of one card vs every other card in the deck.  Over 2000 cards can be played in MTG, not including banned ones.  The striking powers and effects of each card can be manipulated by playing another card on top of one already in play.

Social Media Stats

Many may not be aware of this card game’s name.  However, you have likely seen it in stores. They are sold by the packs and by the box.   There are also individual cards that are extremely rare and resold for prices sky high. The “Black Lotus” for instance is being offered for sale on TCGPlayer.com at a price of $17,995.   The ‘mono artifact’ is revered as one of the most powerful cards of all decks.   Only 1,100 of the cards were made of over the estimated 3-billion cards sold worldwide.

These findings make Magic: The Gathering the most complex computer game to date, according to this research.  Watch the below to understand how this role playing game works.