Several individuals sit at a table playing Magic. One of the players facing the camera holds out his hand in a 'thumbs-up' gesture.
Magic players participate in a tournament in Santa Marta, Colombia. | Photo by Henry Gómez, Addy Martínez. Used via CC BY 3.0 license.

The most obvious outcome of any individual game of Magic is, of course, victory or loss as a result of a successfully completed game. However, this is subordinate to the more significant outcome of the game, namely the successful construction of a sense—a comprehension or understanding—of Magic via its protocols.

That is, each player, and the (local and broader) communities of players, comes to understand how the game operates and how to participate successfully in the realization of its individual iterations. This understanding can be described not only as how to be a competitive player (whether in the context of one’s immediate play groups or of the broader Magic community) but also how to move through a game from beginning to end regardless of one’s victory. Further, this outcome includes recognizing how to communicate one’s growing knowledge and understanding to others—so as to disseminate further the game’s protocols.

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