Despite being around for over two decades, Magic: The Gathering has continued to grow at a steady pace. Now, it even seems that the card game is leaking into other aspects of pop-culture, as a group of amateur actors and producers have created a scripted YouTube series called Mana Screwed, which surrounds the lives of people that play Magic and those affected by it.
Published on the Youtube channel Snow Stories, the series was created by Austin Herring & Brett Gentile after Gentile made fun of Herring for constantly playing the card game. Mana Screwed follows the life of avid Magic: The Gathering card player Jason(Conner Marx), with most episodes, centered around him playing a game of Magic, while things take place around him that result in comedic disarray that usually ruins each game.
Most of the mayhem is either caused by the people around him who don’t play the card game, like his brother in law Garrett, who is actually played by show co-creator Brett Gentile. While Gentile’s character looks upon Jason’s actions somewhat disparagingly in the show so far, yanking him from card games and complaining to his wife – and Jason’s sister – Nina (Jennifer Schoch) about how immature he is, he shows plenty of compassion through his actions as well, if only to please his wife.
While Mana Screwed does have a heavy focus on the nerdy aspects of the game and how they affect the people around the nerds who play it, there are also plenty of endearing elements in the show as well. It’s revealed that there is a very specific reason Jason play’s Magic, as he uses it as a coping mechanism to get over a difficult time in his life.
Alongside the funny and well-written dialogue, the show also boasts considerable production value, especially for a team of their size. With the exception of a car scene with rough audio in episode 2, each scene is shot with exemplary lighting, clear audio, and simple, but fitting camera work.
Currently, Snow Stories has followed a weekly release schedule for the series, with a new episode publishing on YouTube every Friday. While the first season is ten episodes, there is no telling just how long the series will go on, but the channel does have other videos, including actual Magic: The Gathering games between the actor, creators, and founders of the channel.
I have no experience whatsoever playing Magic: The Gathering, as my card game youth centered around Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon, but I highly recommend Mana Screwed not only to Nerds but to anyone who enjoys a unique story. For more information be sure to stay tuned to the site for updates and don’t forget to head over to their channel to see each episode as it releases.