I spent most of the weekend in a hole, playing through Bioshock Infinite. I know it’s not a new game, but it’s enthralling. I finished it in a weekend, and it was over sooner than I had wanted. It doesn’t matter, though, as the story was engrossing and some of the ideas are fantastic. I want to spend time in this world, and the game is an excellent portal to do so.

Of course, if you’ve played any of the Bioshock games, you know it’s not really the gameplay that keeps you glued to the screen. They’re all built on the Unreal engine, and while they’re generally beautiful, the game itself is not particularly amazing. It’s generic gameplay, but the world and the story are engaging enough to make even a savvy videogamer overlook these shortcomings. If you have the flavor, you can keep the audience rapt.

This got me thinking about Ravnica. Bioshock Infinite is, and I hope I am not spoiling anything to say this, a story about someone who has the ability to bridge many worlds to see many timelines. It doesn’t seem like too much of a jump there to think that there’s place in the universe for a Planeswalker-branded videogame. The easiest would be to just shamelessly adapt the Bioshock model, and go first person shooter. Think Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, only set in a fantasy horror world and where your weapons are magic. Heck, you could use the steampunk weapons and clothing and just have you start playing as an Izzet, perhaps showing the ignition of Ral Zarek’s spark as he battles people who want to make use of his power for their own gain.

Or get Bioware to do it, and copy the basic architecture of the Dragon Age games. Again, it’s a compelling game series with somewhat generic gameplay. But the fantasy elements of the Dragon Age engine could be more directly applied to the Magic: the Gathering properties. Perhaps this would be better to take place on the plane of Innistrad, following Thalia and a band of fellows as they try to save their home from the encroaching darkness. You might have to tweak some of the mythology a bit, but it doesn’t seem like it would be all that hard to show different cities on the plane, and show the difference between Nephalia and Thraben, for example.

And I would love to play a Bethesda-style, Fallout-derivative game set in the Magic universe. Maybe set it in the fall of Mirrodin and the rise of New Phyrexia, having you wander the wastes while trying to survive as civilization crumbles. If Phyrexian oil doesn’t leave you with enough story opportunities, set it on Zendikar, perhaps even before the Rise of the Eldrazi (did somebody say a sequel?).

But my point is this. Magic is a subsidiary of Hasbro these days. Hasbro is a toy company, and is constantly looking to expand their bottom line. Instead of cutting from Magic’s creative department, why not expand it? Why not take these worlds that have been developed and then promoted for a good part of a year, and recycle them into video games so that another audience can soak in the flavor!

It just seems like a waste to me. There’s such great storytelling in their universe, and yet the only way that Wizards tends to tap into it are in cheesy books with ridiculously short shelf lives. My hope is that, someday soon, Wizards or Hasbro realizes the wealth of their intellectual property, and begins to think of new ways to disseminate it to a wider population. After all, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh both bring in audiences for their games through an alternative media tie in, and their worlds aren’t nearly as complex or interesting as individual planes in the multiverse. It’s a competitive advantage they’re not using at the moment; instead of the next Battleship movie, maybe Hasbro should seriously consider the potential Wizards offers them.

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