Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
Click to learn more!
Click to learn more!
Click to learn more!
Click to learn more!
June 29, 1994     Mercer Island Reporter
PAGE 10     (10 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
 
PAGE 10     (10 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
June 29, 1994
 

Newspaper Archive of Mercer Island Reporter produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2021. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.




his??? BUSINESS Wednesday. June 29.1994 B 2 Fantasy game playing pays for Island artist with Magic His youth spent playing games not misguided after all, he says By Ch ris Norred "v‘aclt'cr Island Rt‘pnlhcl Back in the llihtls, when Dunv goons and Dragons was at the peak of its popularity. television aired an after-school special about a teenager so enamored with that lantasy world board game that he lost all touch with reality. Maybe he became a criminal. or a mental patient. or a bum on the street begging tor dimes while he obsessively rolled his 2(l—sidcd dice Who knows? But it was not a pretty fate. Television made that clear But what it 'I‘\‘ were wrong? What it the teenager managed to pay attention just enough dur- ing high school to squeak by and graduate? What il he went to art school and drew pictures of the fantasy world that so strongly held his interest? What if he ii,— nored the friends and relatives who said he could not earn a live- ine, drawing pictures oi mythical sorcerers and demons? What if he worked in a book- store to make ends meet. and dog- gedly pursued a job with a game company. until he convinced the game makers to buy original fan- tasy world art? What it he agreed to work without pay just to prove himself? And what if. when the con‘ipany was struggling. he agreed to accept some ownership shares in lieu of pay tor his work? The star of that alter—school special would be Jesper Myrfors. 29~year-old Mercer Islander. who is art director for Wizards ol the Coast, a Renton~based compa~ ny that produces Magic: The Gathering, one of the bestselling new games on the market. ‘ "Most people think that role» playing games are like another form of devil worship. which is ri- diculous.” said Myrfors. "it‘s more like participatory theater or literature. ” MAGIC PREMIERED about a year ago. It is a collectible, trad— ing—card game. described as a cross between the card game of War and fantasy baseball, except with sorcerers and magic powers instead of pitchers and earned- run averages. "It’s a good. solid game, says Myrfors. “It has a lot of levels. It can be simple or complex. It feels y Mountain Bikes u to 36%.,” ’94'Kurok'o m Was Sale “175,9 s599 ‘iu'illi. tango Other Models Starling 015250 Seattle‘s Best Prices Over 3000 Bikes in Stock Helmets - Locks — Shoes Accessories - Clothing save up to 40% Gregg’s Will Meet Advertised Sale Prices Sizes 8. quantities limited Gregg's Cycle Ii? YEARS OI GREAT VALUES 8. QUALITY SERVICE Seattle’s lies! biryde shop Top ID in the U.S. Greenloke Cycle . 7007 Woodlawn Ave. NE 523-1822 M-F‘) 309.3(11'6 Sun 9 30-6 Bellevue Cycle 145 Iobrh NE Bellevue Plaza 462-1900 Ir‘évF l0 8,301“) b,SunIl-b Aurora Cycle 7401 Aurora Ave. N. 783-1000 M-F ‘1"). Sm 9-6, Sun II-b a lot like chess. You have to think about moves in advance. It's nev- er the same game twice.” The original artwork. arranged and sometimes produced by Myrfors. is a key factor in the game‘s success. “People are drawn to the game by the way it looks, and they’re hooked because it’s such a good game." The success of Magic has al— ready been compared to Trivial Pursuit and Fictional-y, Myrfors said. "It took off better than we ever expected." Capitol City. a company that distributes games and comic books. ranks Magic as the sixth largest product. behind some comic books, but ahead of all oth- er games in the ranking, Myrfors said. In the first four months after its debut, Magic sold more than 10 million cards. They sell for $7.95 a deck. Locally, the game is avail- able at Island Books. Terrace Jerome. store owner at Games and Gizmos in Belle- vue. said that sales of Magic re- cently account for 80 or 90 percent of his business. “It's just phenom- enal." JESPER MYRFORS is one of the top shareholders in the pri- vate company. The company is worth about $60 million now, he said. Continued success will mean wealth in the millions for Myrfors. He recently bought a house on Mercer Island, which depleted his Please see ‘Magic’ on B3. Andrea Marcher-3e Jespcr Myrfors, 29, is decorating his new home on Mercer Island in a style similar to the artwork he produces for the new game, Magic; The Gathering. The original artwork on the cards is one key to the success of the game for which the Mercer Island High grad is vice—president of production. SERVING YOUR AREA 0 24 HOUR SERVICE - ALL MAKES MacDonald-Miller Residential 5”“ ’9“ 881-7920 Heating and air conditioning you As [mu : DID You KNOW... As $5992m” llllllllllllll You CAN Aoo AIR CONDITIONING To Your Exrsnnc FORCED AIR’HEATING SYSTEM? INSTALLED! llllll in Hill y null VVVVVVV Now you can be on your way to a toon-rrific two-day/two-night Disneyland Kids FREE vacation that includes admission into Mickey’s Toontown one hour before Disneyland Park opens. Book a two-day or more Disneyland Kids FREE Vacation Package* and each child will receive: oTwo-Day\Child Passport (age 3 to 11) to Disneyland FREE! oTwo nights’ accommodations at a participating Anaheim-area hotel/motel FREE! oTransportation between hotel and Disneyland FREE! oOne-day early admission into Mickey’s Toontown FREE!“ Vacation package prices start at $125, per person, adult double occupancy. Kids FREE at Disneyland. It’s Toons and tons of fun! Call 1-800-524-9500 or see your travel agent. VVVVVVV *Kids FREE must be requested at time of booking. Reservations must be made no later than July 31, 1994. Travel must begin by September 30, 1994. Travel subject to availability; limited number of packages. One child free (age 3 to 11) for two nights with each regular paying person (19 and up) sharing the same room on a drive vacation package, Additional child rates available. "Limited days apply for Toontown Early Admission. ©The Walt Disney Company VVVVVVV