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Celebrities You Didn’t Know Play Magic: The Gathering

Updated November 26, 2019 14.9k views12 items

Back in 1993, a little company called Wizards of the Coast released a game called Magic: The Gathering, and tabletop gaming was changed forever. While MTG wasn't the first collectible card game (CCG) to hit the market, it was the breakout star, transforming the genre forever. Within a few years, it went from comics-store exclusivity to availability in just about every store selling games of all types, including grocery store checkout aisles.

Because the game is thematically similar to fantasy role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, it was initially relegated to the basements of nerds across the world, but like D&D (whose parent company, TSR, was bought by Wizards of the Coast, saving it from likely extinction), it's an incredibly entertaining game. People from all walks of life play it - including celebrities. Here are some big names you may not have known were secretly MTG players.

  • Josh Barnett, MMA Fighter
    Video: YouTube

    A well-known UFC combatant, Josh Barnett isn't the kind of guy you'd think would play MTG. But you'd be mistaken: He's been playing MTG since the very beginning, when he was just 16 years old.

    He's still got some coveted, vintage Alpha cards in his collection. He hates playing blue decks and prefers a black-red deck, which is his standard. 

  • Joseph Gordon Levitt, Actor
    Video: YouTube

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been acting since he was a child, and while you might think most of his time was spent rehearsing or working on set, he was also getting busy with some MTG cards. Since joining Reditt, Gordon-Levitt has done a few Ask Me Anythings, and his love of MTG has come up on more than one occasion. He admitted to preferring the game over Pokémon.

    When he was asked, "Inquiring minds need to know: what's your favorite Pokémon," he simply replied, "Magic: The Gathering FTW." This elicited another question asking which was his favorite MTG card, to which he replied, "Time Walk. Never had it."

  • Chris Kluwe, Minnesota Vikings Player
    Video: YouTube

    Chris Kluwe played for the Minnesota Vikings, but before he got into professional football, he was heavily into MTG. Klue is an out-and-proud gamer and "fan of all things nerdery," so it's not surprising he's into Magic. He got into the game at the tender (though not that tender in MTG years) age of 13, when the Revised Edition was released in 1994.

    He plays a blue-black control deck, which gives him the opportunity to play most of his cards during his opponent's turn. You might not think of an NFL player as someone likely to embrace nerd culture, but - as this video shows - Kluwe is happy to prove otherwise.

  • Seth Rogen is probably best known for his writing, acting, and producing, so it's probable that you don't think of him as much of a gamer. He got his start performing standup comedy at an early age (14), but his real passion was writing. He began scripting Superbad when he was only 13; he spoke of this during his opening monologue while hosting Saturday Night Live in 2013.

    In that monologue, Rogen described watching shows like Night Rider and playing games like MTG, even going into some of his ideas for new cards. He hasn't spoken about how much he plays these days, but his admission of early MTG fandom piqued Joseph Gordon-Levitt's interest.