Yu-Gi-Oh!: It’s Time To Duel!


Card games have been a part of our culture for generations; There are the standard 52 card decks, or the Sicilian 40 card decks, or for the card enthusiasts, there are collectible card games like Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh cards. In anime, playing games is more than just a game, it is a game that plays with your life. The stakes are high, and the payouts are meriting. Gaming anime has dramatically changed the way we see games. Everything is more exaggerated, with the stakes proving fatal. Failure is not an option. Gaming anime like Yu-Gi-Oh, Digimon, and Pokémon are classic examples of making games as exciting to watch as much as they are to play them.  

What time is it?

In Yu-Gi-Oh it doesn’t matter if it’s light or dark outside, there is only one time in the YuGiOh universe: it’s always time to duel. 

When we play card games with friends and family it’s mainly a fun enjoyable and relaxing experience. However, in the realm of Yu-Gi-Oh, card games are so much more than that. Card games are a way of life with high stakes on the line. In the Yu-Gi-Oh universe there are no laws; just the rules of the game. Everyone takes their card games so seriously that not following the rules can mean severe punishment. 

Yu-Gi-Oh was originally a manga series from 1996 to 2004, where a boy named Yugi Muto solves a millennium puzzle and awakens a gambling alter-ego that was sealed inside for over a millennium. Yugi’s alter ego is an important part of him because it gives him confidence while playing games to win as well as grants him the confidence to step out of his shell when interacting with people. Yugi’s less confident side is more whimsical, timid, and a push-over. 

Yugi’s alter gaming ego, Yami, gives little Yugi a chance to succeed at the game, but more than that life. We all wish to be confident in life but sometimes are unable to find that courage. Through playing games, we can use it as an outlet to navigate life to tackle the obstacles that we normally would crack under pressure. 

In the first season of Yu-Gi-Oh, card games are more than just games. There are several tournaments throughout the series that make it a part of life and death. A clear example of this is when Yugi’s grandpa is kidnapped, and the only way to get him back is to play the game. In normal circumstances, most people would just go to the police. Not in YuGiOh though; here they treat crisis like a game in which the loser ends up in the shadow realm (which is essentially the void). 

Ever since the original series, there have been spinoff after spinoff of new Yu-Gi-Oh series with different characters that all take place in the same universe. Yu-Gi-Oh GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Sevens have all been a part of the Yu-Gi-Oh universe. 

Today the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise has expanded into an international commercial success. There are many types of products that one can get that aren’t the famous playing cards. These include action figures, collectible souvenirs, necklaces, costumes, mugs, masks, belts, shirts, and much more that anyone can buy.  

Tournaments in the Real World

The competitive Yu-Gi-Oh world is full of tournaments where players compete for the title of best gamer, just like in the show. Tournaments can be single-elimination or swiss rounds. In single-elimination rounds, players are eliminated when they lose, meaning every round, the competition is eliminated by half. However in swiss rounds, players are not eliminated when they lose. Instead, they are matched with other players with similar skill sets and play multiple rounds.

Tournaments are long and can last all day. If you are going to participate then you are going to want to bring water, food, napkins, hand sanitizer, calculator, pen/ pencil, paper. Because of the big numbers, you play with, writing on paper and using a calculator will be your best bet of keeping track of the score. There’s a lot of germs at these events so using hand sanitizer whenever you touch something that isn’t yours is smart too. 

Illegal Cards

If a card is illegal, then that means it can never be played in a tournament. The illegal card definition continues to change over time. Some cards that were illegal before can become legal, depending on the community guidelines. Cards can be illegal if they are overpowered, or the gaming community deems them illegal. When YuGiOh was first released, there were only a handful of illegal cards, and couldn’t be played in tournaments, however today there are hundreds. Illegal cards can still be used, but only in casual game settings with friends or non-competitive matches as long as both participants agree to it. Counterfeit copies also count as illegal cards and maybe less agreed upon in casual games.


The Community of YuGiOh is more than just a card game, it is a way of life that players can meet and interact with each other while having an enjoyable experience. For many fans, they were just kids when the shows and games were coming out. By playing these games, they are reliving their younger years, reminiscing in those vivid-nostalgic memories.


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