"Pikachu, I choose you."
"I summon my Blue Eyes White Dragon in defense mode."
These are common phrases that almost any adolescent knows, from Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering -- to some, each one is a simple or stupid card game; to others, it is a way of life.
So what exactly is a "geek out"? Well, you would never leave the house without a deck of game cards on hand, for instance. You refer to how you feel by life points or hit points. You refer to food as "mana." You role play your life, earning experience from everyday occurrences. If things like this seem to be completely normal to you, you may be geeking out.
If this seems strange to you, it's easy to get started with these games.
How to play Yu-Gi-Oh: "In this game, two players duel each other using a variety of Monster, Spell and Trap cards to defeat their opponent's monsters and be the first to drop the other's life points to 0," is what the website www.yugioh-card.com says. You usually start with life points of 8,000 and have decks of 40-60 cards.
This game doesn't have very strict rules to follow and it's easier to just pick up and play. To win you have to have a good combination of using your Spells and Traps along with your Monsters, instead of just winning by using Monsters alone.
How to play Magic: The Gathering: "In Magic, the players represent powerful wizards battling each other with a wide range of powerful spells. Players begin with 20 life each. You win if your opponent's life total drops to 0 or less or if your opponent can no longer draw a card," according to the website www.dericksmagic.com.
In this game, you have decks of at least 60 cards and you can only summon cards if you have enough lands, or "mana," on the field. All decks are also split by color. There are black, blue, green, red and white lands. Each color has a different purpose and some colors can work together; for example, black and blue can be combined into one deck.
As a player, I enjoy Magic: The Gathering more than Yu-Gi-Oh. Magic is more of a strategy game and you feel more accomplished in defeating someone because you have to work for it. What you play with is also a representation of who you are, so it's more personal to you.
However, Josh Adsit, a senior at Northridge High, said, "I'd prefer Yu-Gi-Oh because I've played it longer, and it's simpler. Some of the classic cards are pretty awesome I'd say, no matter how dorky that sounds."
"I just play them, I don't have a favorite," said Anthony Albertson, a junior at Northridge High.
Rachel Roat, a Northridge junior, said, "Well, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic are both great but I lean more for Yu-Gi-Oh because it's something I grew up with and it provides a challenge that Magic can't."
For myself, I seriously feel naked when I go to school without a deck. Some friends and I make plans to go LARPing (live action role playing) on the weekends. Every time I get on my Playstation 3 I have to get on the "Magic: The Gathering" game I have and at least play one game.
I can't tell you which game you'd like better. The only way to know is to try all of them.
So pick up your deck and head to the hangout spots of geeks. But before you do, remember to ask yourself, "Are you game?"
Sara Bowker is a sophomore at Northridge High School. She enjoys dance, theater and stage crew. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.