Cards are trumps
By ROXANNE MILLAR
THE age-old game of cards has undergone a futuristic revamp that is luring children away from computer games and into world-wide social tournaments.
Each weekend in Tweed Heads up to 20 children meet to swap, trade and barter a new wave of cards that originated from a comic book in Japan.
Known as Yu-Gi-Oh, the cards are constantly updated to ensure the duelling game stays relevant and progresses through tournaments.
Tweed Heads real estate agent Michael Rennie hosts the local tournament at his office, attracting young Yu-Gi-Oh players from as far away as Brisbane.
"Our tournament has been registered online and is recognised. We have got world-ranked players, in- cluding someone ranked 25th in Australia who plays here," he said.
"I guess it is today's version of Monopoly. That's what I liked to play and now the kids have this."
Mr Rennie said the local tournaments rewarded players with trophys and operated as a feeder for the Australian championships of the game.
He encourages the game by offering his shopfront as a supervised site for the games.
"I just think it teaches good skills of trading, buying, selling, swapping, negotiating - good commerce skills," he said.
"It also gives them good social skills and keeps them off the streets.
"I don't pretend to understand the game, I just provide a facility that has been checked out by the police so that parents can relax."
Mr Rennie got interested in help- ing children with the hobby when he started up a card shop eightyears-ago.
"I got out of that and into real estate and when I started I wanted something to relax with one day a week. Sundays I decided to give up for the kids because they're always needing a venue for this," he said.
"My kids would come home and play Magic and always needed a place to play, so its just expanding on that."
Avid players Jarrod Simpson and Reece Stanley are very thankful to Mr Rennie, turning up for tournaments regularly.
"It's just fun," said Reece.
Yu-Gi?Oh tournaments are held every Sunday from 11am to 4.30pm at Michael Rennie Real Estate in Kennedy Drive. Magic card tournaments, a different brand of cards, are held Fridays from 5pm to 9pm.