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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Hot off the Press! » » GAIA Playing Cards (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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GAIA Playing Cards

GAIA Playing Cards is a brand new deck, currently being funded via Kickstarter.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/for......ng-cards

It's being produced by Rare Playing Cards under their Forge Arts label, which previously produced Märchen Playing Cards, a deck based on old Germanic folktales and legends. Now they are teaming up with the remarkably talented Ben Sinclair, who has come up with the delightful hand-drawn artwork for their new GAIA Playing Cards. This deck is about showcasing animals and their ecological habitats or biological communities of plants and animals.

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It's already obvious from the tuck box that this deck is something special. If you look carefully, you'll see that it has wrap-around artwork that forms a single panoramic image. In this case we have the front depicting a magnificent stag perched on a rock, while the back of the box shows an expansive African landscape, complete with elephants and birds of prey.

Young artist Ben Sinclair has done an outstanding job in all the artwork for this deck. He's only 17 years old, but to give some indication of his ability, the oil painting below of an elephant won him a scholarship with the Royal Society of British Artists! Wow! When I was 17 my list of accomplishments weren't much more than riding my bike to school and completing Grade 12 exams!

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The concept of the Gaia deck was inspired by the Gaia Hypothesis, which was posited by independent scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock along with microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s. It postulates that the Earth functions as a self-regulating system, or to put it in more technical terms, "that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet." Named after the Greek goddess of the Earth, Gaia Philosophy holds that living organisms will affect the nature of their environment to make it more suitable for life. While these theories have attracted a lot of criticism, and many scientists today consider it unsupported by scientific evidence, it remains influential, and the theory did have a big impact on later research.

But even if Gaia theory that animals shape their environment and vice-versa isn't entirely tenable, the fact is that plants and animals do inter-relate, and there are important connections between plants and animals in different environments. This deck of playing cards celebrates those connections. In the words of the creator: "GAIA is a detailed and unique playing card project that took over a year to bring to perfection. Our aim was to appeal to the playing card community of collectors and enthusiasts while also offering a deck that celebrates nature and wildlife."

The way this is accomplished is by arranging the suits according to "biomes", which refers to a biological community of plants and animals, which may exist in different places in the world, but have a shared physical climate. Different biomes have been proposed, and the ones chosen for this deck are the following four: rainforest (clubs), savanna (hearts), tundra (diamonds), and alpine (spades). As the project puts it beautifully: "Slip through the thick growth of the rainforest, sleep beneath the stars of the savanna, or shiver in the tundra as you watch a snow leopard… This is your world, the world of GAIA."

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The back design features carefully chosen earthy colours that were deliberately chosen to contrast with the bright colours of the face cards, as well as featuring a design with a pattern that represents life.

Each suit features animals and plants corresponding to its biome; in the case of the Hearts above, the Savanna is pictured, with a landscape populated with a powerful lion King, an elephant Queen, and a water buffalo Jack.

The Clubs represent the Rainforest; the King features a roaring gorilla, and the Queen a cunning panther, but my favourite court card here is the vibrant and colourful toucan Jack.

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The Diamonds suit represents the frozen tundra, which is confirmed by the massive polar bear King. A snow leopard was chosen for the Queen, and a walrus for the Jack.

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For our final habitat, the Spades, we head to the Alpine heights, where amongst other things we find a stunning stag King, an owl Queen, and a wolf Jack.

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Notice also how the artwork of the court cards does not form an exact mirror image, with the reverse side showing another look at the featured animal.

In each suit there is matching customized art for the Ace, as can be seen with the Alpine and Rainforest depicted here on the Ace of Spades and Ace of Clubs.

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The number cards are also customized, and have thematically related patterns for the pips: savanna, rainforest, tundra, and alpine. By assigning each suit its own habitat, which is reflected on all the cards of that suit, there is a unity of style and content.

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And how can we forget the hilarious Jokers - two playful chimpanzees.

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The deck is going to be USPCC produced, with their embossed air-condition finish, and a quality comparable to the classic Bicycle decks, but in a limited run of 2500.

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A companion Moonlight Edition is also being released, which has card-backs re-coloured with shades of blue, and some other small changes including the tuck box. Collectors will also be pleased to learn that as part of this, there is a limited printing of 500 individually numbered Moonlight decks available.

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To help support this project, head here:

Kickstarter for GAIA Playing Cards: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/for......ng-cards
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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame

====>Click here to see all my pictorial reviews of decks of playing cards <====
====>Click here to see all my pictorial reviews of card & board games <====

Want me to write a review of your playing cards? Please contact me via Private Message.

"Instead of attempting to learn a great number of tricks, concentrate upon a few good tricks and master them so that their technique and their presentation is so excellent that those who see them will want to see them again." -Expert Card Technique
MikeLiu
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EndersGame
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This project has now easily passed the funding level, and they've added a few other cool ideas to the campaign as well.

Really looking forward to seeing the final result!
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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame

====>Click here to see all my pictorial reviews of decks of playing cards <====
====>Click here to see all my pictorial reviews of card & board games <====

Want me to write a review of your playing cards? Please contact me via Private Message.

"Instead of attempting to learn a great number of tricks, concentrate upon a few good tricks and master them so that their technique and their presentation is so excellent that those who see them will want to see them again." -Expert Card Technique
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