Elmwood Park library offers haven for Yu-Gi-Oh! card game players
Abdo Timejardine (left) and Sergio Saldana of Elmwood Park, along with Jason Stuhlmann (right), head of patron services at the Elmwood Park Public Library, play a game of Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards at the library. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 4, 2013 6:26AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Once a week, a group of young men converge to play a popular card game — and the trash talking isn’t too far behind.
They are the Yu-Gi-Oh! Club at the Elmwood Park Public Library, and they met again Dec. 27.
They met in the library basement, broke out their cards and began to play. The club was formed about two years ago.
The object of Yu-Gi-Oh! is that two players duel each other using a variety of monster, spell and trap cards to defeat the opponent. The two start the game with a certain number of life points and the object is to use the various cards to drop the life points of the opponent to zero.
Jason Stuhlmann, head of Patron Services at the library and organizer of the club, said groups of young people, mostly men, would meet at the library to play the card game and attract too much attention.
“They were being noisy,” he said. “I wanted them to keep coming back to the library so it was time to start a program. So now we have a space where they can come and play and be as noisy as they want.”
Zach Center, 19, Elmwood Park, has been playing since he was 9 years-old. He’s just one of the enthusiastic members of a club that sometimes can grow as large as 20 people.
“It is a large community,” he said.
“You talk trash and make new friends,” he added. “It’s like a large family.”
Brian Adamusik, 17, Chicago, said playing the game has been a way to make new friends. “I like hanging out with them and I just bought cards,” he said.
He prefers playing more conservatively while other players are often more aggressive. Each player has their own style.
Stuhlmann said club members often hold a tournament, where there is one winner through process of elimination. New Yu-Gi-Oh! playing cards are often the prize for winners of a tournament. Members of the group often trade their cards as well or even sell them.
Although he organized the club he had to take it one step further and learn to play the game himself.
He said he enjoys playing and admits it often gets pretty intense in the group.
“It’s competitive to a point, “ said Sam Aziz, 16, of Elmwood Park. “At the end of the day you are just here to have fun.”