The birth of a community, the death of the win: Player production of the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game

  • Joe Bisz CUNY Borough of Manhattan College
Keywords: Audience analysis, CCG, Fan community, MECCG, J. R. R. Tolkien


Collectible card games (CCGs) are at the midpoint of the spectrum of game playing: half game, half story. An examination of a CCG based on Tolkien's Middle-earth illustrates the ways in which fans of the story have changed the game, especially in removing the focus on winning.

Author Biography

Joe Bisz, CUNY Borough of Manhattan College
For Journal Publishing (critical: Pop Culture): I received a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and English Literature at Binghamton University. I am now an Assistant Professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. I’ve published critical work in Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture and a few film, food, book and music reviews. My creative writing has appeared in a dozen journals and anthologies including Diagram. I am a former editor of the literary journal Potion ( and the media studies journal To the Quick (, and the four-time North American champion of the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game.