On Wednesday, Magic: The Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast took unprecedented measures to remove racist cards from its game. Seven cards in all, dating back to 1994, are now banned from play. Their images will also being removed from the game’s official online database.
“The events of the past weeks and the ongoing conversation about how we can better support people of color have caused us to examine ourselves, our actions, and our inactions,” Wizards said in a statement. “We appreciate everyone helping us to recognize when we fall short. We should have been better, we can be better, and we will be better.”
The list of now-banned cards is: Invoke Prejudice, Cleanse, Stone-Throwing Devils, Pradesh Gypsies, Jihad, Imprison, and Crusade.
One card in particular, Invoke Prejudice, was singled out. It shows a hooded executioner with a black axe. “If opponent casts a Summon spell that does not match the color of one of the creatures under your control, that spell is countered,” says the card. It effectively kills off creatures that don’t look like the creatures already on the table.
Gatherer, the official online database of every Magic card ever published, displays the card at a web URL ending in “1488,” numbers that are synonymous with white supremacy.
“The [Invoke Prejudice] card is racist and made even worse by the multiverse ID it was unfortunately codified with years ago,” Wizards said. “There’s no place for racism in our game, nor anywhere else.”
All cards will be replaced online with a note that calls out their racist depictions, text, or a combination thereof.
“There’s much more work to be done as we continue to make our games, communities, and company more inclusive,” Wizards said. “Know that we work every day to be better and that we hear you. We look forward to sharing more of our plans with you as our games and organization evolve.”
Magic: The Gathering recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. It also recently made another alteration to its catalog of cards, changing the name of a Godzilla-themed promotional card to remove a perceived reference to the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.