MTG as Ritual, Part I

Armed with a definition of ritual from our previous post, let us examine Magic: The Gathering in light of that definition, and see how the card game fits the bill. Recall Rappaport's definition of ritual:

"I take the term 'ritual' to denote the performance of more or less invariant sequences of formal acts and utterances not entirely encoded by the performers." (Roy Rappaport, Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity, 24. Italics his.)