One of the great things about Mark Rosewater’s articles is that not only do we get a window into his design thinking, we also get a window into the market research Wizards of the Coast benefits from. Most of us can only speculate about why players do as they do. WotC has answers backed by data.
Among the conundrums WotC set out to solve is “why do people play Magic: the Gathering?” The results are fascinating, and I’ve found that they’re informative for other games as well. If you’ve ever run into discussion of “Timmies” or “Johnnies” online, and wondered what people were talking about, this is the answer. If you haven’t, I would still encourage you to take a minute to look Mr. Rosewater’s article over. It’s a classic.