There was a boy who loved the card trading game Yu-Gi-Oh. He loved the time with his friends, he loved the play, and he loved the cards themselves, with their figures and monsters.
He’d save his chore money to buy new expansion sets of new cards, and then he’d do more chores so that he could buy more cards.
He’d trade cards he had many of for other cards he hadn’t obtained.
And then he’d gather his friends, and the games would begin. It was fun.
Over the course of a few weeks, though, things changed. He came to think more of the cards than of what he did with them. He played less, and traded more. His trades grew more self-serving, and downright shrewd. He managed to talk his friends into exchanges that worked for him, and not for them.
When they actually stopped trading and played, he won more and more often as his increased collection of “special” cards gave him more and more of an advantage. It wasn’t much fun for his friends when he had all the winners and they didn’t. He hardly noticed that when he brought out his cards that suddenly they were busy, or wanted to do something else, or just hadn’t brought their cards that day. It allowed him to scan through his collection instead.
Until one day, as he was laying out his cards on a table, and wanted to point one of them out to his friends. When he looked up, there was nobody there. Nobody would enjoy it with him.
He thought hard about that.
A few days later, he brought out his special cards, and one by one, he passed them around to his friends. One for you, one for you, one for you, one for you… until they were all shared.
And then: they could play. And it was a good game.