Trading cards make jump to 21st century

Dusty Ricketts
Dusty Ricketts

In the nearly six years that the PlayStation 4 has been released, the two games I've put the most time in to are "Star Wars Battlefront 2" and "Friday the 13th: The Game." By the end of last year, I had put in nearly 500 hours in each of them since their releases in 2017.

That is a lot of time to be spent playing one game, or in this case, two.

However, there is one "game" I've probably spent more time "playing" than either one of those in the past two years. I never got into collecting baseball or football cards when I was younger, but about two years ago I found and have since become addicted to the "Star Wars Card Trader" app on my phone (it's available on all smartphones for free).

It's not a traditional video game in which you're controlling a character's actions on screen. Instead, it's all about buying packs of digital "Star Wars" cards and then trading those cards with other players.

Even though these are essentially just .jpg photos, there is actually a pretty big after market for them. Right now on eBay, there's a rare Rey card on sale for $599. I'm not sure who would pay that for a .jpg, but it's there.

Something that's been popular with the app since it launched in 2015 is hoarding, in which collectors trade with other users to get as many copies of one particular card or character as possible. And then once a year, if you have enough of that particular card collected (and the number increases each year), you can meld your hoarded cards into one rare card. Last year, I collected more than 12,000 copies of a card of the character Grand Moff Tarkin to meld into my first monument card.

If I'm home watching TV, more than likely I am going to be on my phone opening packs and making trades in the app (this year I'm going for monuments of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Tarkin and Jabba the Hutt). As much as I love my traditional video games, opening a pack of cards and seeing a rare card show up is just as exciting as getting a good kill streak in "Battlefront 2."

And if "Star Wars" isn't your thing (shame on you), they do have other card trading apps based around the NFL, NHL, MLB, WWE, UFC, MLS, Marvel Comics and "The Walking Dead."

Dusty Ricketts is the editor of The Destin Log and The Walton Sun newspapers and can be reached at He is currently playing "Star Wars Battlefront 2" and "Friday the 13th: The Game." You can find him to play online through his PlayStation Network ID, DustRAG316.