New Instructional Video Makes Yu-Gi-Oh!
a Snap for Beginners
By Candyce Kornblum
School of Duel
Last November, Spencer Schmerling and Mark Widawer had a video production
business (Your Turn Products) (ToyShow),
7-year-old sons and a challenge: Each child had asked their father to teach
him to play the popular anime card game Yu-Gi-Oh!
After several hours pouring over what they describe as the “cryptic” instruction
manual at their local coffee/book emporium and a subsequent search through
the book and video sections, the two were left frustrated. It was Mark
who suggested that “someone ought to make a video to teach players this
At a local Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournament, they found a young man who agreed to teach
them to play. The key to learning the game was actually seeing a duel. This
provided the context they had been missing. Schmerling, Widawer and their
mentor, dubbed “Professor Duel,” then created School of Duel, the first
instructional video for the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game.
Available on DVD for $15.95 and VHS for $12.95, the video presents Yu-Gi-Oh!
rules in a way everyone can understand, thus eliminating disagreements that
can arise between players who’ve been using different (made-up) rules. It
clarifies the game for those who are confused by the TV show’s separate
rules, but perhaps even more important, parents find that they are actually
having fun playing with their kids—and finding that their kids are eager
learners. The two producers have heard from both parents and children via
their Website (schoolofduel.com), which provides a place
for enthusiasts to check in online.
The 52-minute “Beginner” video will soon spawn two companions, “Advanced
Duelist” and “Master Duelist.” Much like the magazines that have sprung
up around the Yu-Gi-Oh! craze, this is not a licensed product. But as
the Website says, it is “unofficial, unauthorized, unlicensed and unusually