Pokemon? Why Waste My Time?
PIKACHU I CHOOSE YOU!! this is definitely what is running through a lot of heads as players gather around the tournament tables. Tension grows higher, sweat breaks across the brow of both trainers, the crowd gasps as one player delivers the final blow and takes the winning prize card. There is truly nothing quite like taking a win at the Pokemon table, especially in a tournament setting. I know there are loads of parents that question the point of competitive “Card Games”, and when you look at the cost involved in building decks that can be competitive at the highest levels of play, I certainly can't say I don't sympathize. There's the cost of cards, endless hours spent deck building and play testing, not to mention the time and money to commit to tournament entry fees and travel to game stores. Whether its sports or games, or competitive dance, your child's extra curricular activities always seem to add to the stress and expense of a parents already busy life. The important thing to remember is to keep your eyes on the prize. Pokemon much like sports can have a very positive rewarding end game if you are willing to put in the effort.
Something that has come up frequently in my store this past month when I bring up our upcoming Pokemon TCG Tournament, is the question of “ Why”?Why should I let my son or daughter play a silly game? Why do these pieces of paper cost so much some time? Why do kids find this so entertaining? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?... My response is very simple. Why not? If your son or daughter or grandson or granddaughter enjoys Pokemon, what is the downside. They are taking interest in something they enjoy doing. If our kids like basketball we encourage them to play basketball, we sign them up for leagues and they play at school we might even buy a hoop to hang on the garage. Pokemon shouldn't be any different. If they enjoy playing and show an interest in being competitive, that should be encouraged!! Gaming in general tends to get a bad name among parents these days. Yes we are in the middle of raising a generation that spends most of its time plugged in and online, there is a growing concern with lack of physical activity that our kids are getting. With this concern comes an almost overwhelming war on gaming. A problem of inactivity can't be remedied by unplugging the xbox and pushing the kids into the backyard. This will work once but if your kids want to play inside games it really isn't that bad. Board games train principles of problem solving and linear outlook of cause and effect, making players think multiple moves ahead, video games teach hand eye coordination and, again, problem solving skills. Many of the skills that can be learned from gaming are the very skills that teachers have a difficult time handing down in a classroom setting. I guess mostly what I'm getting at is that parents need to be equally concerned with their child's participation in activities that engage them and teach the cognitive skills as well as encouraging physical activity. Balance is important.
Getting back to my main topic, Pokemon! If your child is interested in Pokemon, encourage them. If they like to collect the cards, encourage them to play. If the like to play, let them teach you how to play so you can support their interest from the ground up. Don't just buy them cards and say here you go, enjoy. Get in there and play the game with them, you might be surprised how much you may enjoy the game. For all of the naysayers out there that claim that Pokemon is a waste of time and money, I have this to say, The Pokemon Company International awards $500,000 in scholarships every year at the world championships, additionally participation in league play and tournaments will immerse your child in a community and will help them build lifelong friendships with other players of like minded interests.
What is the point of this blog post? We are having a tournament, and if you know a kid that likes Pokemon, consider this a formal invitation to play.
That's it for today
I hope I will see all of you Pokefans Saturday at the October Pokemon Challenge. If not, there's always next month!!Christian Kentie
The Frugal Dutchman