In the spirit of Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/
Ninjamas, I walked away from this argument. However, in the spirit of Ninjamas, I definitely knocked her down a peg or two.
“Oh EG Mum, what did you pick a fight over this time?”
This woman was trying to convince me how Pokemon is evil.
Naturally I agreed with her. Pokemon really is an Evil Genius Tool. But I don’t think she appreciated my reasoning.
You see – Pokemon is evil for a couple of reasons:
Let’s start at the obvious – Pokemon is owned by Nintendo. Sure, it originally started as a Gameboy feature (remember those?) but then it’s commercial viability became a tad obvious so Nintendo bought it and started flooding anime, manga, toys, books, magazines, and my favourite – trading cards.
If there is ever a way that you want to control a generation of kids – bring it out in trading cards. The little spawnlings go uber-competitive over the varying strengths and destructive value (love it). So of course, they want to buy more cards.
And here is the beauty – you can then watch young kids learn the value of individual cards and negotiate/bargain/extort accordingly. Some of these kids could teach a few commercial lawyers I know! All the separate values of the characters, plus the damage and danger – it’s amazing to watch in action. And all this over a printed piece of cardboard. Skills they learn for life.
So I’ve already touched on the negotiation/bargaining/extortion skills within Pokemon. But there is more – the trading card game is quite educational on the ground level. And once you know how to exploit this, any spawnling can convince any adult that Pokemon is good. This can lead to stacks of cards from inexperienced parents and grandparents, as well as convincing principals to allow Pokemon in schools. Old article from last year, but I have heard of the same argument being used in many schools around the world ever since.
Telling this to EG Grandma and EG Opa has scored about a dozen full-size packs over the last year between our two spawnlings. Grandparents think they are tricking the kids into educational activities; Spawnlings know they are tricking the grandparents into buying them more cards, even when EG Mum has said earn the spending money yourself. Win-win; especially as I watch on in amusement.
Strategy of the Game
My final point is on the strategy of the game itself. You have to capture pokemon and enslave them to do battles for your own benefit. A bit like recruiting minions.
In battle, the greatest of champions have a deep understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the characters – and the players themselves. Have you ever seen a live-battle between two Trading Card Game players? It is intense, and inspiring. There are threats of clawing your (pokemon’s) throat out; claims of dirty play; screams of agony as they run out of energy (cards); and moans of despair as the last trophy card is turned over. It’s like WWE, but without the visual impairment of seeing the players in spandex. Bad spandex.
As entertaining as it may be, the strategy is quite amazing to see. I have watched as a 7yo determines the favoured style of pokemon in his opponent, readjust his approach accordingly – and willingly sacrifice his current pokemon to ensure that he can then move a subsequent card up and smash his opponent in such a way, the poor 28yo guy sniffed back a tear.
If Pokemon teaches Sinister and Nefarious skills like this, then I think my legacy is in good hands.
Naturally, pointing out these 3 chief values (for me) to this Other Mother did not help my argument. I think the response was more like fear – quick glance at her son watching Sinister and Nefarious battle it out. So, in the spirit of Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice, I walked away.
Don’t even have the heart to tell her about Monsuno. Think Pokemon but with more genetic engineering.
But that’s a discussion for another day…
No commission, credit, or any other form of bribe was received from this post. Should have been – with the amount of money my kids are investing in this venture. Well played, Nintendo. Well played.