Monday, September 14, 2015

What I Learned From Observing Competitive Pokemon

I really wish I was kidding. I learned something watching competitive Pokemon, and it wasn't even about Pokemon or move sets or anything quite like that. It had everything to do with competitive games that feature a wide variety of choices a play can make ahead of engaging in the game. I'm essentially talking about "list-building" games.

A reader may ask why on Earth I was anywhere near competitive Pokemon. Truthfully, it was watching my brother on an online Pokemon team creator. Apparently, there are a lot more statistics involved in the newer generation Pokemon games, and this browser based program lets you create the ideal team. It is akin to having unlimited models, cards or more within various collectible games. Anyway, I watched at least a dozen games, and the only thought that passed my mind was the extremely aggressive and focused methods that were used to develop these Pokemon. it was all about having the best stats, best move-set and best abilities on these Pokemon. Much like the tricks and combos of Magic, Warhammer, or Age of Sigmar, these Pokemon were by all intents and purposes, broken within the context of the game.
It occurred to me that any game that can be manipulated within the confines of the system can create broken, overpowered, or unintended combinations of rules. It is the nature of creating rulesets and using those rulesets to compete against other rulesets. Even Pokemon, a game designed for young children obstentably, can be broken and stretched the limits of the normal expectations. It's an unavoidable phenomenon.

That being said, I think it is entirely up to the individual to determine the extent of their love for the game and enjoyment of the system played at the competitive level. I have often struggled with the conflicts that arise due to feelings of "overpowered" and "cheesy" arrangements, but in the end, I have come to a solid conclusion.

 At the end of the day, games are not often the mainstay of a person's life. Even professional gamers, who earn money and sustain themselves through playing this game at the competitive level, don't aspire only to be the best at the game. For many professional gamers, their careers are fairly short anyway, and they often pursue more than just these games. But really, applying this lifestyle to the majority is a bit of a fallacy anyway. We are talking about the mass majority of participants.

Gamers should really just choose what they play based on their enjoyment of the game. I tire of the constant complaining about the nature of the game as it stands, whatever the game may be. Instead of complaining, change your game. If you are genuinely not having fun, don't play the game. For those that have invested into the game financially and feel compelled to play based on money, you need to try and move past that feeling. Truthfully, it is a bit of fallacy in many cases that one is compelled to play based on the money put in. Logically, at one point, the money was spent and enjoyment was gained. If now, there is no enjoyment, don't spend any more money and cut your losses. Sell your cards, sell your models, or otherwise liquidate your investment. All fun worth having in life tends to cost money anyway; that is the nature of our lives.
Instead of continuing to be miserable, move on and find a new source of happiness.

Complaining is a symptom of apathy, and apathy is not helpful to you or others.


  1. I'm not sure what makes you think complaining means apathy. In my experience, the most vocal and outspoken critics of something are also the most emotionally invested in it, one way or another.

    1. In my experience, the biggest complainers are those that do the least to alter the status quo. Instead of making a change, they instead harp on the negative aspects. In gaming, having fun is the primary goal, and if you aren't having fun, change your attitude or the game. There is nothing wrong with being dissatisfied, but not making a change is the issue. That's been my experience thus far.

  2. 'What you learned from competitive pokemon'; clearly, according to the article, not very much...