Monday, June 07, 2010

Adventures in TCG

I was once a VS. system player. More than that, I was a judge. The only thing I ever judged was the lunch time play and a draft that I put on for some friends. None the less, I tested and passed the test to become a judge. When it came down the line that Upper Deck was no longer going to support the game, it hurt and I stopped playing. I missed the last two releases entirely, as did most people. VS made it hard to transition to other games, because the game engine was a thing of beauty. Playing any other game just seems clumsy in comparison.

This weekend, I took my oldest daughter to a comic book shop for Pokemon league play. This is basically free play for players of the Pokemon card game. By showing up and battling, they can win special promo cards and gain experience and knowledge of the program. In all of my experiences with the people that run the Pokemon leagues, they all have a love for the game and have the hearts of teachers. They are more than willing to sit down and introduce a new player to the rules or look at a more experienced player’s deck for weaknesses.

No, Pokemon is not VS system and the game is fairly easy to play, but I am sure it could get really hard really fast. You might think that it is dying out in popularity and you would be wrong. Before league play, there was a Battle Road draft tournament and the place was packed. People of all ages were there to compete and these guys and girls were into their Pokemon. It really made me miss the release tournaments for VS and the camaraderie you get from sitting down across from someone that has spent hours studying their cards and formulating their deck. Playing that game that exposes your weaknesses or highlights your strengths. At the end of each match, looking up, shaking a hand, and honestly telling the person “good game.”

My daughter wants me to join in and play league play, but on some level that wouldn’t be fair. This is her game. I will support her in it and I may play her for practice, but I will never share in the joy of playing and I am not sure that I could play and not be competitive. The draw of a perfect draw is a wonderful thing, but this is her time. I will leave it to her.

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