Kids Learn Important Skills Playing
Pokémon Card Games
by R. Renée Bembry
“Gotta catch em all…!
What a stink the controversy surrounding Pokémon collecting and playing put in the air ten years back when the game as well as the television show became popular in the United States. Kids were too obsessed with Pikachu, all the other strange characters called Pokémon, as well as with Ash Ketchum, the human protagonist!
Not many games make television news because children “play them too much”, but Pokémon certainly received its fair share of media coverage. The irony is that many people complaining about kids playing too much Pokémon had never played the game and did not really know what it was all about. Pokémon is not as simple as many might think.
Collecting Pokémon cards was (and still is) only a small part of the catch-em-all craze. Collecting cards, however, cannot be compared to collecting - say - baseball cards. Collecting the right Pokémon cards gives gamers upper hands when battling their opponents during game play. This is because players must have certain cards in order to evolve other cards in their decks. The need to evolve Pokémon is the reason children trade cards and buy booster packs.
Playing Pokémon Imitates Chess
Playing Pokémon actually takes a good deal of skill, and in fact, one could say that Pokémon is akin to playing chess. In chess, players must create strategies that allow them to battle and capture their enemies. Pokémon players must do the same thing. In chess, players send out pawns to do the dirty work and keep the game going while they scheme to take out their opponents. Pokémon players must do the same thing. In chess, not all figures are created equal and having the right figure in play at the right time could mean the difference between winning and losing the game. The same applies to Pokémon battles.
Pokémon Players Must Read As Well
Unlike chess, Pokémon players must read and discern instructions on the Pokémon cards. Each card has its own unique instructions as to what the card (character) can and cannot do. Players must use math skills to add and subtract “hit” points as they progress through the game. Players must evolve their Pokémon in order to maintain and or increase their strength. Players must also add the proper energy cards to their Pokémon in order to activate them or revive them. These are only a few details gamers must keep in mind during Pokémon battles.
Pokémon Players Must Strategize
Other cards that come into play during Pokemon challenges enable players to "add to" their playing field, "detract from" their opponent’s playing fields, and "use trickery" to outsmart their adversaries. These strategies are important in keeping each player a step ahead of the other as each players vie to disrupt one another's game play.
Pokémon Strategy Not So Simple After All
Therefore, as you can see, Pokémon is not by any means a simple game. Children who play Pokémon learn important skills such as formulating strategies, mathematical principles, reading and comprehension, sportsmanship, and the list goes on and on and on...