Monday, June 22, 2009

Pokemon Video Game Championship Series

A couple of weeks ago I got up early to drive down to the Pokemon Video Game Northeastern Championship Series in King of Prussia (outside Philadelphia) with my daughter. Nintendo runs these competitions around the U.S. and Japan, culminating in a World Championship event being held this year in San Diego on August 14.

Nintendo splits the competition into two age groups - a Juniors Category for players born on or after January 1, 1997 and a Seniors Category for players born on December 31, 1996 or earlier. I've always found the age grouping odd - you often have 12 year old kids competing against much older adults which, to me as a parent, is a little bit creepy.

The competitor selection process is also setup in an odd way. There are only 128 competition slots in each age group with players randomly selected. We arrived around 7:00 and waited for registration to open - by the time registration ended there we're close to 500 people signed up for the 128 place older age group lottery. Names were randomly pulled and 128 people were selected to compete. Yes, there were 40-plus year old adults competing with 12 year old kids. There were also a lot of discouraged kids (and parents) who traveled some long distances only to not have their name pulled.

I ended up sitting for a while with a guy in his late thirties who had competed in the first round of the seniors category and lost. He told me he had not spent much time preparing for the competition and was really only there to throw his name into the lottery for a chance at the give-aways only the people that compete get. He was extremely proud of the DS (game) sticker he had "won" telling me "Only the people that compete get these special stickers".

I asked him if it bothered him that he had taken a competition slot from a 12 year old who had likely spent a lot more time preparing than he did - he told me "No, not at all".

My Flickr picture set for the event is linked here


Kiara said...

Is that how addicted people are to this game? A thirty year old prefers to play rather than giving way to a 12-year old kid? Horrible. I think this is the impact of gaming industry to people, people get hooked with these Download Games.

happyface said...

Even I got addicted to Video Games, I don't think I'll ever compete and take a slot from a child. I mean hello, I already have a lot of experience in life, and why take a memorable encounter that a child can have when he/she competes?