Taking a Page From Your Competitor’s Book

I like to occasionally stray from the topics of learning to be technically minded and just learning to publish my thoughts on a hobby. Today will be one of those diversions.

Back story: I am what is known as a “gamer chick”. I like to indulge in various types of games. For a little over a year, I was even a “tournament babe” for a friend’s game store. As a result, I have developed a sort of side interest in how playing these games, especially tradeable card games (TCGs), come into play in a young gamer’s development.

One of the factors that interests me is the potential for these young people to develop a raw ability to devise plausible strategies at a moment’s notice, handle changes to that strategy gracefully, how to crawl inside the opposition’s head to adjust the strategy, and how to take take calculated risks. I’ve even made a guess that it helps them decide just how much risk they feel comfortable assuming.

Until a year ago, I had absolutely no interest in this subject. I watched Pokemon and Digimon, analyzing them for character development issues. Pokemon has always annoyed me with its focus on fighting and breeding creatures for fighting. I have, however, enjoyed the segment of the show called “Who’s That Pokemon?” I’ve even become proficient at identifying the pokemon in question.

Last year, I became aware of a cartoon based on a game: Yu-Gi-Oh. I ended up watching it by accident one day. Aside from the horrid dialogue and the general lack of acting ability of the cast, I was fascinated at how the duels were presented. The characters actually duel with the game cards, discussing their strategy through various dramatic techniques. There was some evidence that this manner of presentation was helping children better understand the ins and outs of the game and how to plan their strategies. (I’d love to be part of a group actively researching this!)

Recently, Yu-Gi-Oh added a new segment around the commercial breaks. Yami gives the viewers a glimpse of a monster, asking the viewer to identify the monster. With each break, the view encompasses more of the monster until revealing the entire monster. Completely pointless in terms of the show, it is the response to the four-year-old game of “Who’s That Pokemon?”

When Pokemon introduced its new season two weeks ago, it had a small surprise for viewers. The enjoyable “Who’s That Pokemon?” segment has been replaced! Now, viewers are shown a pokemon and have to decide which of three pokemon would be the best to defeat that pokemon. When they return from the break, they reveal the correct answer. This is, quite obviously, an attempt to bring usable strategy tips to their show.

It’s an interesting development in the TCG/Cartoon industry.

Author’s Note: The really funny part of this is that I thought I had posted this to this blog, since I know I didn’t post it in my gamer girl blog, which has already been replaced with this category.


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