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Jason Klaczynski


Maybe my Last Words of Pessimism

We've all talked about this before. A lot. But it needs to be talked about now, again, and it could be for the last time because I don't know if it even matters anymore. I don't think I am the only person that could honestly say Pokémon is at one of it's worst points it's ever been, and it's not going to get any better.

Does it all go back to the elimination of 15+? Honestly, it does, at least a major part of the problem was the elimination. I didn't say transformation, I said elimination, because that is what has happened. I am so disappointed right now with the game. The reason I am disappointed is because I got into Pokémon immediately after I turned 13, and I am almost 17 now. 17? Do you realize how big of an age difference that is? Do you realize some of you have read stuff I've written as a 13 year old, 14 year old, 15 year old, 16 year old, and I'm about to turn 17 now. Time goes by fast, doesn't it? Playing a game, without stopping, for 4 years. I'm sure there are a few of you out there who share this with me. When you play a game you like for 4 years, you get pretty attached to it.

The reason that I want to play the game so much is honestly, truthfully, because I am good at it, and I really do enjoy it. I am a good player. I have played for a long time. I have learned a lot. I have spent money on cards, and I have spent a lot of time studying them and the game... working on decks, metagame, etc. You learn as you go along.

But with the Professor Program replacing what little we had, what are we left with? To some of you, I can understand you may not understand. You might not have been at Worlds when every 15+ Professor (that had to take a ridiculously unnecessary online test that not only is easy to cheat on but is poorly written) was turned into a staff member. Unless you are a Professor, you were NOT there when we were allowed to play. You were evacuated from the building. No photographers, no guests, no reporters. WotC does not want their Japanese supporter, TPC, to see the game as a game played by 15+ players. We "ruin the image" with our competitive play. TPC wants WotC to project the game as a game for young kids. There's no argument in that. That's the truth. That's why there was no coverage of the event. It's not a coincidence. But hey, they gave us all at least a box of cards. That's their thanks... then they walked around handing out boxes to random kids. 

I'm sorry, but this isn't Japan. We play the game differently. It may be more competitive in the U.S., and if it is, oh well. That's what I think. If you're reading this, you probably share one of these views:

1) You kids are just whiners. Nothing is good enough for you.
This is the most sickening of the arguments to something players so passionately will defend. Telling the 15+ players who want to be part of the competitive play, just like 14-, that "nothing is good enough for them." Of course, anyone who tells you this will be someone that doesn't care. They're maybe a parent, but no offense, they are probably just a bad player, whether they realize it or not. They're just the parent or bored adult who goes to the Pokémon League and has fun with his kid, or just plays for fun. He or she is not competitive, so he is going to argue that "nothing is good enough for us" because he or she doesn't want to play competitively themselves. Well, some people are more competitive than others. Respect that. It is a competitive game. While it has luck, it has a lot of strategy in it, and strategic games will almost always be competitive. If you do think something like this, be logical; understand that these players, mostly the younger crowd, want to play competitively. It is fun for them, especially those who are good players and have a chance to compete and beat the good players.

2) The Professor Program is better than what we had before!
I am entitled to views just like anyone else. It doesn't matter that I've been E-mailed by DCI, threatening my Professor Program membership because I have insulted the program (which is simply disgusting)- something isn't right, and if you don't know it already, then it's time you realize it. What is the Professor Program? It seriously is a waste of time.
Professors get bombed with E-mails about some type of situational ruling every few days. The Professor Program, seriously, in my eyes, is so ridiculous, all I can say is that it was made to trick someone into thinking they should continue to buy cards; to trick them into thinking they're making a difference. It doesn't do anything. Some of you may say we need to wait- it's in it's first year. No one has years to wait for something to become useful.
The Professor Program will never improve to a point which enough people would consider reasonable. Even if it does improve a little, it won't bring people back to the game. It will only keep the people that would stay if they had to pay to be in it.

3) I agree, but why bother?
Some of you may agree with most of these main points, but just think "Why bother?" Well, I, myself care because of all the money and time I've spent with it, and because all the fun I have had, all the friends I have met, all the stuff I have learned. I don't want to just quit because I became older. I still love the game. It's a great game. I love making new decks and trying them out. I love thinking how to metagame other decks. Many of us see this game we love and have spent so much on just get taken away from us. That, is not cool.

4) I understand Pokemon is at an awful point, and agree something should be done.
It's true. Do all of you realize how many players have quit since the elimination of 15+ from the major tournaments? Hundreds. Not just a hundred random people, one hundred competitive, good players, that spent their money on the cards, and understood the game. People that would be useful in helping balance formats, whose input would be ever so important in the "Professor Program."


So, after reading all this... what has it come down to?

It's come down to this.

I cannot play this game anymore. 

I belong in Magic. I simply, give up. In Magic, there is no TPC to pressure WotC to make stupid, self-destructive decisions. And I will not fight to play a game. I don't even play with my friends anymore. It's just not fun anymore when you know there are basically no real tournaments for you to play in. The games become so pointless. For every one of you that plays often in a DCI-sanctioned or at least actual, prized Pokémon tournament, there are ten of you that can't. What is left to play in? There really isn't anything.

I hate having to write this type of stuff. I know I piss off a lot of people over at WotC, and a lot of those ever-so-loyal Poképarents who are just in it for the "fun," but if you can read, and think, you should be able to understand. Trust me, I don't write this type of JUST to be an ass. We really aren't asking for that much. 

I would do anything at this point to try to get 15+ back. For all those 15+ players that loved playing in those big tournaments like the 14- did. Unfortunately, our options are low and our chances are lower. You can't boycott a company using the internet because truly, the internet makes up such a smaller percentage of the consumers than most of you realize. There is a huge population out there of younger players who don't even know about Worlds and the big tournaments because of WotC's poor advertising. 

Maybe someone else has an idea? Because anything I can think of now I know will not work. Thanks for reading this, though, seriously. All of you. I hope those of you that disagree can understand someday, and I hope those of you that agree strengthen your current beliefs. I hope someday I'll be able to write something optimistic about this game. =D

get busy living, or get busy dying
jason klaczynski.... aka ness
aim: onettness is here to provide guidance to all Pokemon trainers out there.  Whether it's the Gameboy Game, N64 or the Trading Card Game, provides all the wisdom you desire. 

If you have cool game tips, a killer deck, or breaking news ... send them to us.  We'll post it on the site ... and give you all the credit.  


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