Game mechanics translate into physical events

Last weekend I attended the Pokémon UK nationals in Liverpool, the first live competition Pokemon event I have never attended. I played Pokemon religiously since the release of the first gen, but that never translated into my willingness to attend any kind of competitive event related to the series. Much of this has to do with my mixed past experiences with competitive communities, which felt much more isolated from outside perspectives such as mine.

In my experience, competitive gaming events were too focused on winning to be enjoyable, diluting the community spirit with a healthy dose of chatter and determined focus. You can make friends there, but there is a lot of judgment if you are not as talented as those you are up against. There is no place for beginners, tournament environments just aren’t designed to make you feel right at home.

It’s a competition, you win or you lose. The National Pokémon, however, I had a different feel from past competitive events I have attended, and were welcoming and inclusive for all skill levels.

There was a sense of community, a desire to support others and to welcome young, inexperienced or new players to the scene. There was advice, friendship and challenges for players of all skill levels, in stark contrast to my previous competitive experiences. I think the game itself may be part of the reason for the difference in public perception.

The Pokemon The games have an inherent mechanical framework built into them for competitive and supportive tournament play that no other competitive video game seems to have. They show the right level of chatter to throw in before a fight, the right level of humble response to give in the event of a loss, etiquette for challenging another player, and the right ways to deal with rallies.

The games implement a system where winning the tournament is an end goal, but losing along the way is a sign of progress, not failure. It has a setup where those you play against will help you improve, where losses don’t negate progress, and it’s okay to play a sub-optimal team if you like to play it.

Starting all players who start the game at the same level of strength, everyone involved comes from the same point of weakness and must slowly work their way up to that skill cap, with a hard and fast limit on how fast they can go. which they can improve upon. . All Pokemon player had to spend a long period of time not strong enough for competitive play, which seems to stick to people and keep them from being too hard on new players.

The games even tell you after the loss that all is well, that it is good that you lost and that if you keep working on it you might be able to win next time around. I can’t think of any other competitive scene where the mechanics of the game tell you that losing is an acceptable outcome, which can be overcome with the right time and the right dedication.

The result of this set of in-game mechanics is that the competitive scene for Pokemon is apparently more open to players of different skill levels, experience levels, ages, and playstyles. There is an event-friendly nature that I rarely see in other competitive scenes, and I think the video game way himself Brokers are set up with the right expectations to make this kind of community possible.

Fortunately, no one at the nationals knocked out the losers and stole half of their money.