PokeThoughts By Dave II: So You Say You Play for Fun

Discussion in 'Feature Articles' started by dld4a, Oct 6, 2005.

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  1. dld4a

    dld4a Feature Writer

    I shall attempt to show how, if one's stated goal is to have fun as opposed to winning, that said person is either selling him/herself short or using it as an excuse in the event (usually an eventuality) that he/she is defeated and how he/she is doing the game a disservice. Before any of you jump to any conclusions, I would ask that you not skim through this article, but read it carefully. I welcome opinions (dissenting or otherwise) but please make sure that they are relevant and well thought out.

    I will begin by talking about what a Scrub is. It seems as if there has been a slight misunderstanding about what a Scrub is. In general a Scrub is a person who is competitive, but refuses to play certain cards/decks because he/she feels that they are "cheap", and then complains about losing to such cheap cards/decks consistently. Some Scrubs claim that they are just trying to be original, but being a Scrub is different than trying to be original. Trying to be original, still maintaining a desire to win, and being willing to use any cards at your disposel is completely fine, and in fact is the most respected type of player by this writer. There is another type of player I call Non-com (Non-competitive - yes borrowed directly from the Armed Forces; Non-combatant). That is the player whose stated goal is to have fun over winning. Confusion often arises because Non-coms are often Scrub-like in that they refuse to play “cheap cards/decks.” Now it is O.K. to have a desire to have fun, but the goal should be to win! Fun should just be a side effect of playing, an automatic if you will, win or lose, and NOT a goal!

    Therefore, to all those who say that their goal is to have fun, over and above winning; I issue you this challenge:​

    The next time you’re playing in a major event, before every game ask your opponent “What is your goal? Is it to win or is it to have fun?” If your opponent responds “To have fun” then go ahead and play the game normally. Since both of you are just playing for fun, it doesn't really matter who wins. If your opponent responds, “To win” then play the game out normally up to the last turn of the game. At that point, if you are about to win, scoop your cards, concede the game, walk away secure in the knowledge that you were actually the better player for that game, and don’t rob the opportunity to advance from someone who truly has the desire to do so.

    If it is not your stated goal to win prior to playing in a major event then it is morally reprehensible for you to deny someone who has the desire, has worked hard, and is actually trying to win, the opportunity to do so.
    Furthermore, in many cultures it would often be considered dishonorable to concede the game in the manner that I described above. Therefore, the only truly honorable thing for you to do, if you are a Non-com, is not to play at all in the major events. There are plenty of events available that are centered on having fun. Play in those events and leave the hopefully ever increasing prize structure to those who are willing to compete for them.</wrap>

    So how is this doing the game a disservice? To answer this we need to look at the prize structure of the major tournaments. PUI has saw to it that there are some nice prizes available to the winners and even increased them from the ‘04 season to the ‘05 season. What is their reason for doing this? They do this to attract players. What type of players does this attract? It attracts ones who have a desire to win (competitive). Attracting competitive players will feed into the popularity of this game because they enjoy the challenge of the game and will attract others who enjoy the same. Non-coms may attract like players, but these new players are generally not as loyal or dedicated to the game. Why are they not as loyal or dedicated to the game? Because they don’t have the desire to win. It is only a fun past time to them. More importantly, Non-coms actually discourage the competitive players from getting involved. It is also true that competitive players discourage Non-coms from playing the game, but as I have stated Non-coms are not as dedicated and don’t attract as many players. Look at the player base of the other TCG’s out there. This is a huge potential resource for Pokemon. Pokemon needs to lure these players back to Pokemon TCG. Yes, I said back to Pokemon, because at one time Pokemon was the king of all games. It even dwarfed MTG for a short time. It can be that big again if we keep encouraging competitiveness.

    There is plenty of room in this game for everyone. We all have one thing in common, and it is a great thing! We should use it to come to an understanding of our differences and come to terms with them in a mutually beneficial manner. I am not encouraging Non-coms or Scrubs to quit playing this game. I do ask that you realize that competitiveness serves a much-needed purpose in this game. I also ask that the sometimes-spiteful attacks against those of us who are competitive be stopped, and that the call for the removal of the prize structure be stopped. The increased prize structure is needed and with continued growth of the game; it shall grow as well I hope.

    Now, having said all of that I’ll say that my ultimate goal of writing this is to hopefully light a fire in the belly of the Non-coms out there. If I succeed in compelling only one Non-com to become competitive, if only to beat me, then all of this and the wrath that this article may bring down on me, will have been worth it.

    Thank you for reading,
    Dave II
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  2. Cyrus

    Cyrus Iron Chef - Master Emeritus

    Nice article Dave II!
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2005
  3. Venusaur

    Venusaur New Member

    Great article I agree with all of it.

    "If it is not your stated goal to win prior to playing in a major event then it is morally reprehensive for you to deny someone who has the desire, has worked hard, and is actually trying to win, the opportunity to do so."

    Well said!
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2005
  4. spazcrackers

    spazcrackers New Member

    fun? ha it is all about being the best and in order to do so you have to WIN! great job dave :thumb:
  5. unseenforces

    unseenforces New Member

    I wanna be the very best
    like no one ever was.
    To catch them is my real test
    to train them is my cause...

    Whatever. Good article!
  6. DarkLordSigma

    DarkLordSigma Member

    Couldn't have said it better myself. Its good to finally see a clarification of terms (especially considering that I was grey on a few myself).

    You know, its ironic how well the theme song of Pokemon says it all for this particular topic (emphasis on the bolded parts).

    I want to be the very best
    Like no one ever was

    To catch them is my real test
    To train them is my cause
    I will travel across the land
    Searching far and wide
    Each Pokémon to understand
    The power that's inside! (Power inside!)

    It's you and me.
    I know it's my destiny!
    Oh you're my best friend
    In a world we must defend!
    A heart so true
    Our courage will pull us through
    You teach me and I'll teach you
    (Gotta catch 'em) Gotta catch 'em Gotta catch 'em all!

    Every challenge along the way
    With courage I will face
    I will battle everyday
    To claim my rightful place!

    Come with me the time is right!
    There's no better team
    Arm and Arm we'll win the fight!
    It's always been a dream!
  7. Ice'Cold

    Ice'Cold Active Member

    Another good Arcticle from DaveII.
  8. jbozo

    jbozo New Member

    Ha ha, competitive players will never be the backbone of the pokemon tcg. They never were. Competitive players need the scrubs & non-coms if they want to have big events to play in.

    The challenge for the competitive player is to beat the scrubs & non-coms while teaching the scrub and helping the non-coms enjoy the match. If they cant T8 through the scrubs & non-coms they didnt do a good job with the metagame or aren't as good as they think. Success at being a good sport with scrubs/non-coms distiguishes the competitive player from the competitive jerk.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2005
  9. dld4a

    dld4a Feature Writer

    Thank you all for the nice words,

    Wonderful point DLS. I like how the second stanza signifies personal effort/performance inside of a team concept.

    Although I can understand how it may appear as if this is the case, imagine if you will, being able to go into a tournament without the concern of being rogued in the early rounds by some super silly scrub deck that has no chance of winning the whole thing. And I believe that your confused a little. It seems as if your saying, that I am saying, that all players who may be considered to have lesser playing skills are Non-coms or Scrubs. I am not saying that at all. I believe the vast majority of players have the desire to win, but a lot of them do not have the cards, good people to play against, or mentors.

    I agree, however this does not mean that the competitive player should be complacent with the seemingly growing number of vocal Non-coms who are calling for the elimination of the prize structure, and who sometimes attempt to vilify the competitive players. Especially when the competitive players help to drive the growth of the game.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2005
  10. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    Who's asking for elimination of the Prize structure?
    The only change that I'm aware of being discussed is "one and done".
  11. Venusaur

    Venusaur New Member

    I think it depends if "one and done" means trip winners can't partcipate in any premier tournaments period, besides Cities Nationals and Worlds. That would be bad.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2005
  12. Rainbowgym

    Rainbowgym Active Member

    dld4a -
    What type is a player who enters an UNLIMITED tournament.
    Knowing a lot of Slowking decks are going to be played.

    And that certain player enters this official large tournament with a deck with NO trainercards in it?
  13. dld4a

    dld4a Feature Writer

    You see it in the posts where there is a conversation going on about types of players and competitiveness. Someone will invariably say that they think some people are too competitive and they wish that there were no prizes for the majors. It's very subtle currently but the frequency is increasing and I'd like to see it nipped in the bud before it actually gains some legs.

    I'm not sure what you mean, but I guess it depends on the competitiveness of the deck and the intensions of the player.
  14. light_gengar

    light_gengar New Member

    Note my Signature... it's true. we see the same cards come through every week at "League", and then when big events come and go, most of the participants never come back, or they trade all of their good stuff to out-of-staters.

    Not that i'm complaining. what i'm saying is that i've learned this, and that i have to pull out all the stops at big tournaments and do as the pros- RIP THEM LITTLE KIDS OFF!!! :) j/k
  15. Rainbowgym

    Rainbowgym Active Member

    dld4a - the tournament was really competative, and the NO trainer deck even won several matches.

    I was reading you article and questioned myself what kind of player I am, and seriously I don't fit in any "cage".
  16. dld4a

    dld4a Feature Writer

    Just sounds like someone who's trying to meta game a tournament. Maybe it worked maybe it didn't either way it's an intriguing concept that with the vast amount of cards in unlim. now I can see the possibilities.
  17. Rainbowgym

    Rainbowgym Active Member

    It was fun, FUN, the faces of my opponents when becoming aware that I wasn't playing trainercards, priceless.
    But does that declare me a funplayer. Not at all. I had to courage to go into a tournament this way, and that's something most comp. players will never do this way.
    Does it make me a comp. player, meaby.

    Anyway I have never fitted in any cage/profile whole my life, it's just me.
    Nice article.
  18. PedestrianHunter

    PedestrianHunter New Member

    Unseenforces: ^_^ That's pretty much all we heard in that apartment ,remember?(mb, not tw)
    Oh, nice article. I really think the part about if you are only playing to have fun, and not take away from those who are trying to win is as true as "don't eat 5 hershey bars in one sitting".^_^
  19. DreamChaser AJ

    DreamChaser AJ New Member

    I play for fun... and to win.

    While I entirely understand what you are saying, I'm afraid I cannot agree with you on all aspects of your arguement. To me, Pokemon is meant to be a fun TCG, and should be addressed so. There are plenty of other TCG/CCGs that lack the 'fun-based' crowd Pokemon has.

    I see that you are a Pokemon Professor, and as a fellow professor, I understand that you should know the "Spirit of the Game". The rules clearly say that

    "The Pokémon TCG is a game, and games are meant to be Fun for all parties involved."

    This means that all people are equally allowed to enjoy the game, regardless of their spending budget, mental capacity, or desire to win.

    I do agree that people refered to as "scrubs" shouldn't complain about losing, but I also believe that players should be able and encouraged to try new deck ideas. Everyone knows that a huge chunk of Pokemon relies on luck, be it the luck of the draw, flip, or draft. If your opponent has a flippy deck and beats you because of good flips, the Sportsmanship rules dictate you should lose with grace; not tell them they shouldn't have even come to the tournament with the deck they've built. Instead, try offering advice to your opponent of possible ways to make their deck less flippy. Encourage, don't discourage. Learning to build better decks could not only make your opponent happier, but maybe next time you play him/her, you could enjoy winning/losing against a well-built deck.

    When I played at Nationals earlier this year, I had just picked up Pokemon after a long break, (Wizards' Team Rocket - Emerald) and so my legal card list wasn't very large. Basically, my deck was a modified TRR James deck. If I had a Dark Electrode, I would have played it, but I had none. Anyways, I had two great examples of Fun and no Fun:

    No Fun: The girl was doing poorly with her Rock-Lock deck and played the match very hastily without explaining what she was doing. I had only playtested against Dark T-Tar once and had never played against Dark Amphy. I was having difficulty figuring out my damage and she was playing her cards so fast, with little to no explanation that I had no clue what was happening. She beat me, barely shook my hand, and left. I learned nothing from that match, and my play skills didn't increase at all.

    Fun: The next day I played an opponent (W. Hung). He beat me very nicely with his Dark Slowking deck. After he realized I wasn't sure what Dark Slowking did he slowed down his rate of play a little and showed me what he was doing. After the match, he offered me advice on how to improve my deck and wished me luck.

    I entered that tournament with a slight hope that I'd do well, but with anticipation of having fun. Those players that play for fun will only become more competitive if they are not discouraged from getting better, and given opportunities to play competetive opponents in a Fair environment. All players should treat other players with RESPECT, no matter the venue.

    And this is my Honest opinion. (Hey, I had to put it in somewhere ^_~)
  20. Flare Starfire

    Flare Starfire New Member

    Mmmm. There is a middle ground in there somewhere, too. I want to win- I work hard during the pokemon season, testing, thinking up strategies, trying to learn my errors and think in ways others don't. But, I only play Fire. Especially given that when I have a chance to use my favorite pokemon (arcanine) regardless of whether or not its a broken card (lucky me Arcy EX is shaping up to be a very nice card, eh?) I take it most of the time. My BlazeRai deck was one of the first in a while to be a little off form for me, and it did pretty well. Does that make me a scrub? I dunno. I guess I'm trying to be competitive within my own framework, which could seem pretty silly.

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