Gee, I bet you all immediatly though, "Oh...This thread looks interesting!" But as soon as you saw "Thread started by Krucifier" I bet you all thought "Meh..." or "Great, another way to kill brain cells" or even "LOL" and kept scrolling down. Regardless of that, You came to read this. Why? I have no idea, maybe out of curiosity?...Or maybe you thought this could be a decent discussion...Who knows, For some reason - I don't know why, you came to view this thread. Getting to the point of this, and put the coffee pot on, this is a looooooong rant, which I hope will lead to some decent discussion, rather than just "like...Shutup...You are a noob" or "love live Lafonte!" or other posts that barely go larger than a sentence. In this thread, and in this post, I wish to discuss several issues. All relating to the one topic - What has the game become? I feel that this is a valid thought, a valid question, and a heck of a valid discussion. Now, the Pokemon Trading Card Game...What do you first think of when you hear that? Do you think of Lafonte? do you think of Cards? or do you think Fun? To enlighten myself in that question - I asked several people what first comes to mind when they hear the words, the people I asked were seasoned players. The first said "Cards". Well...That was to be expected, so I asked him what comes to mind next, and he said "Competition". The next person I asked said "Winning". The third person said "Fame". Now, Those were older players that I asked. I have also asked a few little kids. The first child said "Fun". The second said "meeting new people" and the third said "Fun". Fun. That is what is supposedly the core element of this game. Now I agree that I am no saint. Yes, sure, I have done some bad things in the past. But at least I am man enough to admit them. The reason I misbehaved so bad? I affiliated myself with "the wrong crowd". Now this is not Doctor Phil or Oprah, and this is not Jerry Springer either - I am not trying to make this into a Women's talk show. I am being serious. Ever since I stopped affiliating myself with "the wrong crowd" I have been alot better off. And alot better behaved. Although, some people may beg to differ... When those kids gave me their awnsers to my question, I guess it made me really think...Are they going to do what I did and join in with the "wrong crowd"? These kids, who play to enjoy this game, are they going to be taken down a path of "It is all about winning", Arrogance, Cockyness... But I think before I can continue, I must define "wrong crowd". Whether it be online - as the Pokemon community developed into so rapidly, or in person at League's and Tournaments. The wrong crowd, from my experience - and from my knowledge - whilst they may not directly teach you bad behavior, you sure as heck will pick up on it, and you don't know why...But you do it as well. I will give examples based on my experience...Whenever I was at league I was surrounded by people who hate net decker's - they loathed them, they absolutely hated Arche-types. This attitide rubbed off onto me, and I found myself coming onto the Pokegym and bagging out people because they used Arche-types, or bagging out Arche-types in general. The "wrong crowd" are people who have an attitude and behaviors that you may or may not know are bad...But you find yourself doing what they do, thinking what they think...The "wrong crowd" are people whose actions and attitudes rub off onto you...It only ever takes until it gets far too far to repair that you realize your mistake... How can it be acceptable to allow Children - or ANYONE for that matter, to expose them to attitudes and behaviors that ruin their friendships, ruin their "reputation", and that of their League, of their State, of their Country. I take full responsibility for what I have done - no, this whole thread is not buttering up everybody to think otherwise, it was MY choice to hang around with the people I did, and now I regret it. I have assisted in ruining the reputation of myself, of my League, of my State, and worst of all, of my Country. It is like a vicious chain...And it makes me want to cry when I see other people - be it my age, or younger or older, following this chain. Attitudes and Behaviors - whether you like it or not, they rub off on people. This game is becoming full of people who are arrogant, cocky, think it is all about winning...All because of being around people that are the "bad eggs" of the chicken coop. Now that I have said that, tis time to move onto the next part of this "discussion". And, the further we get into this jungle of problems, the more and more this thread will become clear to it's title. Now Australia is in tatters right now. EVERYBODY has different reasons for this. But even I can admit that it is because of what I have said and done here on the Pokegym that sparked this whole thing over the last year or however long it has been. Sure, there are others that contributed aswell, but, this is not about them. And as far as I know, THEY point the finger at ME. The spark for Australia's problems? Me and a few other people, whom, in direct relations to everything said so far, "hung out with the wrong crowd". The fuel for the problems in Australia - The people who carry on with their nonsense about how "Person X" and "Person Y" ruined this and that. And the fact that everybody listens to a few certain people - these few certain people tell people what to believe and say - these people believe it, do what they are told, say what they are told, believe what they are told. What is happening NOW in Austraila? Well, The spark, along with the fuel, have set Australia on fire. Everybody is torn with their constant bickering about how "Person X and Person Y should be banned from OP" and "Person Z and Person C are on the top of my hate list". I can tell you now that there is a big rage over the outburst that a certain person made - big enough that some people are conspiring to have him banned from OP...Banned from the League...And let us not forget this simple fact. WE HAVE NO CURRENT OP MANAGER! Croftminster - the distributors and OP organizers for Australia keep firing the OP managers - leaving us twiddling our thumbs whilst they take forever to find a new one...And I really hope the rumours of POP taking over OP in Australia is true...It might take us into a new age without one of the main benefactors of our problems, the tension caused by having no OP manager for quite extended periods of time, some of our OP managers doing jack all. And the other? Well, I will hand an applause to Vickey - she is the only OP manager that actually CARED about the game, that actually did it because she ENJOYED it. Not just because of the big fat paycheck at the end of the week. She is the only one who has got half our stuff ON TIME. What are Australian's left to do? In their boredom of waiting for a Premier Event, seeing as we do not see a single Battle Road. Well we argue with ourselves, we argue with others, blame others for our problems...Putting us into a further state of chaos...I guess I have to say this now: WAKE UP MY FELLOW AUSTRALIANS!!! IT IS NOT JUST AN INDIVIDUAL TEARING POKEMON IN THIS COUNTRY APART - BUT IT IS EVERYBODY, ARGUING OVER SILLY AND TRIVIAL THINGS. I guess by this point you are asking yourself..."where the heck is this thread going?", or, if you are an Australian "Oh...I can't wait to go and tell everyone what Krucifier said this time!!!" Well I am doing all this talk about Australia for the simple fact that I do not believe any of you know the problems it is going through. And anyone from Australia will gladly shutdown my viewpoints. I guess that that is one of the downfalls of stuffing yourself up by hanging out with the "bad eggs of the TCG Arena". Now onto the next part of my thread. Lafonte, Team Metanite, Team Rocket, Gah, there is so many other teams just like these, widely known, with WORLD CHAMPIONS in them. People who REPRESENT the game...Little kids who IDOLIZE them, who take after them. How can you just sit there and post "Lafonte Rulz" in every thread? How can you sit there and post "Team Metanite 4 Lyf" in every thread? I guess that it is not just big and well known teams like that, but locally known teams, teams that have City, State and National champions of there City, State of Country in them, People still idolize them, people from that City, people from that State... Now there is nothing wrong with Teams, I think they make the game better. But when they get all arrogant and cocky, "aww...We got the 2002 World Champion in our team! yeah! fear us!". Or just post utter garbage like "our team rules"... Or when they abuse their popularity and their widely known and accepted deck building skill to stockpile a card, and hype a deck that features that card for money. It makes ALL teams look bad. So finishing up with some other points I would like to raise, and a summary. Pokemon, a game that can give so much, but do so much. Pokemon is not just a game, but it is a community. The "community" is gradually, faster and faster getting pulled under a cloud of "You must win at all costs", "It is all about winning", "Do what you have to do to win", "Argue", "Spam", "Flame", "Nobody can stand in your way! if they do! they must be CHEATERS!", "If you lose you HAVE to go onto the Gym and rant about it"...The list can go on. The Pokemon Trading Card Game has become a series of "The OC". A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link - a community is only as strong as it's overall attitude. You can read this, and say to yourself "Hah! None of this applies to me! I am a saint!". But you are lying to yoruself, there is NOBODY here who can EVER say that they have NEVER had the DESIRE to win, there is NOBODY here who can EVER say that they have taken winning over having fun, there is NOBODY here that can say that they are "innocent little angels". Slowly and slowly Pokemon has deteriorated. It is going to keep going this way unless things are done. You can LIE to yourself and say that NOTHING can be done...Or you can say that someone else can fix it. But...The reality is, fixing what has been broken starts with yourself. I guess I am not "popular" enough to say this, but I am going to say it anyway. The Pokemon Trading Card Game has reached a point - not only here in Australia, but everywhere else in the world where there NEEDS to be change, or it is going to collapse. Change begins with ourselves. We need to stop all the arguing and fighting, all the hatred and totally and utter bull honkey. Without further ado, begin the flames and spam, seeing as how every other thread gets reduced to it. If anyone wants to have a SERIOUS discussion about this, feel free to attempt to. With severe carpal tunnel from writing this, Krucifier.