WHO are DECK ARTICLES written for?

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by Rogue Archetype, Mar 23, 2011.

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  1. Rogue Archetype

    Rogue Archetype Moderator <br> Contest Host

    Today, I decided to sit down with a bottle of water and just read . . .

    I loaded up the "FEATURED ARTICLES" section of this site and read every front page article that has been posted over the past 6 months.

    After doing this, a single question came to mind:

    "Who is the target audience of these articles?"

    "WHO gets the benefit of Front Page Deck Articles?"

    In other words, who are deck articles intended to serve? Tournament players? New Players? People who are marginal and are looking for better options? Experienced league players who are researching options for their first tournaments? Parents? Kids? None of the above? All of the Above?

    I began to become suspicious as to whether some articles were being written as a means to earn a little "net cred" or "net fame." That is, to establish one's self as being the AUTHORITY in running the deck that you have just "published." Maybe the perception is "if he put an article on the front page, he MUST be a great player!"

    Maybe it's simpler than that. Perhaps, someone wants to just "patent" their deck idea by having it posted on the front page; they want to go down in history as the guy who introduced that deck to the format.

    Maybe it's a combination of all of those speculations. :cool:

    One thing that many of these articles had in common was their lack of detail.
    Frankly, I've noticed that there is quite a bit of lazy writing (or lack thereof) in these articles.

    I'm not, at all, disappointed with the articles. It's just... I can't determine if they really "help" anyone.

    Look at the following card description:

    Hypothetically speaking:
    If you're a new player, this doesn't even begin to express the benefits of using the card nor does it outline the manner in which the card is used. So, the new player still has no idea (and may even feel a tad inadequate because he doesn't already know what appears to be Common Knowledge) :frown:

    If you're an old player, you get nothing from this. Actually, it's a waste of space to you because you already understand why the card is in there.

    If you're a lurking parent looking for insight, you won't get any here.
    - - - -
    So, why is that description even written? Who does it even benefit ?

    It appears that THE TARGET AUDIENCE is not considered in many of the articles that are featured.

    This is NOT the fault of the site (as these same articles are posted on multiple sites). This is just a situation in which the paradigm is set up a certain way; people haven't been concerned with the wide range of possible readers when they write their articles. As a result, they are ineffective when used as learning tools.

    Here's another exerpt from a front page article:

    Again, who does this information benefit?

    If you're a new player, you have NO IDEA what's going on here. You don't know WHY it's "a great card," you don't know what's up with "staples" and you're now asking yourself about the number of supporters that should be played in decks. :cool:

    If you're an experienced player, this information does absoltuely nothing for you.

    If you're a lurking parent looking for insight, you won't get any here.

    How do you make your writing more USEFUL ?

    You just take the time to EXPLAIN the WHY/HOW/WHAT !

    There were some gems among the sea of articles if you care to dig deep enough.

    Contrast this simple description of why someone uses BeBe's Search

    With this FUNCTIONAL and specific example:

    Nekizalb takes things a step further in his example and explains WHAT he needs that card to search for! He gives specific uses for the card which gives the reader a very meaningful insight into the mechanics of his deck. What if ALL cards in a deck article were written with this sort of specificity?

    I won't go any further into this rant.

    I just want to discuss the concept of DECK ARTICLE and WHO they are REALLY supposed to target.
    If I had to assume, I would think that they are supposed to be written for tournament players who are wondering WHY a certain deck is running through a format. There may be another school of thought that would propose that deck articles should be written for NEW/MARGINAL players to get a shortcut to up their ... playing significance (for lack of a better word).

    What do you think?

    AGAIN... I'm not trying to hate on front page articles. So, do not take the discussion there.

    THE POINT is to discuss WHO they are supposed to be written for as that is not very clear at the present.
  2. Hatter™

    Hatter™ Active Member

    I feel that is has always been that Pokebeach is for "New" players and Pokegym is for the players who want to go a step further once they comprehend the basics of the game. People wouldn't explain what they do because they just figure people KNOW their purpose in decks.
    Also, some people probably just figure since basically every deck has an outline of "Staples" such as Pokemon Collector, Bebe's Search, Luxury Ball, etc. that there is no need to go in depth on them.

    EDIT: Also, the only reason an article should be written is probably for archetypes or super fun decks. If you write about a deck that you like a lot [Take my "Worm Lock" article], post people won't care, and, now that I look back, I shouldn't of written about it because it has no relevance.
  3. waynegg

    waynegg CotD Editor<br>Forum Moderator

    I thought that one of the rules for an article to be printed was that it had to be exclusive to the gym.

    I would hope that articles are published in an effort to explain the mechanics of a good deck with a thorough explanation of what each card brings to the deck and why it's in there over other choices. Seeing some of the quotes you posted, kinda makes one wonder.

    Nah, you should have. It was an interesting read and even if the deck itself wasn't so big I'm sure it gave people other ideas and ways out of issues their deck was having. Because you took the time to explain interactions and the whys and hows.
  4. The Gorn

    The Gorn Active Member

    Matt Moss' ZRE article is the yardstick by which all deck articles are measured.

    And while there have been some good articles, none have yet measured up.
  5. Jason

    Jason New Member

    uuuufff's Gyarados article is one of the best I seen here in a year. That should be a sick example to go for. Especially the matchups section.
  6. Porii Sames

    Porii Sames Active Member

    I knew mine wasn't the best, but in it, I tried to make the descriptions of the cards at least good enough that a younger player would understand...

    uuufff's was great tho.
  7. Regis_Neo

    Regis_Neo Moderator

    Why people would bother writing articles for "e-fame" I'll never understand...

    But I dunno, I usually assume whoever writes articles on here would write for the general public at large who visit this site, as this site encompasses so many different people (players, parents, etc etc), unless you're specifying a certain audience, I would guess you'd want the article to be as easy to understand as possible for everyone. Most of them also tend to assume their audience at least has a general grasp of the current trends too, which could use some work in that regard.
  8. chrataxe

    chrataxe New Member

    Coming from the only person on the gym that quoted himself...
  9. TheKing

    TheKing New Member

  10. yoyofsho16

    yoyofsho16 New Member

    I don't think the target audience matters... it's just a wealth of information. It's for everyone. If the deck is thoroughly explained and broken down enough, anyone can learn from it.

    If an article doesn't have mass appeal, I feel it's not a good article. This is why more top players should write... they tell things as they are, what they've statistically seen, and don't make conjecture or inference.
  11. Prime

    Prime Content Developer<br>Blog Admin<br>Contest Host

    I think R_A nailed that a lot of these articles are being written BY experienced players FOR experienced players. The reason? That can be debated.

    I'm just wondering...who is writing articles FOR new players? The demographic that really needs the articles more than any other group?

    Seems like everyone rushes and pushes in line to write the first article based on the popular deck, but when it comes to explaining why Jumpluff is so brilliant and a good choice for new players, the room is silent.

    One person says that PokeBeach is for new players, PokeGym is for experienced. Why can't both sites appeal to both demographics? Honestly, I thought all the "l33t" players weren't even visiting the site anymore because of how 'n00b' the members are.

    Just some thoughts...
  12. sibon72

    sibon72 New Member

    Yay! I have E-fame!!!


    I think anyone who happens to enjoy reading them is the target audience, so an article that is well written, has useful info and discussion value will have a wider target audience (more people enjoy it) and it will be more successful.
  13. Cyrus

    Cyrus Iron Chef - Master Emeritus

    Very interesting point, R_A. I think all websites have something to learn from what you just said.

    Just keep in mind that it _is_ the Gym's fault for letting this sort of thing slide: you have the right to refuse.
  14. baby mario

    baby mario Front Page Article Editor<br><a href="http://pokeg

    Pretty much all of what RA says is true.

    But none of it is the fault of the people who are writing the articles.

    The PokeGym (owners, article editors, mods) need to have a clear policy on stuff like this. Should articles be accessible for new players, should they only feature proven lists, should the writers have a track record with the deck? I know there used to be guidelines for that stuff but recently it seems that whoever decides what should go on the front page has been far too nice and has failed to say 'no' (or insist on massive changes) to some pretty shoddy articles.

    The Gym needs to decide exactly what it wants, post that information, and then stick to its own guidelines.

    The Submission Guidelines that I found were last updated in 2005.

    Time for some new ones?
  15. espeon200

    espeon200 New Member

    I think a bigger question here is what is who is the target audience that The Gym wants to appeal to with the articles? By placing them on the front page, the mods of The Gym are saying, "This is what we think our users think will be most interesting." Does the gym want to solely target Advanced players who are already making their Worlds plans and want to see what other ideas world-calibur players are doing? Or doe The Gym want to target new players/pokeparents that want to read about what the best decks in the format are so that they can try to learn what makes them so good. In either case, I agree with A_R that the examples he cites help neither group.

    I will say that when I first started coming back to the gym after an incredibly long hiatus from the game, I didn't read these articles because I was more interested in the discussion topics and official rulings in the main forum. In fact, I still don't generally make a habit of reading the articles that are posted to the main page, unless they're news articles, because I feel I already get the same level or better of strategy info from other sites that I visit.
  16. Regis_Neo

    Regis_Neo Moderator

    Ah but there's the funny thing...I actually never posted that quote anywhere, I made it up and just threw it in quotes because just posting it in regular text would have pushed it over the line limit, whereas a quote not only makes it more noticeable and neater, but fits everything in the line limit :thumb:
  17. PokeDad

    PokeDad Forum Moderator

    When top decks are written about by top players, when the mechanics of those decks are explained, it helps educate and elevate our younger less experienced players - and it offers the opportunity for the games most avid players to explain the game to us old pokeparents who judge more than we play. I find the articles useful, and I get to know the posters better through the writing style they put forward.

    The kids and us really old folks sure appreciate the articles. Keep 'em coming.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  18. MrMeches

    MrMeches New Member

    Well R_A, as the former Editor.... let me focus on a specific line you used that I can't help but take offense too:

    I know many of my newer players that got directed to the Gym mentioned how helpful the variations of Engines and fundamentals were. Also, some players did not understand the concept of SP, so these definitely assisted.

    The thought process I always used was 'What makes this article different than an existing one, here.. on other sites..and what, if any, as an Experienced player and 'New' Player would I be able to use.'

    Sometimes the pure terminology is helpful to players from different areas. Slang and abbreviations also provide direction... from PONT to Turn to Qing... these terms have provided insight to understanding brief in game statements.

    It is an opinion there have been solid How To Articles and also Fun Upbeat League articles. The FP is about giving a brief glimpse of around the WORLD in POKEMON. Things people are having FUN with and tried and proven Deck Articles. Information for upcoming Events and New Rulings coming into effect for the next BIG event.

    Articles are critical to hit ALL AUDIENCES in some form... good or bad... to provide a discussion of thegoings on in POKEMON!
  19. Prime

    Prime Content Developer<br>Blog Admin<br>Contest Host

    I'm not sure why so many attribute the blame to the PokeGym staff, for 2 reasons:

    1) R_A is pointing at EVERY POKEMON WEB SITE. Not just PokeGym. That means the same for SixPrizes, Pojo, PokeBeach, etc, etc. This isn't just a PokeGym problem, it's a POKEMON problem.

    2) People assume that the PokeGym can raise their standards and still receive the same # of submissions. I think it's pretty obvious that the PokeGym doesn't consistently have a solid # of submissions throughout the year. I feel quite confident that if the PokeGym were to place more restrictions on submitted articles, there would be less articles submitted.

    People always blame the PokeGym; always saying that they should only allow actual experienced decks to be written about, only allow people with tournament success to write them, and now, that more rules and guidelines need to be added so to make the articles better.

    So, everyone is saying that the PokeGym should become the writer, publisher, and editor-in-chief?

    Why can't we put a little pressure on the writers to step up their game, or for talented writers to actually write something?

    I may sound pro-PokeGym in many of my replies, but that is because the PokeGym is a lot like the government, in that people blame it for all of the problems, when people aren't really trying to do their part in their area to help fix the problem. In the long run, the millions of people not doing their part to help fix the problem hurts the situation more than whatever is happening in the government (PokeGym).
  20. Happiny13

    Happiny13 Active Member

    I agree RA. I feel an article has to have a lot of detail to be helpful. As a new player and even now, articles never interested me if I couldn't learn a lot from it. Articles that I really enjoyed were Jumpluff by Fulop and Speedgar by jjkl. Those 2 articles really impacted me, and I actually picked those decks up. Shorter articles with less detail have basically no impact in my opinion.
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