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Have You Thanked a Gamer Today?

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In every school in America, there is always an assembly for Stranger Danger; which teaches every child the same old lesson, “Never talk to strangers, and tell an adult if a stranger is fallowing you.” the usual rules. However, on this particular day at Hahn Intermediate something funny and ironic happened when a woman asked all of us in our Special Ed. Class, “What would you do if a stranger approached you?” the first response from one of my class mates was, “I would throw a Poke-ball at him!”. and that response made me almost laugh as the other boys in the class told her what Pokemon or magic weapon they would use in such a situation. I giggled not only because it was ridiculous but also because those boys made my day. What was very special about these boys were not just their different cognitive impairments, but also their knowledge about all sorts of video games besides Pokemon. Some were very particular about the strategy of the game, some played them for the thrills even though some were rated T or M, and some just liked the connection and bonding with the games through battling and trading Pokemon. Their knowledge of the games and the different Pokemon helped me draw my own Pokemon and other fantastic animals. As I got older my fandom of Pokemon faded like all fads do, but then I discovered the YouTube channel Game Theory which became a open door to actually learning about video-games, gaining new perspectives, and also learning about the gaming culture in Japan and its customs and trends. Now, gamers are now a part of a huge fight over innovation and ideas about how to make video games better, and this fight is like taking on Mewtwo only this time he has an army that will hurt the gaming community as a whole. Who is this wicked Pokemon, I hate to say this but its name is Nintendo.

“But wait a minute!” you might say, “Nintendo is the creator of Pokemon, Mario, the Game Boy, and the Wii why are gamers being attacked by them?” the answer lies in the gaming community’s critiquing of the lack of innovation Nintendo has for its products. When the Wii U came out many game fans and theorist compared it to another gaming system. Which too had the same problems the Wii U had known as The Virtual Boy, which also had problems because of the rushed technology that made it, there were no games made for it, and many third party gamer did not have the support to play with other gamers. Now, the gamer’ critiques have come under fire from Nintendo despite the wide spread popularity of the Wii and the new graphics of Pokemon X and Y version which are very amazing in detail. Nintendo is trying to shut down gamer channels and comments and accusing the critiques for…copyright infringement. Is it just Nintendo or, is the gaming and online-role players not being fair to the gamer and members of World of Warcraft, or even the kid-friendly role-play site Webkinz? Yes, like a kid who cheats at Candy-land they have been playing marketing games behind our backs and it is discriminating and not fair for your pet Charles the Tiger (I also play on Webkinz), and even for your elf-wizard that has flaming rainbows fly out of his staff.

For many of you who do not know what Webkinz is, it is a role-play site that only be accessed by a code on the tag of a stuffed animal that latter becomes your avatar or pet that comes with a special pet-pacific item and food item . Your job is to keep your pet happy, healthy and well-fed all while playing games and jobs to earn Kinzcash, which you can use to buy more rooms and decorate them and it was run very fairly. Until the addition of e-store which can only be accessed by adults, and the beginning of a great divide that would crush the hearts of many Webkinz fans…Deluxe Membership.
Latter on Deluxe members could get free e-store points, certain games and activities were for “Deluxe Members only”, and they got items for joining and different clothing items every month. Therefore, it created a gaming culture where there are haves and have-nots and it is not just Webkinz. Amazing World, which was also made by the same people who created Webkinz, has similar issues and so do other games online, which make it impossible to get certain items or upgrades which you have to buy with your money, real money… but before point a finger at the gamer or makers of the game think about this. Who is controlling the amount of critique that game makers and designers need to create and innovate that comes from fans and theorist all over blogs and YouTube videos? What are these sneaky Pokemon, the PR people and marketers that advertise, ignores the gaming community, and they do not care about how the makers and designers feel about making their games even better for the gamer that play them.

However, gamer or non-gamer, you too can capture these psychic Pokemon but you do not need a Poke-ball to capture and train them. You need to help the gaming community stand up for their right to speak up and offer their ideas that would really help the designers and makers improve and change the way games are made. Also you can help the designers and makers by helping them you can help the gamers too; sometimes game-makers and designers do not get the credit they deserve and now is the time to give them credit during a time when they need the ideas and critique that can help the make their games better. So the next time you play Skylanders or Pokemon X or Y version, think about all the work that was put in to create these fun games and if you thank a gamer today you have already captured the psychic Pokemon who are trying to control and silence the voices that will one day help the gaming worlds. Congratulations! You Have Captured Mewtwo! Go out, and if the PR people are, still harming gamer we have to catch them all!

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