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Lessons from Pokemon

Over the past several days at ALC Mosaic, epic Pokemon battles and trading have been taking place. I remember the good ol’ days when Pokemon first hit the global market and almost two decades later, the hype has not subsided.

I was always skeptical and detached from the Pokemon movement. I never fully grasped the concept of the game and was personally more interested in other fads such as Furby, Tamagotchi and pogs.

After witnessing the focus and commitment to Pokemon at Mosaic, I have a newfound appreciation for the game. With the guidance of my peers at school, I have had the opportunity to form new insights to the skills and lessons Pokemon can teach.

Pokemon Lesson 1 Organization: Many of my fellows treat their cards with utmost respect. The cards are not mere toys but emblems of potential. Some enclose each card in a personal case or organize them in elaborate binders, categorizing the pokemon by type, strength, rarity and evolution. I am reminded of the star pupils in high school, praised for their color-coded binder tabs and individual plastic sleeves for handouts… I found myself thinking: “If only I took to Pokemon at a younger age, I perhaps would have found myself capable of organizing my work and possessions in ways that were useful and meaningful to me.” What’s more, the cards are then organized in play, where planning and strategy come into being.

Lesson 2 Strategic Planning: Everyone plays the game differently. Some trade with intentions of building extremely powerful individual cards and will trade a diverse range of other “valuable” cards to make an “undefetable” weapon. Others trade for a diverse range of less amped Pokemon. This dynamic became clear to me when Liam reflected: Something that he didn’t know before today was the he could beat Ayan’s most powerful card.

Pokemon Lesson 3 Equitable Trade: Half the fun of Pokemon is exchanging them in the Pokemon Trading Space. Trading occurs before battles, and the players schedule these events on the weekly and daily boards. External and internal factors influence the value and attributes each places on the cards. An equal trade is felt by each party and this process can occur with ease and/or challenge. By the end of each day this week so far, the ones trading Pokemon all day reflect that this is what they like doing because they enjoy doing so. I was given starter cards by Liam so that I could engage in the upward spiral of Pokemon trade.

Pokemon Lesson 4 Creation:  Many hours have been dedicated to drawing Pokemon. @nancy has also spent many hours inventing Pokemon, painting Pokemon, sewing mutant stuffed animal Pokemon…The request for Pokemon art has taken us through many different mediums. I am often approached by students ages 5-11 who are wanting to draw Pokemon. We can focus on this activity from anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours. The imagination of the creatures inspire us to create and practice with our hands.

Pokemon Lesson 5 Maths: I am not practiced in math. Calculations involving more than three digits terrify me. On Monday, Ayan demonstrated through simple math in his head how he defeated my Jigglypuff with his Victini. And they do this constantly, with each other.


I am blown away by the imagination of the people of this space. We are each discovering our own tools for growth alone/together.


Photo: http://www.gameinformer.com/games/pokmon_x/b/3ds/default.aspx


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