My mother recently retired from twelve years as a teacher and had to find some way to spend her time. For most of my younger years, she spent her time teaching me, but when I graduated from high school and entered college, she was left with a great deal of free time. Currently I’m off from school for the summer, so both of us have time to do things that we’ve wanted to do for years. One of the things we get to do is play games, and I taught her to play the Pokémon card game.
In the evenings you can often find my mother and me at the dining table, with the play-mat spread with colorful cards, and us trying to keep the cat away. My mother somehow manages to beat me almost every game, even though she doesn’t know what she’s doing. She barely knows anything about Pokémon, but she plays and has fun anyway. The game is simple: Each Pokémon has a set of attacks and a number of hit points. If the attack is directed at one card, take away all the hit points, and the card is out of play. Pokémon become stronger by “evolving” or adding a card of the creature’s next stage. This evolution gives it new attacks and more hit points.
My favorite Pokémon is Skiddo, which looks like a goat. My mom doesn’t have a favorite, although she seems to use a lot of bug types that doom my Pokémon with poison attacks. Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair, but if it were fair, there would be no challenge and no fun to playing. Life is much the same- if nothing were hard, there would be nothing to learn and no reason to grow. Just like when a Pokémon reaches a new stage and gains new skills, as we grow we learn and are given the tools we need to face the challenges life throws at us.
It’s fun to sit and play a game with someone you love, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Sometimes our games are short; sometimes we play long into the night. Pokémon is a fun game for people of all ages. It’s not too hard to learn to play and can be a great experience for families. I enjoy playing the video games too, but mom doesn’t play those. I’m going to miss playing games with mom when summer ends and I’m under piles of homework. I’m a history major, a subject that I love, but sometimes I wish I could run off and train Pokémon. Until science makes that possible, however, we’re just going to play the card game and enjoy the time we share together.