Eli Neiburger is the Information Access and Systems Manager of Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library (AADL) and he was one of the presenters at the 2008 ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning and Libraries Symposium. After his Pokémon Primer session, I now have a better understanding of the complex system of stewardship, strategy and organization that is Pokémon. I didn’t realize that there are over 500 varieties of Pokémon. I did know that the kids who love Pokémon know a lot about them.
During his session, two participants went head-to-head in the Pokémon Battle Revolution using the Wii. This is the game featured during AADL’s monthly Pokémon Tournament where an average of 60 kindergartners through fifth graders gather to test their skills against other Pokémon trainers. This video is of the Pokemon Battle Revolution they held on November 23, 2007.
He said that when hosting a tournament, it’s best to use Level 50 All to equalize matches and to restrict the use of “Legendary” Pokémon (unicorns and the like) until final matches. Sometimes kids will have hacked Pokémon, usually because they traded online (not that there’s anything wrong with trading). Many collectors from other countries like to have U.S. versions and will trade with ones that have had powers altered. He begins each tournament with explanations about what a hacked one might be like and that opponents can contest a Pokémon’s ability level, but must have the consensus of five other tournament participants in order to disqualify a particular Pokémon.
Due to the popularity of the tournament, especially with the use of the big screen and the Wii, it is a first round elimination for the ones who elect to play on the big screen with a 10 minute limit per game. The participants who play wirelessly between their own DS players play the best of 10. The final rounds are played on the big screen with the Wii.
The next AADL meeting of PL2: Public Library Pokémon League is Sunday, November 30. I plan to attend. I would love to have something similar at my library.