I’ve been spending a good amount of time recently reminiscing over times past spent competing at a high level. I can remember my very first tournament very vividly and there is simply some allure or feel to these times that feels drastically different than competing now. Maybe it’s the prize money, the larger community or just everything else in between, but talking about Pokémon TCG now compared to Pokémon TCG in 2009 when I first started seems fundamentally impossible. I acknowledge that a large part of this sentiment is likely mired by nostalgia’s rose-tint, but it is something I’ve been thinking about recently. I do not think (despite many others voicing different opinions) that one is superior to the other.
I’m sure we’ve all heard many times how “the game just quite isn’t as good as it used to be” from players hailing from the glory days. Historically, I have always been a detractor of such a sentiment and do think that the game is moving closer and closer to the best its ever been. Despite the increased turnouts and prizing, I have noticed a troubling tendency wherein the members of the community consistently talk about how the community has gone toxic or is beyond saving while doing very little in attempts to say it.
I do not participate in any of the Facebook or Reddit groups out there for the game, and while I am sure there is a lot of poor ideas and poor attitudes echoed within these postings, I think it is foolish to think that the community of the game is any better or any worse than it was in the past.
I would argue that the increase in the size and scope of the community has only made it easier to see its flaws, instead of this growth being responsible for the attraction of more cheaters or what have you. These issues likely existed long before the inception of HeyFonte or Virbank City, and I think it does a disservice to the community by attempting to sequester the issues within the game to a mere individual or Facebook group and think that things would be better if they simply didn’t exist or if they were ignored entirely.
If we want to have a better game and a better community then I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to to tackle the issues head on. In a similar vein to what Kenny wrote last month, I do not think we can progress towards anything better if we do not admit our shortcomings when they are apparent and then promise to do better. Also like Kenny, I think being able to travel and compete playing this game is one of the greatest privileges available to us but the onus of making it better must be carried by each one of us for it to have any hope of getting better.
To conclude this opening section, I would briefly like to address something entirely bizarre that has been brought to my attention. If you’ll be willing to rewind a couple years ago, an anonymous article was published to highlight the ways top players not only cheat but also get away with it every time.
In short, the good cheaters do not get caught because they do not cheat very often. Instead, they only cheat to win a small percentage more. Additionally, these cheaters (some of whom are alleged top players, though that list has likely changed since the article was published about two years ago) are charismatic and well-liked, which makes it easy to sweep any allegations under the rug over how they couldn’t possibly be cheaters. While somewhat over-dramatic in its presentation, it is a well-written article and certainly worth reading and even revisiting now that cheaters tend to being caught more frequently than ever.
The reason I am bring it up is that it has been brought to my attention that I am the presumed author of the article. I recall being asked if I wrote it several years ago when the article was first released, and denied it at the time, though somewhat seeing small similarities in my tone and the tone of Mens Rea. I think (and would like to think) that I have a strong reputation within the community and would certainly not be writing at SixPrizes still if I was an alleged and admitted cheater.
As mentioned above, it is bizarre that I have been accused of this authorship multiple times this past season. The fact of the matter is that only those involved in its editing and publishing know the truth of who wrote it, and both are more than able to clear my name in this issue. I do not know who wrote it and am not terribly interested in finding out and simply wanted to dispel the rumor once and for all. Thank you for indulging me here.
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