It's not only a game, but a learning tool as well.
WASHINGTON — The world’s best Pokemon players traveled to D.C. this weekend to determine who’s the best.
How exclusive is it? Invitations were sent to 500 players from 31 countries.
The players gathered at the Convention Center to play the card and video games versions of Pokemon.
For the final rounds of the card game, players sat at a table on stage, with a referee beside each of them. Cameras broadcast their cards on big screens and online, and the crowd followed along with the help of color commentary broadcasters.
The audience seemed almost as into the game as the contestants. They oooh’d sympathetically when the cards weren’t working in their player’s favor, and jumped to their feet and cheered when they were.
The winner of the 12-16 year old senior category was Trent Orndorff, who had a couple strategy tips.
“Lock the Keldeos down, get the Trevenant out before he can hit his Blastoise,” Orndorff recommended.
Minutes after his win, Orndorff was asked for his autograph.
While it may seem the Pokemon audience would be full of kids, there were quite a few families in attendance.
Brian Bray and his wife brought their three kids down from Philadelphia. For them, playing Pokemon became a family event.
“The kids got into it originally and we decided we better learn how to play it,” Bray said.
His 5-year-old, Aiden, says his father isn’t the best player, so he lets him win sometimes.
Kent Island mom Jenny Wicker learned about the game from her daughter, but she and her husband got into it, too.
“My husband and I will compete against each other every now and again, but then we have to stop playing for a while because we get angry,” Wicker said.
Not only is the game a great way to spend family time, parents say, it helps children learn math skills, logic and strategy.