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I think many of the viewers of PocketMonsters.net are in University or College, so this article won't be too surprising to many of you. It's good to see that the mainstream media is now positively explaining that Pokemon isn't just for children. Pokemon celebrated it's 10th anniversary last year and many of us have been following Pokemon since it's started.

The card game isn't just for kids -- grown-ups play it, too -- By Justin Arnold

I've got a secret: I play Pokemon.

It's weird, I know. But I've never been good at basketball or football ... actually anything related to gravity or inertia.

So when artist Mike Krahulik blogged in the Web comic Penny Arcade that he had recently fallen into the rabbit hole with Pokemon Pearl for the Nintendo DS, like a true fan I jumped in too.

Since then I have played in relative secrecy, though with a fanatic's devotion to the intricacies of the game, playing whenever the moment presents itself. Waiting in traffic, on lunch breaks and, of course, while on marathon phone conversations with family. Sorry, Mother.

But it was not until recently did I realize that my secret guilty pleasure was nothing to be secretive or guilt-ridden over. In fact, I found I was in good company.

The Comic Stop in Lynnwood acts as the official headquarters of the Arcadia Battle Academy, a rich den of celebrated geekdom that has given a home to Pokemon players of varying skill, interest and age that include every facet of the game: collectible card game, video game and figurines.

The back room of the Comic Stop is a modest affair and decorated in the proper gamer decor, tables and chairs with game posters adorning the walls and empty Mountain Dew cans littering the floor. While to the casual observer it may appear somewhat messy, I would submit that to a gamer, it is merely well-loved.

Of the 23 people present on an evening earlier this month only five are kids, leaving a good cross-section of 20- and 30-somethings to spar one another with their respective Pokemon game of choice.

Anjanette Colbert, a 24-year-old student from Edmonds Community College, would be my opponent that evening, our weapon of choice the video game version of Pokemon on the handheld Nintendo DS.

Colbert was kind and courteous as were all of the gamers that evening, but little did I know that under the clever disguise of a gentle accounting coed lurked an epic opponent who would give me the thrashing of my virtual life.

"No!" I wailed as my Geodude -- a creature in the Pokemon genre with a rock for a head which I aptly named Rocky -- was knocked out when Colbert's Quilfish used its "waterfall" attack.

Poor Rocky, I hardly knew you.

My second and third Pokemon fared even worse, and before I knew it I was sipping from the bitter brew known as defeat.

Yet Colbert was benevolent in her victory, even giving me some tips on finding and training new Pokemon. Calmly, she told me some good Web sites for newbie Pokemon trainers such as myself, and shared some battle tactics for when I may occasionally want to -- you know -- win.

And that esprit de corp, according to Krahulik, is the point of not only the Arcadia Battle Academy, but Pokemon as well.

"It depends on who you are playing, but at the events I've gone to it's one of the most important things," Krahulik said.

And thus far he is right on, as the members of the Arcadia Battle Academy are more than gracious with their time, advice, even their Pokemon. Franklin Webber, a 30-year-old quality assurance engineer from Seattle, is another Pokemon player who has come to battle his evenings away with other adults, pointing out that the camaraderie is just as important as the game itself.

"Everyone is really cool and comes with the right attitude," Webber said. "The Comic Stop hosts a lot of great events like this, and the staff has been great, plus the facilities have been outstanding."

Webber has also known the gentle ribbing from co-workers who delighted in making fun of his hobby.

"Oh yeah, they would make fun of me," Webber said. "But I would joke about it around the office too, handing out stickers and cards. They thought it was silly."

Despite the jokes and jibes, the game itself is a treat for Webber, no matter what form it may take.

"I started out with the Pokemon video games, and I'm now getting into the card game," Webber said. "Compared to other card games like Magic: The Gathering, it's more casual. I don't really care about winning or losing, it's all about hanging out with the players."

In a sense, these Pokemon players reflect the larger Northwest gamer community, something that over the years has developed into a thriving culture that has delved into every facet of the medium.

So whether visiting the Comic Stop during the day or the Arcadia Battle Academy at night, be aware that it is frequented by the most unlikely heroes you may ever meet.

Just don't expect them to wear tights and a cape.
Source: http://www.wdbj7.com/