Gatekeeping the Pokemon TCG hobby has to stop

Pokemon TCG Gatekeeping

The past year has been challenging for many involved with Pokemon, especially those who collect and play the trading card game. Supply shortages and incredibly high demand have led to an inability to secure products at retail prices, which had long been a standard within Pokemon. Furthermore, price increases have made it more difficult to obtain certain cards that in the past we may have hoped to purchase. Unfortunately, while prices for modern products have largely returned to normal thanks to increased supply, this seems to have spawned attitudes of resentment within the community. The anger the community felt towards price increases has been shifted onto specific individuals: at first, it was towards so-called “scalpers” who profited off of high demand, but now it has shifted towards “investors” and anyone who has been deemed to focus too much on the value of their cards. Highlighting an issue with a gatekeeping mentality within the Pokemon TCG community.

Disclaimer: Ludkins Media is a media outlet aimed at providing the most up-to-date TCG news. This is the opinion of one of our writers

This gatekeeping mindset: anyone who focuses on the possible future value increases of Pokemon cards, or cares “too much” about their cards’ value, isn’t a “true collector” and is damaging the hobby. Not only is this mindset incorrect, but it is exclusionary. All hobbies change, and change can be frustrating at times. It’s okay to dislike change. However, that frustration should be directed at the actual cause of change instead of at scapegoats.

Pokemon should be for everyone, regardless of how you enjoy the hobby. Whether you’re just trying to buy a few packs from the store, playing the TCG, or intending to create a long-term investment, nobody should tell you that you cannot participate in Pokemon. Nor should anyone tell you that you are ruining the hobby if you aren’t participating in an “approved” way. Regardless of whether we personally agree with the way someone is participating in the hobby, saying they are damaging it or need to leave is a step too far. Take a so-called “investor” who is purchasing cards because they hope to see returns in the future. We can disagree with the way they choose to purchase cards, but getting enraged because they don’t “love Pokemon enough” when they buy cards is ridiculous. Policing what is in people’s heads while they participate in the hobby makes Pokemon fans come across as immature and unpleasant.

Someone’s place in the Pokemon hobby isn’t contingent on whether they’re a “true collector,” just like it isn’t contingent on whether they’re a collector or a player, a video game or TCG fan, or an anime buff. A varied amount of people participating in the hobby is healthy, and enjoying the hobby in different ways should be celebrated. The more people who participate in Pokemon, the better. Gatekeeping the hobby to only those who enjoy Pokemon TCG in a narrow way is unacceptable and must stop.

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Ethan Pohl – Ludkins Media

Follow Ethan on Instagram and Twitter @fourthstartcg

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