I’ve been playing a lot of Pokémon lately.

Too much, in all honestly.

PAX Aus is coming up next month. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since last years, over 12-months ago. I can’t wait to go to my second.

Anyway, I found out about a little un-official PAX tournament called the PAX Pokémon League. Basically it mimics the structure of a traditional Pokémon video game. There are ‘Gym Leaders’ scattered through-out the convention. You have to find them, battle them, and if you win you are awarded their badge. Once you have earned eight badges, you can challenge the ‘Elite Leaders’ and eventually a ‘Champion.’ If you successfully defeat all of these you receive a certificate recognising that you have entered the PAX Pokémon League Hall of Fame.

Yeah, it’s kiddy. Yeah, it’s not exactly a valuable reward. But it looks like a bit of fun to me. So I started training Pokémon specifically for it.

I wanted to train the strongest and most capable Pokémon I’ve ever had. I know the leaders probably won’t be that tough, as they’ll have to face-off against children as well as adults, but I figure that from this I’ll probably meet other people who I would like to battle against. And I don’t really want to get my arse served to me every time.

So I started trying to train some good Pokémon. The strongest Pokémon I already had was ‘Practically Superior,’ so I started trying to catch, breed, and raise ‘Practically Superior’ Pokémon. I’d raised four level 50 Pokémon when I discovered that there were ‘Outstanding’ Pokémon, and these were better than ‘Practically Superior.’ So I had to start over.

Breeding ‘Outstanding’ Pokémon was proving to be very difficult, so I looked online to find out more about how they were created, and how you could improve your chances of obtaining one.

This marks the point of my descent into obsession.

I’ve never wanted to be a ‘power gamer.’ I don’t find that fun. I just want to enjoy what I’m playing on a casual level, with others who do the same. I don’t want it to get ‘serious.’ Which is a reason why I don’t like playing sport. It’s hard to find a group of people — or even a league — who just wants to have a nice, fun, casual game. But here, with this game, I started to become that which I had sought to avoid.

At first I was happy with ‘Practically Superior’ and a good nature. But now I needed ‘Outstanding’ Pokémon. Then I found out about cross-breeding Pokémon to more easily breed powerful Pokémon. But then I managed to get one which was not only outstanding, but also had two perfect stats. So now they all needed to find out how I could make them all have two perfect stats. So I found out how to breed ‘perfect’ Pokémon. With four-to-six perfect stats.

…So I have spent the last two months doing that.

I have breed 20 outstanding Pokémon with 4-5 perfect stats. Now I need to raise each one to level 50 with six-weeks left before PAX.

I think I have become a little too competitive.

-TM