Hello, there! Welcome to the world of Pokémon!

My name is GBD! People call me the Pokémon Professor! This world is inhabited by creatures called Pokémon! For some people, Pokémon are pets. Others use them for fights. Myself… I study Pokémon as a profession.

This was my fourth Pokemon Nationals, though I haven't competed for the last three. I love Pokemon with all my heart, but I'm just no good when it comes to battling in video games or with cards. Strategy is not my strong point, which is probably why I can't handle Fire Emblem. For this reason I usually just take in the atmosphere and hang around with my more ambitious PokeManiac buddies.

Pokemon Nationals is an interesting gaming event as it's a free and it's chalked full of kids. Unlike tournaments that involve mature games, such as Halo and CoD, the vast majority of the crowd at Pokemon Nationals are escorted by their parents. It's nice to see so many dedicated parents who care enough about their child or children's interest enough to drive/fly across the country. A large portion of the parents were sporting Pokemon gear themselves and one could tell that Pokemon isn't just a game to them, it's an importnat form of bonding.

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Of course I had to get my yearly picture with Pikachu. Once again I was the tallest PokeFan in the crowd. Only Pikachu's ears were taller!

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DS graphics on an HD screen don't look too pretty, but it's fun to watch powerful Pokemon battle it out. There were rows and rows of chairs set out solely for audience members.

If you're looking for a specific Pokemon card there isn't a better place to be. There were three huge Pokemon-only store fronts to choose from and there was virtually every card you could ever imagine. I even saw an unopened booster pack of first edition, shadowless, basic series going for... $250! Woof. That's a lot of cash for one booster pack.

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I played a few rounds of the Pokemon TCG and won a booster pack or two. All in all it was a fun experience as usual and I'll certainly be returning next year. I'm sure Pokemon X and Y will shake up the scene in some exciting new ways! If you're ever in the Indianapolis area during the summer you should definitely stop by the convention center and get your picture taken with Pikachu.