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The quest for Mew: not easy

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A college sophomore's adventure
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  • Sunday, October 1, 2006
  • Reported on Bulbanews by Argy

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This editorial has been written by Argy. It expresses the views of the writer, not necessarily those of Bulbagarden networks.
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This is an editorial by Argy.
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Argy is the former editor in chief of Bulbanews, a style editor at Bulbapedia, and an administrator at Bulbagarden forums.

Yesterday Toys "R" Us stores across the United States, in conjunction with Pokémon USA, distributed the rare Pokémon Mew in perhaps the nation's largest Pokémon giveaway yet. Expecting to show up to an empty store and clueless employees, I was surprised when my local store was crowded with spoiled brats wanting another legendary for their unstoppable teams.

Unfortunately for my boyfriend (not a fan of Pokémon) and me, our planned hiking trip for later in the day would have to be temporarily postponed so we could wait for nearly two hours in a line of unruly children and their semi-catatonic parents.

I was not the oldest gamer in line- That award goes to a man with a hairstyle that screamed "angry recluse."

The next closest were the guy and girl, around 16 years old, in front of us. I overheard them discussing Diamond and Pearl, and in the spirit of journalism, asked how many of the new Pokémon they had seen. They mentioned that a Web site had posted the sprites of them. I said Filb uploaded them, but they didn't seem to recognize them. I then asked if they had seen them on Serebii.net, which they had.

Not being able to resist promoting this site, I asked if they were familiar with Bulbagarden. It didn't ring a bell, but they had heard of Bulbapedia, and appeared quite excited to learn that I was the wiki's style editor. I was just glad to learn that we're reaching people.

The remainder of the crowd consisted of overweight boys around age 10, all with the same haircut and the same style of dress. Their cries of "Who wants to battle my team?" prompted me and my teenage line buddies to complain about the overuse of legendaries. Of course, one of the boys was using Lugia.

After waiting in line for about an hour, we were told that the store was going to have two people instead of one distribute Mew. Why they didn't do this earlier was beyond me. The line began moving slowly.

Nearly two hours later, I received my Mew. It was the first time I had traded in Generation III. While I traded a Rattata, the boy giving out Mew said the best Pokémon traded so far had been a Level 70 Pidgeot because the player only had a team of Level 70s. Ouch.

Now I have a quirky Mew on my almost unplayed FireRed game, and my boyfriend I ended up wandering in some remote woods in darkness because of it. However, whenever I start to wonder if it was worth it, I remember that it was a valuable experience in that I got to see my fellow fans. I've realized that it is impossible to get the full "Pokémon experience" without interacting with other gamers in person. We may discuss and use battle simulators online, but real connections somehow seem more real.

Wi-Fi trading will most likely eliminate the need for face-to-face interaction. While this is extremely convenient for gamers such as me who live in areas not apt to be visited by legendary-distributing tours, it will certainly decrease the need for congregation. Don't get me wrong- I'm not complaining. I just wonder what effect it will have on the franchise.