Friday, May 05, 2006

Why kids are so smart

I have heard of Yu-Gi-Oh cards because they've been in the news for several years. Schools ban them, parents hate them, people sell them on eBay, etc. That was about all I knew until last week.

David (age 8, second grader) asked if he could get some Yu-Gi-Oh cards last week because "all the kids have them". What he meant is that the kids on the bus have them. Apparently the cards aren't allowed at school, so once you get off the bus they go into your backpack and have to stay there.

So, off we went to Wal-Mart to buy some cards.

What you find at Wal-Mart is a giant Yu-Gi-Oh display rack. To enhance the reputation of Yu-Gi-Oh, the Yu-Gi-Oh card display is located immediately adjacent to the cigarette area of the store.

We looked at this rack, and there seem to be 200 different ways to buy Yu-Gi-Oh cards - single packs of cards, double packs, bonus packs, bonus packs plus "ultra-rare" cards, Combo packs... We are staring at all of this in bewilderment when, fortunately, another kid walks up and starts looking. He is a huge expert in Yu-Gi_oh and starts talking at 100 MPH. Eventually he walks us over to another Yu-Gi-Oh display and hands us a box. It contains the complete Yu-Gi-Oh starter set. This, he tells us, is what we need, because we are complete noobs. For $10 we are ready to go.

The starter set includes a manual, so when we get home we get out the cards and start to read.

It is as I am reading this manual that I come to understand why kids are getting higher SAT scores than kids did in the past. When I was a kid, we played card games like "Go Fish" and "War". Comparing Yo-Gi-Oh to "Go Fish" would be like comparing the space shuttle to a tricycle. Yu-Gi-Oh is immensely complicated. David can't read, so I am reading the manual to him, and it is way too complicated for me. He, on the other hand, is eating it up.

At the end of the manual, I have no clue how to play the game. But the last page says, "oh, by the way, this is the abbreviated version of the manual. Go online for the full thing." I am dreading this -- the idea of reading even more detail about Yu-Gi-Oh is not appealing.

But when you go to the web and visit, what you find is the second reason why kids are getting smarter. Yes, you can get a printed manual as a PDF file, but that would be useless to David since he can't read. What they also have is a beautiful Flash presentation complete with animation and sound, where two characters walk you through an entire game step by step. David doesn't have to read at all, because the demo speaks to him. He can watch the demo multiple times to pick up the stuff he misses the first time through. It is brilliantly simple to operate. And now, even though I remain clueless, David knows how to play Yu-Gi-Oh.

Go to the site and click "Learn to play". Watch a little bit of the demo. Then compare that to the games you played as a kid.

Also compare it to the homework David had to do last night. He had a mimeographed worksheet. On the worksheet there were drawings of coins. David had to add up how much money the coins represented and write it down. The disconnect between this Flash presentation and the complexity of Yu-Gi-Oh, compared to a mimeographed sheet of coins sent home from school, is startling.

I put my time as the noob against my son playing Yu-Gi-Oh. I don't think I ever won. I won occasionally at Pokemon due to a greater influence of luck in that game. Some of his Pokeman cards were worth $100 each back when they were the hot thing. Should have sold them then...

Thankfully, he has moved on to WWII strategy games. I still lose, because I always have to be the Germans, but at least I understand the game!
Yu-Gi-Oh is treatment for second grade and can't read?
You might get more enjoyment playing this game with your son (although it probably isn't as cool as Yu-Gi-Oh).

The rules are more simple (I'm guessing since I haven't played Yu-Gi-Oh) and more tangible.
I was old school D&D..

But look at the gulf war. How many of those soldiers played D&D, Doom, Quake, and similar games.

The first Gulf war should go down as the Nintendo War.

But now they have robots with cameras and machine guns on the ground and Predators and Global Hawks with real missles above. I call this war Terminator 0.1

It doesn't have a self respodsing central brain, altough the Navy ships sure do. Okay upgrade that to Terminator 0.2.5

I built industrial robots for 5 years and Lego Mindstorms is very close to the coding that I did except my machines had safteys and weighed in at several tons.

The next war will be 70,000 jeep sized or larger robots and 25,000 soldiers.

In three generations it would begin to look like Battletech if the breakthroughs in batteries and programming come about.

It will be interesting.
I got into Yu-gi-oh because my nephew wanted to play it (since the other kids were playing the game, of course) and he had no one in the immediate area to play against. I play a variety of games as well, so we went out to get Starter Decks. After a few tries of getting my butt whupped by him after he mastered the game rules (He's 10, I'm 22) I finally began to understand how the game worked. The rules do get overwhelming at times since it's updated often (about every 6 months or when a new booster comes out... supposedly, it's supposed to keep the game "interesting and exciting") so be prepared to keep on your toes for updates. It's a fun game (once you understand it) and it's enjoyable collecting cards and creating different decks. Now with Duel Masters, that is a whole different animal... >_<
I agree 100%

My son plays Yugioh, but his mother thinks they are Evil...I think besides all the stratigy they learn, the difference between Dark and Light, Good and Evil need to be explored so our children can be aware what is Right and Wrong so they can later make the correct decisions with out us there...
I know, Yugioh isn’t the answer to our children getting smarter, but all the higher development in games is contributing overall.

my 2 son and I run a successful Yugioh Business

We obviously tend to lean a little towards the Darkerside of TCG and Comics...
Kauf und Verkauf von Gold in den thomas sabo Goldmarkt hat viel an Popularität gewonnen,
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