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Kids flip over Yugioh Cards By Rosalind Jennings Sentinel Correspondent October 2, 2002

Kids flip over
Yugioh Cards
By Rosalind Jennings Sentinel Correspondent
October 2, 2002
Item# kidflipovyug

Product Description




Kids flip over trading-card games


By Rosalind Jennings | Sentinel Correspondent
Posted October 2, 2002


Watch out, parents, trading-card games may be luring your children into imaginary worlds where dragons abound by the dozens.

And the price tag of playing isn't always cheap.

In the same vein as Pokemon, trading-card games have soared in popularity. Some feature dragons and a world of imagination with special powers and magic.

The main difference between these games and regular card games is that each player uses his own deck of cards when playing.

There are games based on television shows, comic-book characters and sports heroes.

At Leesburg's Lake Square Mall, games are played every Saturday, with about 50 to 100 attending. Ages of players start at about 5 years. The games and tournaments attract more kids, but adults also show up to play. Parents can play or accompany their kids, but parental supervision at the games isn't required.

Harry Potter and Pokemon are played inside Books-A-Million from 2 to 4 p.m. Players can graduate to more difficult games, such as Magic, The Gathering and Dragonball Z in the mall's center aisles from about 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Yu-Gi-Oh! has become popular and is played at both mall locations.

Mall management donates tables in the aisles. Some kids used to gather on mall benches, in the food court and other spots until the mall donated the community tables in June.

"It really means a lot that mall management donated these tables so kids can play here," said game host Tom Soesman. "We're really appreciative."

Companies say the games teach children the value of critical thinking and problem solving.

Soesman owns the mall kiosk Tags 4 Every 1, where he sells the cards and other game items and license tags.

Soesman said the games are usually banned at area schools and agrees they should be because they can disrupt a classroom environment. But he said the games can help children develop skills they use in school.

"My son Alex's [age 14] IQ is high. In math, he's phenomenal, but his verbal skills have not been real good. But now he reads the magazines on how to better his game, and I've watched his verbal skills really improve," Soesman said.

Companies also say the games stimulate creativity by allowing children to design their own decks. This differs from traditional card games, such as Go Fish or War. Players strive to own unbeatable decks.

But it can get expensive. Soesman said he's amazed kids will spend as much as $50 a week on cards.

Umatilla-resident Alex Presson,11, plays Yu-Gi-Oh!, and he watches the cartoon that accompanies the game. He plays at the mall and at home with his sister.

"It's a game of strategy," Alex said. "You have to think a lot. You have to memorize the cards. My favorite card is Exodia. It has the highest attack point. You can beat any card with it."

Alex said his parents complain about the cost, but it doesn't stop him. He scouts Wal-Mart, Tags 4 Every 1 and flea markets for cards.

"As soon as I get my birthday money, I know where I'm coming. I'm coming right here [Tags 4 Every 1]," he said.

Wildwood resident and full-time mother Terri Gilbert runs the card-playing inside Books-A-Million. She has donated time for four years. Companies donate cards at her site, and Books-A-Million donates the space.

"All together I have about 200 kids signed up, but they come and go," Gilbert said. "Every five weeks, we have a tournament and I give out promo cards you can't buy. At the end of the year, we have a huge party. Just for attending, kids get a $10 prize package for Yu-Gi-Oh!" Mount Dora resident Erik Hermes, 12, was playing Yu-Gi-Oh! on a recent Saturday at Books-A-Million.

"It's kind of fun because if you win, you get the joy of winning and if you lose, you get to see the pretty cool cards that you lost to," he said.






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