Long before I became personally invested in the Pokemon Trading Card Game, I was familiar with the pack opening formula. Steff introduced me to this style of content a few years back when she would watch UnlistedLeaf, one of the largest creators when it comes to this type of Pokemon pack-opening content.
Even though I knew nothing about the card game, I enjoyed the inherent adrenaline loop. As each card was presented, the tension would build for what rare card was at the end of this pack. Then the rare would get revealed and the adrenaline would be released, whether the card ended up being flashy or not. Our interest in the content grew to the point where we would buy packs from the Dollar Store to create our own budget version of the experience.
Since then, this type of content has exploded in popularity due to the pandemic and Logan Paul joining in on the action among other factors. The hype is so fierce that card supply at stores is strained at best (or nonexistent at worst).
Furthermore, I myself have gotten into the game. Looking at this content again from the lens of a new player, my feelings towards this content has evolved.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy the adrenaline loop. If anything, I appreciate the significance of these cards now more than ever. When someone flips a VMAX anything, I not only gawk at the beautiful art, but I take the time to read the card’s moves and think about its impact on the game. But knowing what I know now about the game, it’s become clear to me that much of this pack-opening content only cares about the rare for its visual appeal and potential resale value.
While everyone is free to enjoy these cards however they want, oftentimes this pack-opening content disregards 90% of the cards in the pack. And I get the sense that’s exactly how the majority of Pokemon card content consumers want it. But as someone who now has at least a base understanding of the game, I want content that focuses more on playing than collecting.
As I started to find new Pokemon TCG creators to follow on YouTube, I really enjoyed the above video from Frosted Caribou because she took the time to explain the significance of each card.
I realized that in my own card-opening videos, I fell into the same predicament. Going forward, I still want to do card-opening content, but find a way to make it more than just “What’s at the end of this pack?”
There will be lots of experimentation with my content as I attempt to find my footing in this space. At this juncture though, I’m a lot more interested in creating content that brings new players into the game rather than tackling this subject from a collector’s perspective. Playing the game for the first time was a revelation and I can’t get enough! Hoping that my content inspires others to give the game a shot.
Another concern of mine relating to pack-opening content is that it’s an expensive way to make content. At the pace in which people tear through packs, creators are spending hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars to create each piece of content. Though it’s not my place to count other people’s money, I hope that those who specialize in this content don’t spend beyond their means. I know that the likes of UnlistedLeaf will be fine, but I worry about smaller creators who are not only chasing the dream of trying to be a content creator, but are also spending countless dollars on cards in order to keep up.
Opening packs is fun! I always get excited to open a pack with Steff to see what’s inside. By virtue of how cards are distributed, opening packs is core to the experience in whatever capacity you enjoy the Pokemon Trading Card Game.
But for the time being, I think I’m going to consume and create less content relating to opening packs. Instead, I want to consume and create content that inspires others to play this awesome game. Here’s to hoping my work thus far and going forward can get you to give this game a shot!
If you’re looking for Pokemon Trading Card Game content that isn’t just opening packs, here’s a list of some of my favourite content creators in the space!
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