Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's finally here...The Plog

A few posts back, I took a big step. And, in taking this big step, I may have seriously injured my reputation as a lover of the 90's. But, although I told you I didn't watch Ninja Turtles, I can assure you that I did do other cool things growing up (I mean, besides collecting beanie babies). One of these cool things I did was play pogs. So, I'm pretty confident my rep. should still be in tact.

Pogs. Ohhh pogs, they were quite possibly my favourite fad of the decade. Because of their cool factor, I have decided to title this entry after a newly crafted word I've invented through combining the word blog and pog. "PLOG". You are reading a plog. A plog does two things: elicits those warm nostalgic fuzzies we all get in our tummies, and also, investigates deeper issues - like the mysterious disappearance of pogs from the playground. Well, that's what my plog does anyway. I don't actually know if other plogs exist.

So for that first part. Warm fuzzies. I will take this time to recall my experiences in the pog world, and hopefully they will be somewhat similar to your own.

Pogs were first introduced to me at school, when I was about 9 or 10. At first, I did not quite grasp the concept of the game, but after observing for a short amount of time, I dived into the pog world head first. I mean this literally - head first - becuase in my head, I thought I would be good, but in actuality, I was just a mediocre pog player.

Because my pog collection was still quite small, and I was not a great player, I knew it was not wise to play for "keeps" right away. I didn't give up, and I continued to practice until I felt confident in my pog playing abilities. Soon, I knew how to throw down my eight ball slammer sideways to make the pogs flip over just right (commonly known as knifing) , I knew that metal slammers (especially the ones with the spikes) got the job done, but were mostly banned from keepsy games, and I knew which pogs were the "good" ones. (not those crappy imitation pogs with a goofy made up cartoon character on the front)

I was ready to enter the real gaming world and play for keeps. In the real world, I learned the various pog personalities that existed faster than I had learned the basics. The pog personalities that I was familiar with were as follows: the spectator, the poser, and the gifted. The spectator was that kid who didn't actually own any of his or her own pogs, but took pleasure in observing games, and sometimes, even spectating aloud the happenings of the match. The poser was that kid who had more than one pog case to keep all of his or her pogs in. But this was not because the poser was especially good at playing pogs, it's because a) they were spoiled or b) they stole. And lastly, the gifted. The gifted pog player had a crapload of pogs because he or she was just plain good. When playing for keeps, I always avoided the gifted players, and seeked out the posers instead. It worked to my advantage.

My pog collection blossomed, and I even got the chance to play in my friend's brother's pog arena. I played pogs every recess at school, after school in my neighborhood, and in the evening against my sisters. And then - suddenly - pogs were banned from school. :(

This brings me to the second part of my plog - attempting to uncover the reasons behind the banning of pogs at school. First I would like to note that I, myself, was a fairly reserved pog player. I followed the rules and played the game fairly, and always made it clear when I was or was not playing for keeps. Unfortunately, not all pog players were like me, and there were matches that caused absolute mayhem amongst my school mates (like when a poser beat a gifted player). I remember once, my teacher announced that 100 pogs from a classmate's desk had gone missing, and I bet you that kid is still mad. But these were just the extreme cases. More generally, I think pogs went bye-bye as they were considered a form of gambling.

Schools simply could not advocate the playing of pogs for "keeps". We were kids afterall. When we lost our "good" pogs, we just didn't understand the concept of gambling. In our minds, the pogs we had just lost somehow still belonged to us, and we envied little Johnny as he added them to his collection . In addition, children were getting "tricked" by wise pog players, who would trade their pogs of low value for pogs that were worth much more. I don't even know how small pieces of cardboard varied in value at all, but hey - that was pogs.Pogs still existed outside of school, but as children spend most of their time there, the popularity of pogs declined.

It's sad really, especially for us pog players who weren't the hard core gambling type. On the flip side of that, I recognize the problems that playing pogs at school posed. The same went with hockey cards and pokemon cards. The practices themselves kicked ass, it was just the fact that children were not mature enough to comprehend gambling that they didn't work. Alas, now that we are older, I believe that us kids of the 90's should, and could, revamp the popularity of pogs amongst adults. I just hope we don't get them banned from University too.


Anonymous said...

oh the memories, it takes me back to my childhood, where I indeed had the Steel Shredder slammers, the pog Mat, the expensive pogs, etc... Funny though how as we grew up I see a similarity, Casino Chips anyone?! Or as we see it POGS! lol

Dale Jacobs said...

Plogs. That made me laugh out loud when I read it.

I never actually played plogs (you think they were frowned on in your school, try pulling them out in the middle of a grad seminar...), so it was fun to read about what it was like to actually play. So, was it kind of like marbles then?

English 397 pog tournament? It has kind of a nice ring to it.

Angie said...

Yea, I never played marbles, but it seems that the concept was generally the same.

And 397 pog tourney?! Only if we can use metal slammers. Best idea of the semester yet!

-Christina- said...

"Plogs"! What a great title!! I read this and I knew I had to dig mine up. I found like 3 pog containers filled with slammers and was really great to think back!! great post!!

Shyly Chryz Dyn (Yes, MY NAME IS SHYLY!!) said...

Eheh I remember pogs. I used to DOMINATE all the others... HA I used to play for keeps with my sister and brother... ONLY I WOULD WIN!!


I hope all of u guyz fucking DIE from eternal pain! That game made me WASTE MONEY! Go fucking burn in a shit hole!