Well, I’ve done it. I have participated in the Competitive Pokemon Battling community. Specifically, I made a Rate My Team (RMT) post. (More info about the genre here. For the actual post I made in the community, click here.) I was surprised at how little time it took me.
Looking back, I think the reason is that I had already made the team from spending hours playing through a Pokemon video game earlier this year. All I had to do to prepare the post was format it correctly. If I had built a team from scratch, I would have had to spend a lot of time looking for the right Pokemon and moves to use.
The whole idea of a Rate My Team with experts giving feedback to less experienced people in a competitive community might be considered weird to some. I mean, why would you help people would could some day become better than you? Perhaps it is because the helper thinks the person being helped will never be as good as them anyway. Or maybe the people helping just like helping people.
Another reason could be because people already in the community want more people of a good skill level to battle with. After what Ragnarok said (see previous post), the community as a whole probably wants people who are good but don’t overly boast about their skills.
It might even be that just because someone reads what the experts say, it doesn’t mean that they themselves are an expert. As an example, imagine that I read lots of biology journals about DNA replication. I could read those for years, but still not be an expert myself because I don’t understand the concepts behind the journals.
This text fits into the community of Pokemon Battling really well. I’ve look at other people posting RMTs and I was sure to follow their format. Also, other community members responded to my text. The fact that more experienced members acknowledged the fact that I posted reassures me that I didn’t break any unwritten rules, and that they feel the piece is fits into the community well.
On to the responses I got. I was relieved to see that the first one, while honest, was not rude or condescending at all. The poster told me what I should do differently and why without making me feel dumb or stupid.
The second one was more to the point. Definitely not mean at all, more just stating facts without a bunch of commentary.
I have been surprised at the lack of responses. I posted the RMT on 11-16. I can tell that as of 11-20 @ 10:30 am, exactly 100 people have viewed the post. Of those 100, two have responded. However, this looks pretty similar to the other posts. I guess that maybe lots of people have time to view the post but not everyone has time to rate the team.
I’m definitely glad I made a RMT post. The experience has helped me become more of an insider in the community. I’m not completely an insider yet, but perhaps with time, I will be.