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The Pokemon mystique

Fans are buzzing today about Nintendo's announcement of its latest Pokemon games, Pokemon Black and Pokemon White.

My son doesn't even have a DS so far, but he's still obsessed with Pokemon. For him, the good old-fashioned trading cards are quite enough.

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They've taken him -- and his Pokemon-obsessed friends -- into a world apart from me, and maybe that's the point. When I try to explain why math homework is important or force him to figure out what's 15 plus 5 by himself, I'm the one in control of the information. When he tries to explain the levels of damage and the characters and what the numbers in Pokemon mean, I'm the one in the dark. Yet he seems to know the rules instinctively.

I've tried to play Pokemon with him before. It never goes well. At some point during the game, my 9-year-old daughter, who's usually listening, yells out to Sam: "Are you taking advantage of Mom again?"

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(Photo courtesy of Nintendo)

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