Alexisofroses’s Blog

Pokemon Economics

Posted on: April 25, 2009

In these troubling financial times I think it is important that everyone knows about supply and demand. Then again… I’ve never been one to be interested in long and complicated explanations of things that, although important, are really rather boring. I’d much rather be playing video games and acting like a geek. But I have finally hit the solution, a perfect explanation of supply and demand and inflation explained through Pokemon Collectable Cards.

“Well, first of all, you have to understand about supply and demand. Do you know what that is?” She didn’t, and for a moment, I wondered how I would put this in terms she’d understand. Then a flash of inspiration hit me:

“Well, think about your Pokemon cards. Some of them are very rare and some of them are common, right? Give me the name of a rare one.”

“The Zapdos Holographic card,” my daughter answered instantly. “You can NEVER find one of those.”

“All right, how about a common one? Something you get almost every time you open a pack of cards?”zapdos

“A Staryu.”

“Okay, now suppose you have a Zapdos Holographic card and I said to you, ‘I’ll trade you a Staryu card for your Zapdos Holographic.’ What would you say?”

“I’d say, ‘No way, are you crazy??'”

“Suppose I offered you fifty Staryus. Would you trade me then?”

“No way! I can get a Staryu in any pack. Zapdos Holos are really rare.”

“Exactly,” I explained. “That’s supply and demand. There are very few Zapdos Holo cards, and lots of kids who want them. The fewer there are of something and the more people who want them, the more valuable they become. The supply of Zapdos Holos is small, and the demand for them is high, so they’re valuable. The supply of Staryus is high and the demand is low, so they aren’t valuable.”

That clicked, and she understood…”

The rest of this explanation is fun to read and can be found here.

See? It is completely possible to learn about economics and be a geek all at the same time!


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