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Published on March 22nd, 2011 | by Louis Garcia, Contributor

Pokemon Trading Card Game Goes Virtual

Oh no. The Pokemon Trading Card Game is going to offer a 24-hour battling service over the interweb featuring sanctioned tournaments and customizable features for players worldwide.

Pokemon Company International announced the new online card battles via press release, and showed off the browser based game at PAX East. The one-on-one battles will start taking place over the internet in Fall of this year.

Virtual Pokemon TCG cards can be collected, traded and used to decimate Pokemon teams just like in real life — this time without the hassle of having to carry around real cards, which is what drew me to Pokemon Trading Card Game for Game Boy Color years ago.

Two ways exist for collecting virtual cards: participate in the Pokemon Trainer Challenge when it launches in April to receive three free pre-constructed decks that can be transferred into Pokemon TCG Online, or by purchasing physical cards. The three Pokemon Black and White theme decks available in stores on April 6 include a code that unlocks a virtual deck for use in the Pokemon Trainer Challenge and Pokemon TCG Online.

It seems like The Pokemon Company International really wants to snag more Pokefans into the thrill of collecting with the new online game.

“We developed the Pokemon TCG Online to enable fans of the Pokemon TCG to play against opponents worldwide,” Andrew Finch, senior director of online and community development at The Pokémon Company International, said. “Everything Pokemon TCG players love about the game is replicated in a rich, customizable online environment, making it possible to battle when you want and how you want, from training for real-world events to simply battling other TCG players from across the globe.”

Statistics for individual players and the community will be tracked, adding to the obsessive nature of the TCG.

To keep up on what is going on in the world of virtual Pokemon card battles visit www.pokemontcg.com. Pokemon TCG fans can also sign up for the chance to play the single-player Pokemon Trainer Challenge open beta.

Players will also need to create a free Pokemon Trainer Club account at www.pokemon.com/us/account/login.

Squirtle may be weak to Pikachu’s attacks, but I’m weak to anything Pokemon. So, if you’re interested in doing battle with me look for a trainer named Louis Kensei this Fall.

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