What started out as a way to supplement their expensive hobby of collecting Pokémon cards has now turned into a thriving business and ministry for Mervin Chiang and his family.
With the rise of online businesses during Covid-19, Mervin saw his online card trading business continue to grow eventually leading him to expand to bricks and mortar offering training and tournaments to play the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
Using the model of how he connected with his son through Pokémon, he set up Brokenvase Games to foster connection, fun and even facilitate skills like reading, negation through fair play and more.
“We actually have tables and chairs and invite people in to learn how to play because we believe in connection, putting down devices and learning some communication skills.”
“We believe that playing the game not only helps with reading and math, multiplication and strategy logic but it also helps with the softer skills like emotional regulation” says Mervin, owner of Brokenvase Games.
It’s a learning environment that’s popular with kids but also with the neurodiverse community as the game helps to bridge communication barriers.
“We speak the same language and that’s our way to help them develop” says Mervin.
Brokenvase Games is more than just a business for Mervin and his family, it’s a way to express their Christian values to their staff and to the customers and players.
“The idea behind Brokenvase Games is to show how God sees us. We are broken and we need mending and all of us are unique in the way we break. A broken vase is never the same, the lines and the fault lines are different but the lines are important because the lines help us learn and help us grow.”
Mervin discovered later that the metaphor behind the name actually mimics a Japanese artform called Kintsugi where they piece together broken pottery using glue instead of gold. The idea is to make something that’s broken more beautiful than it was before. With Pokémon originating in Japan, it’s meant to be!
Listen to the full interview with Mervin in the audio player above.