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Experiences of a longtime Pokemon fan

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I'm an old school Pokemon fan, having gotten into it when I was in the 8th grade. It all started when a friend of mine received a tape which gave a preemptive look at Pokemon (it even started with an epic alternate version of the Pokemon Dance Mix, which I hadn't been able to find anywhere else). He shared it with me, and my life was changed forever.

I was there when the anime made its debut in the States with the episode, "Battle Aboard the St. Anne" (that, and the giant Tentacruel episode were probably the best episodes in the entire series, in its 600+ episode run), and the first game of the series I'd played was Pokemon Blue.

For a while, nothing psyched me more than Pokemon, and while I'm usually pretty withdrawn, I found myself unable to not participate in a conversation whenever I heard someone mention it.

I'd been totally loyal to the franchise while it was a big fad, even when some of my friends were getting out of it. I no longer follow the anime, although I do watch the movies from time to time. I got out of it for a little while after I played Pokemon Sapphire, and was relatively unimpressed, feeling the games had run their course, but I got hooked again after playing LeafGreen (recently, I'd played Sapphire again, and liked it. I guess tastes change over time).

Some longtime Pokemon fans tend to look at the original games through rose-tinted nostalgia goggles, feeling it was at its pinnacle back then, but as for me, I think the games have just gotten better and better as I'd played through Generations IV and V.

Now, I'm 27 years old, and working full-time. While I'm not as crazy about Pokemon as I used to be, I still enjoy it a lot, being able to like it, but still maintaining some self-control. Nowadays, I play the Generation IV and V games more than any other video game. Also, having recently learned that I have Asperger's Syndrome, and that Pokemon's creator, Satoshi Tajiri, has the same condition, I can't help but feel a little proud that the brainchild of a fellow aspy had proven to be so successful and popular.

However, sometime I'd wondered, considering I'm only a few years away from turning 30, if I'm getting way too old for this, and had felt a tad uneasy whenever I had publicly flexed my fandom, like buying a game, graphic novel, or movie, wondering what the cashier thinks of me. I visit this site regularly, and while there are younger fans here, I usually feel relieved to find that there are some members in their twenties as well, so I don't feel alone.

There was one time when I borrowed the "sneak peek" tape from my friend, and I was watching it as the original Pokerap was playing, when all of a sudden, my dad got on my case about it; It didn't help that my sister got in on his little tirade. In hindsight, I have a feeling that it might have contributed to some of the awkwardness I'd felt.

Lately, however, I'd come to realize that it doesn't matter what other people think; that I like what I know I like, regardless of my age and role in society. Back in college, I knew a guy who was pretty big into Pokemon, sometimes asking me to help trade-evolve some of his guys, but at the same time, he was popular, with a cute girlfriend, and I came to realize that regardless of his own passions, no matter how "immature" it might be regarded among people, he was comfortable in his own skin.
My friend once mentioned someone from his fraternity, who is a big-time Pokemon fan, but also a fairly successful flirt. Again, comfortable in one's own skin.
With these observations, I've realized that social stereotyping isn't as omnipresent as it once was. So, I'd been trying to alter my lifestyle and outlook, accepting myself for who I am, and I feel like a better person for it.

Has anyone else here ever felt pressured by age roles, what may be expected of you, or any other social issues? If so, how have you dealt with it?
I've been into Pokemon since it's debut in the States, and not once have I even considered to stop playing it, even for a minute. Pokemon has an appeal for all ages, it has something that everyone can relate to and enjoy. Sure, some people feel "ashamed" to still play it, but I've seen quite a few people get on their DS or Gameboy and play Pokemon at workplaces whenever they get the chance.

In my last year of high school, I was tentatively known as a Pokemon Guru of sorts, being one of the few who never stopped playing, but the only one that really got into every aspect of Pokemon. Some people will hide the fact that they enjoy Pokemon from non-fans, but there are those that don't care what others think. And why should they? There's nothing embarrassing about liking or playing Pokemon, after all, it is just a game/series.

If someone thinks poorly of someone else for liking it, that's their loss. Pokemon is one of the best-selling franchises, and it's still going strong. Even people that grew out of Pokemon can't resist playing the new games to see if it sparks enough nostalgia to bring them back into the series.

I've never felt pressured by anything for liking Pokemon, and I never will~
Well, I've been into Pokemon since I was 5, and at the time I was really just into the anime. To be honest, I had started out with Digimon, and, since I, admitedly, was a stupid idiot :p I thought they were the same thing at the time. So, first my friends showed me some, and then I watched an episode of the anime (It was the one where Ash finds out how many Pokemon he caught verses Gary). THen My mom got Snap, and finally I got Silver and the others available at the time, ever since, I was hooked.

Throughout my life, I've had to deal with ridicule for liking such a series. For a while, I thought I was alone, and I hated that I liked the series. Bullies used to pick on it for me, but my friends and I still looked at Pokemon magazines and RP'd on the playground, so we still had fun.

Really, It wasn't until Jr. High that I found out that our little "cult" wasn't the only group that liked Pokemon, and there were plenty of people who did, and not just the first gens, these people were screaming "Go Infernape go! Burn him to a crisp", so for once, I felt like it wasn't as bad. Then last year, I really felt proud when people in MY CLASS were talking about Black and White. Oh, how awesome it was (especially since I'm the internet tycoon of the class :D). Seriously, It was like I was in a cocoon and someone jammed it open, and I came out a beuatiful Butterfree :D *bricked*

Speaking of longtime fans, I know some people may feel ashamed for having only recently started the games (such as those on Gen 4 and 5 as their firsts). Let me just say, everyone starts somewhere. But I do get annoyed when people dog out the newer fans just because they believe in the original 151, or even dog them out for LIKING the newer gens. Dude, that's just pathetic. I'm a longtime fan, and I graciously look forward to the newer gens.

As for the age thing, It used to bother me alot, but once I met people like me, and older than me, I felt better. Really, if you like a game, you like it, there's no lying about that. So forget about age, what you do is your business.... That is exactly what one of my friends told me, and it's stuck to me eversince. Because of that, I feel more confident in liking other things besides Pokemon. Anyway, just don't be ashamed of yourself. Actually, if it wasn't for it, I wouldn't be able to communicate with soooo many people on a global scale, nor would I have the ability to sprite, draw, or have so many characters.
Ha, most everyone else has said what I wanted to say, but here is my two cents~

I felt lame for liking Pokemon when I was in middle and high school--especially being an African American girl, but I no longer felt that way when I went off to college. Sure a lot of people think it's a little off beat that I'm into Pokemon at 22, but no one makes fun of me for it...and even if they did it wouldn't change anything. My boyfriend is also into Pokemon but you probably wouldn't be able to tell that at first glance at all. You'll never be too old for Pokemon any more than people become to old for Mario or Donkey Kong. Granted I'm still a college student and I'm technically allowed to do my own thing as far as society goes, but I still believe everyone, no matter the age, is allowed to have their 'thing' (so long as they've got their priorities straight). And with Pokemon fast becoming a classic, I have no doubts that we'll continue to see older fans of the series.

I also agree with Doubled about people who started liking Pokemon in Gen 4 or 5. In fact, as Pokemon fans who are interested in Pokemon continuing, we should be very glad that Pokemon continues to attract new fans with every generation.
I've been playing Pokemon since I was 6 years old... The first game I ever picked up was a friend's copy Pokemon Yellow Version. Pokemon has always been a good Game franchise, and no one has ever really criticized me about playing it. The worst I've ever gotten was a "Really? You still play Pokemon?", and I don't really care about what others say...

Of course, after I got with my girlfriend, I started playing Pokemon less frequently. This was mainly because she would get jealous of the game, thinking that I'd rather play it, than spend time with her... And I think we all agree, our partners/spouses/significant others, are more important and more interesting than a game we can play in our own free time. And then eventually she started teasing me, saying "well, I guess in ten years, when we're married, you can just play Pokemon instead of doing other things... with me... at home... upstairs..." And, needless to say, with that, I spent more time with her rather than spending it playing Pokemon. And I still play Pokemon quite a bit, and a bit more often now, since my girlfriend is in Ecuador with her family for the summer. And I can still beat all of my friends easily enough...

I think Pokemon is definitely a game that people of all ages can play... It's a game franchise that will never die because the possibilities for pocket monsters is endless. The oldest person I know who plays is about 47, I think... That's only three years younger than my own mother. New fans are great, too... I love teaching younger, or just newer, fans about how to play, and how to optimize the performance of their Pokes. When they become good enough, it's more people to play with... Because after you beat the main game, Pokemon really does become a social game, a party game of sorts even.
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well..while reading your post..i kinda get somewhat related to you..though you're older than me..you see.. I'm already 18 years old,and ever since i get hooked of this POKERUS when i was in 6th grade.. I can't get enough of it, and just like you, i can't helped but burst an excitement and share what i knew about this pokemon. it all started when i was going to be 13 and my cousins from other country decided to give me a Gameboy advance SP(still using ryt now) and a Pokemon Firered version, which is my very first Pokemon game, and that's where it all started and up to now, I'm borrowing games like the Pokemon yellow,which is also a gift from him, a pokemon ruby version that was given by my auntie whose age is not far from mine, around 22 or something. but also, just like you, i feel very awkward when my mom tells me that i'm a grown up yet i keep on playing and watching pokemon, but despite that, i keep on doing my own stuff.. but because of that, i feel like i've withdrawn myself from the boys like my age here in our place.. but i don't care..as long as i'm happy,just like you said, it won't bother me a thing, and in your case, just enjoy it..just like what i'm doing.. i can say we're comrades buddy!! and be proud that we're pokemon fanatics!!
I was really into Pokemon when I was in kindergarten, which was when the series first came out. I was so obsessed, I was banned from the series until the release of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl back in 2007. That didn't stop me from sneaking the cards, toys, and candy into the house, however. :p You have to love friends and grandparents. I even still have an old Cyndaquil card I drew up for a friend. I didn't get to give it to him, as he moved shortly after his birthday.

With the release of DP, I started learning the game mechanics. I learned them very quickly, and soon got into the more advanced stuff like EV training, though I still don't fully understand IV breeding yet.

I've been teased a little for liking Pokemon, though I only say a little because my school was small. XD I'm lucky to have found a boyfriend who enjoys Pokemon, too, but on an emulator instead of a DS because he spent his money on a new Mac. It turns out his Mac is in better condition then my DS, lol.

This site has really helped a lot in my Pokemon journey. I have met others who are into Pokemon as well, supporting and guiding me in this quest for awesome.

As for Tariji having Asperger's, I didn't know that. However, as for 'mainstream' success, I don't think using him for my own defense would work that well. :p Pokemon may have a large audience, but the game still has a relatively small niche, at least in my opinion.
Valin said:
Also, having recently learned that I have Asperger's Syndrome, and that Pokemon's creator, Satoshi Tajiri, has the same condition, I can't help but feel a little proud that the brainchild of a fellow aspy had proven to be so successful and popular.

^ Ditto.

I had always liked Pokémon, but as soon as I discovered some of the non main series games like Ranger, I decided that I needed to revisit Pokémon, and so began this newfound love affair.

I'm crushed that I haven't played some of the earlier games so that I can't say I'm an old school fan like most of you, but saying Gen III made it for me is good enough in the long term.

I have to be the only person I know who likes Pokémon who's not below the age of 11. I'm currently trying to catch 'em all- literally. Using Pearl, SoulSilver and White, I'm trying to do what many Pokémon fans can only dream of doing. I'mma be a Pokémon Master (whatever is required to be a Pokémon Master is obviously too hot to handle because it's never been revealed).

I imagine I will always like Pokémon, but as with all the things I obsess over, it'll wax and wane.... ;)


Virtual Duck Enthusiast
Staff member

Just remember you're never too old to do something you enjoy, and no bugger can tell you otherwise.


Hero of Pizza
Staff member
@ Data: I was waiting for someone to post that comic. It's so true. XD

Anyways, I've basically been a Pokemon fan from day one and have never really hidden it. A large amount of people (my entire grade and then some) during my Jr. High/Sr. High years knew I was a fan, my University friends knew, and some of my co-workers know.

Thing is, I don't necessarily go out of my way to share this information anymore. Long ago I realized that constantly flaunting something doesn't make you a better fan. It's obnoxious. Some people might view such flaunting as an expression of love, but eh. To me, if you truly love something, you don't need to go out of your way to show it. It's natural.

I'm a ridiculous Pokemon fan, but yeah. I don't hide this fact, nor do I openly discuss it. I show it when appropriate.

Has anyone else here ever felt pressured by age roles, what may be expected of you, or any other social issues? If so, how have you dealt with it?

Guess I didn't really answer this. I've certainly felt pressured by age roles, and it's pretty unavoidable due to societal views regarding the value of certain hobbies/forms of entertainment. A twisted mentality exists that some hobbies are more worthwhile than others, which makes little sense. A hobby is a hobby. If it's not hurting anyone, why should anyone care what you do with your spare time? But I digress.

Once you accept that this is just how people are, you make your choice. Will you go with the flow, or take the harder route and actually be true to yourself? Myself, I did the latter, and I dealt with things calmly, jokingly, or loudly depending on who was involved. Pokemon never hurt my grades or made me lazy around the house, so my mother had nothing to complain about (even if she tried). I ignored my peers and did what I wanted, even if it meant facing their annoying comments on a regular basis. As for my co-workers: they honestly just don't really care. We're adults, and they have their own lives to think about.

The cultures we live in will always encourage us to act a certain way. It's easier when everyone follows their expected role. The best thing you can hope for is to be surrounded by people who love and accept you for who you are, but you're never going to please everyone. If you get lost in trying to do so, you'll never be truly happy.

Being a Pokemon fan is totally philosophical. xD
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