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Happy Pokécharms Day 15!

StellarWind Elsydeon

Armblades Ascendant
Staff member

March 17th, 2018 marks the date in which we officially celebrate 15 years of being crazy and proud! This is quite the major milestone, and you can be certain that many of us have had something to say about it. So without further ado, I'll let the rest of staff speak for themselves.

If you ask me why I originally joined Pokécharms then the answer is simple - I was brought on to help with coverage of the latest Pokémon news. This is a role I’ve filled since 2011 and still handle 7 years later, but it’s fair to say that in the time I’ve been here the site (and its community) have changed a lot. I’ve seen people come and go, as well as new features launched and changes to the site made. In this time my fondness for Pokémon has also been quite on and off, too. ORAS almost killed the franchise for me again, Sun and Moon revived it, and Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon threatened to throw me off the deep end again. So with all that said, I’m sure you’re wondering why I still stick around.

The short answer is friends. The most compelling reason I stick around is because some of my closest friends have been made through the site and they’re all still here too. My lingering attachment to Pokémon helps too, but realistically beyond doing the news I’m not that involved in the site anymore. None of this is helped by the fact the user base for the community is now several years younger than me and I just don’t have a lot in common with most people here now.

Having said all that, I’m glad this site is still around and I hope we’re all still here in another 15 years. I’m sure by the time we get to that point a lot more will have changed about the place and a whole new community will have popped up, to replace the older generation, but as long as my friends are still here then so too will I be.

It's incredible to think that we've been crazy and proud for a decade and a half now. Fifteen whole years. As of last August, I've been here for over ten of them – all of my adult life, plus more besides. Lots has changed in all that time, of course – when the site started, we were in the third Pokémon generation. This year, we're entering the eighth.

When we started, we had just over 300 Pokémon to catch. Now we're at 807.

In 2004, we played Pokémon on a 2.9", non-backlit screen. This year or next, you'll be able to play Pokémon on a bright screen twice that size... or on a TV.

Around us, the internet has changed beyond measure. Websites we once thought eternal, like MySpace and GeoCities, are long gone. New technologies have sprung up to fill the gaps: after all, in 2004 the iPhone didn't exist yet, and Facebook was barely an idea.

Our community has changed too – as old members have left, new faces have joined, each with their own stories to tell and their own mark to leave on our site. And that's how it should be – we wouldn't be who we are today without the ideas, creativity, and talent of everyone who has been a part of Pokécharms over the last 15 years.

Some things haven't changed, though. We've always been a creative community – initially starting as a place for a small group of friends to host their fan works, we've grown into a 200,000-strong community of bright, creative people. We've got nearly 200,000 posts in our role plays, over five million trainer cards created, and 33,000 original creative works in the Creative Corner.

I couldn't be more proud of the community we've all helped create together. It's not perfect, not by a long shot, but it's ours.

To the next fifteen years!

StellarWind Elsydeon:
15 years. Where does the time go? No one knows. But there are probably blue, screaming pencil-headed metal dinosaurs involved (That's how Roar of Time works, right?).

Chronology, as I've stated in previous retrospectives, is not my strong suit - and maybe that explains why it feels like it's actually been a whole lot longer. So much has changed in this the past 15 years - both in the real world, in the community itself, and in my life specifically - but over all this time, Pokécharms has been such a fixed point in my life, that it honestly feels like it has always been here.

Maybe it's the sense of responsibility I have as an administrator and as one of the founders of this place. Maybe it's all the awesome people I've met here (or met elsewhere, but exist here now) and I'm very glad to have as a part of my life (or at least occasionally passing through my general sector of the multiverse). Maybe it's the concept of a creative community centered around (but by no means limited to) Pokémon - a universe that means a hell of a lot to me for various reasons. Maybe it's just plain old craziness. All I know is that over the course of my bioshell's journeys through the wonderful cyberspace humans call the 'Internet', I have maintained a brief presence in numerous communities and faded out of most of them for various reasons - but something about this place just makes it feel like home, even after all this time, and something tells me that is not going to change.

Here's to many more years of being Crazy and Proud, folks.

Here we are at 15 years. Gosh. Doesn't time fly?

I started to write about my relationship with Pokemon and how I joined Pokecharms, then clicked through to our Staff Retrospectives of previous years and realised that I was about to rewrite my 10th Anniversary post. Yeah. You don't need to hear that again. Anyone who's forgotten or who wasn't here back then can simply follow the link themselves ;)

So what's changed over the past 5 years? For one thing, I'm not as enthused about the main series Pokemon games as I once was. I'm not sure I could even name a single Pokemon from Generation 7. But this is because I lack the time and energy to learn about new Pokemon, their Types, and movesets. It's hard to keep up with changes to the meta game when you're busy and/or exhausted.

I'm also increasingly inclined to believe that it's normal for people to enjoy their first Pokemon game/s more than any others. It's not only nostalgia for a simpler time when there were fewer Pokemon to remember, but also the memory of how exciting it was to start your first Pokemon journey, and to come into a new fan community and start making friends. And that's true whether you play your first Pokemon game at 7, 27, 47, or 67. Whether you start with Gen 1, 3, or 7.

But you know what? The fact I haven't got around to playing Sun/Moon yet doesn't make me any less of a Pokemon fan. I still love Ruby/Sapphire, and Platinum, and Black/White. I still have plushie Pokemon sitting on the shelf above my bed. I play a whole load of Pokemon Shuffle. And if I was in the same place as one of you younger, more recent Pokemon fans, I'd happily sit and listen to your tales of your first adventure in Kalos or Alola.

That's what makes us fans together, and what makes us a community. The ability to listen to each other and learn from each other. I can't ever have my first Pokemon adventure again (unless I get hit on the head and have amnesia, and I'd really rather not - I don't think it works in real life the same way that it does in movies). But you can. Every day, new people join Pokecharms wanting to talk about their experiences with one of the games, or the anime. Every day, our community grows. And some of the people stick around for so long that they become part of the furniture, and it's difficult to remember when they weren't here.

I've had the privilege of watching quite a few Staff members and other long-term members grow from teenagers into young adults, and begin adult relationships and careers. When we meet up, it doesn't seem to matter that there's 20 years between the oldest and youngest person in the room. Gaming is for life. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

It’s really amazing to think that Pokécharms is hitting 15 this year. That’s older than many of our members! But what’s even more amazing to me is that I’ve been part of this community since day one.

Before Pokécharms existed as we know it today, Doctor Oak, StellarWind Elsydeon, a fellow called Chibi Tai, and an old admin of ours named Nemesis, ran a website called “Nintendo Gamer”. While Stel and I were already close friends at the time, it wasn’t until I joined the Nintendo Gamer forums that I befriended Doctor Oak as well - namely due to my obsessive forum posting. There’s a reason why I currently have over 9000 posts on Pokécharms…

Time passed, and when Doctor Oak decided to reboot/rebrand Nintendo Gamer as a Pokémon-focused website – Pokécharms - he offered me the position of administrator. Or maybe he just surprised me with the shiny promotion. Can’t clearly remember – it was over 15 years ago, dang it! But long story short, becoming a Charms admin was without a doubt one of the best milestones of my teenaged life.

Even if I don’t frequent Pokécharms as avidly as I once did (full-time work is both rewarding and an energy vampire), I owe many of my favourite memories and achievements to it. The majority of my closest friendships exist solely because of Pokécharms. Heck, I’m in the process of planning my fourth trip to the United Kingdom for that very reason!

Charms also gave younger me an outlet to ramble about Pokémon, to RP, and to share my personal writing when nowhere else quite felt as comfortable/welcoming. I’ve been part of various online communities over the years – Pokémon-focused, anime themed, or just general video game sites – but none consistently felt like ‘home’ the way Charms always has.

Pokémon is a great franchise to be a fan of, and these past 15 years with Pokécharms made that even better. The age of our website is also a reminder of how old some of my friendships are. I’ve known some of our members for over – or just about – half my life, and it’s likely safe to say that many of these friendships will continue on throughout rest of my life, too. The internet really is an amazing thing for bringing people all around the world together.

So here’s to another Charms Day and our 15th anniversary! May there continue to be many more anniversaries to come.


And there you have it! What's in store for the future? What else has been done to commemorate 15 years aside from staff retrospectives and historical screenshots hammered into the form of a Pokéball by a time-stressed biomechanical abomination? What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen Dunsparce*? Watch this space!

* What do you mean - a Johto Dunsparce or a Sinnoh Dunsparce?
This October will mark my 10th anniversary of being on 'Charms. There's so many things I vividly remember: old members, old chat shenanigans, old RPs and fics and art. It's incredible to see how much has changed in just that amount of time, how much a lot of us have. I know I'm not nearly as active as I used to be - there was a period of time where I was in the top post counts of the revived forums(albeit at the bottom XP)!

I think a big reason as to why I became largely inactive was that I missed everyone that's gone. This was my first home on the internet, and I invested so much time here that I became super attached to nearly everyone here, so when they left for their reasons, I just felt like a part of me had gone forever. I've never been able to accept change like that easily, but I know now that I can't live in the past like that. There's tons of fresh and exciting faces here now, lots of newer members who are probably here to stay for a while. I'm gonna try my best to get more involved again and hopefully get to know all of the new people that are making Pokecharms one of the best communities out there! Here's to fifteen more!
I wish this site a happy fifteenth year and I hope that we as a loving community continue to grow and stay strong. To all the staff, thank you for keeping this site a happy place for everyone to post, role play in, and do much more on this site.

I loved this place ever since I stumbled upon here a few years back, and it allowed me to expand upon my fan made Pokémon and role playing abilities even more than before. Cheers to another year of this site everyone!

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
This October will mark my 10th anniversary of being on 'Charms. There's so many things I vividly remember: old members, old chat shenanigans, old RPs and fics and art. It's incredible to see how much has changed in just that amount of time, how much a lot of us have. I know I'm not nearly as active as I used to be - there was a period of time where I was in the top post counts of the revived forums(albeit at the bottom XP)!

I think a big reason as to why I became largely inactive was that I missed everyone that's gone. This was my first home on the internet, and I invested so much time here that I became super attached to nearly everyone here, so when they left for their reasons, I just felt like a part of me had gone forever. I've never been able to accept change like that easily, but I know now that I can't live in the past like that. There's tons of fresh and exciting faces here now, lots of newer members who are probably here to stay for a while. I'm gonna try my best to get more involved again and hopefully get to know all of the new people that are making Pokecharms one of the best communities out there! Here's to fifteen more!
Yes Sho, come back. You are sorely missed :')

But man, 15 years already. I still remember the massive celebration we had for the site's 10th and... wow. It's been a long time. I shouldn't really be surprised since I've spent 10 years here myself. I already wrote up my own retrospective on the time I've spent here so I won't be repeating my reminiscing here.

Thanks for keeping this place alive and well Staff! You lot are the best!
Joined the 10-year-old club as well this year, and looking forward to welcoming Shocari to it soon. It's hard to imagine that I've been coming on and off this site for that long, because honestly, it doesn't feel like much has changed.

I'm not talking about the site itself, that's been overhauled at least 6 times by the busy bees in charge. I'm talking more about the people. Most of the people that were here 5 or even 10 years ago are still here, some maybe older and wiser, others almost immune to the passage of time. I can name only a few people that don't seem to be a part of the site anymore, and they're sorely missed, and I hope to see them again sometime.

And then there's the newer people from the last 4 years. I haven't been on enough to say I really know any of them, but I see a lot of similarities to some of our current veterans, back when they were fresh-faced, eager to show off their interests and talents, and to meet people that appreciate everything they bring to the site. And I'm looking forward to discovering that they are all secretly clones, or what makes these younger folk a new face of this long-lived community.

Here's to another decade and a half of Pokecharms. May this website one day outlive us all!
I met so many of the people I can still call my closest friends through this very website. I never lost touch with them even when I stopped going to the website itself because of life’s distractions. I can say with the utmost sincerity that this site, and the people in it, shaped the person I have become since I joined as a child- in the best of ways.

May we always be the closeknit community we have been and are now!
Man, let me say this place carried me through a good deal of my schooling, especially middle school and high school where I didn't have many real life friends. That changed in college and grad school, as I got busier with not only work and research, but making in person friends as well. I learned a lot from all of you. I hope I can find more time to hang around now that the dust has settled from my master's degree. I moved away from all my friends and family for a job and now I have realized more strongly how much this place meant to me when I had few people around. I think I have been around for 10 years, but my memory is a bit fuzzy. I hope we can have fifteen more years and many more new Pokemon games to talk about!


Magearna before it was cool
It's pretty amazing to consider that this site has been around for a decade and a half, and to me it's similarly amazing to realize that I've been here for nearly half that time. I still remember being one of the new kids taking curiosity because people were posting trainer cards elsewhere, lurking around for a bit before one of the major updates took hold, and becoming one of what I like to call the 'fallout children' afterwards, finally officially joining Charms when it was up and running again.

My actual contributions to forums and such have been pretty sporadic, especially as of late, but I nonetheless frequent the site more than any other, as it really has just become a part of my life routine, and I do seek out opportunities like these to get my words out there when I both have the time and feel I have something to actually say. Hopefully some RPs will get back off the ground soon, yeah? Heh...

It's purely coincidental, but these last two major milestones for Charms have happened at particularly significant moments in my own life. Back at the ten year anniversary I was an even more naive child making his way through his last year of high school and eagerly yet nervously awaiting college life in a new part of the country with new friends and classmates, and new ambitions. Five years later, I find myself fresh out of college with a new job in a different country, having to make new friends and spark new ambitions once again, perhaps wiser, or perhaps I just figured out how to make the illusion of maturity seem a bit more convincing. |D

In the face of all those changes, I've had plenty of friends on Charms who have been quite consistent, proving the most supportive and encouraging sorts of people I could hope to meet, and one of which I was fortunate enough to meet in person. Much like any group of people, I don't agree with them on things all the time, and perhaps even most of the time in retrospect, but that's alright. It's good to have friends with different mindsets, to challenge your own and to hopefully give you the chance to influence them as well. Appreciate those moments of friendship when they're around in all their forms, because it can be fleeting, and don't forget them too, because they're very precious, those memories, and you never know who might return in that uncertain future of ours.

There's my reminiscence out of the way, perhaps a bit rambly, but I've written more filler before... XD
Anyways, Happy Pokecharms Day, everyone. As a last word, let me just repeat what I said in my reintroduction post back in '13... Trust me, newcomers, and old-comers certainly know this too, this place is too amazing to give up once you stick around for a while. See you 'round the forums for another 15 years, yeah? Robot Maid Sensei out.

Rinoa Heartilly

Mother of Meltans
Five years.
I have been around these forums for five freakin' years come the end of this month.

ME! Someone who can't stay still online nor off. I have a reputation among friends online and in person for vanishing from weeks/months to years! Commitment isn't my strong suit. In fact, I've lost many friends due to my elusive lifestyle. Yet somehow; I'm still here, frequenting these forums despite my few actual posts. This place has become my second home and the regulars in it are my family. I talk to one of the Charmsians here every single day and that has never happened to me before with anyone in my life. The staff genuinely like me, treat me with respect and include me in things. They're some of my closest friends now. The regulars here accept me - even when I do occasionally vanish. They accept me for who I am and I've NEVER had that before.

This place is special. There is nowhere else like it. Out of all the other Pokémon related sites that you will cross; this one is the best. It's the most friendly, understanding, supportive and fun place to be. I can't wait to see what this place brings in another five years time. You're all exquisite human beings and/or mechanical abominations. I love you. ♥

Shiny Motley

2016 Singles Football
15 years... wow. I really don't know what else to say to that. It honestly feels like just yesterday that I was organizing the 12th Charms Day video, finding old friends and meeting new ones. And I know I've definitively gotten a lot quieter around here in the past half year due to dealing with various things in my life, but I would always find time in my day to just come here and at least scroll through a bit.

It's funny how even though the site has visually changed so much, even though old friends have come and gone and new friends have been made, even though I have changed since joining, it still feels like, at the core, it's still the same community. I still remember my first few days here, as a clueless n00bling, excited to meet people and make new friends. I remember the old, very hectic and spam-filled TCM submission thread. I remember my days as the resident football, a title I keep to this day (sans kicking). I remember RPs, mostly old and abandoned, some waiting to be dusted off and started again. Old threads, old inside jokes, old artworks, old stories..... god, just writing all this is making me tear up.

But there is the new stuff, too. The Creative Corner is such a welcome new addition to the site and I love it so very much. Profiles makes this place feel so much more tight-knit and modern, and I love being able to mess around with my about me. New trainer card templates, new trainer card maker, new people! It's been so exciting watching this place grow and prosper to the site and community that it is now.

And yet, despite all these changes that we've gone through, Pokecharms remains forever my home. My family. I can't ever imagine living a life without knowing anyone here. This place has seen me through many of my toughest times. I've gotten so much help and support from the people here, so much love. I'm so happy and proud we can say that even after 15 years the site is still going strong.

Thank you, Pokecharms, for being such a big part of my life. And here's to many, many more!
@ThomasGaming64 not as late as me.

As I aged a bit I began drifting away from here as many others had...but like cockroaches, we stick around. Because it doesn't even matter how into Pokemon I am, really (Still very much, though), as long as this community remains my absolute favorite on the whole wide web.

Happy Pokecharms day. May the shwarts be with y'all.