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 For a while, nothing psyched me more than Pokemon, and while I'm usually pretty withdrawn, I found myself unable to not participate in a conversation whenever I heard someone mention it.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