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Pokemopolis - What's it all about?

Pokemopolis had its start in 1999 (despite what Bulbapedia says!) as an amusing little experiment in html by a young animation student called Brandon. One of many sites he created for fun, he soon moved on to other things. However, in the meantime he introduced fellow students Lex and Tim (no relation to the Jurassic Park characters whatsoever) to the show Pokémon, and they quickly fell in love with what was already being described as a "fad".

Renaming the site from "Pokémon, Pokémon" to Pokemopolis, Lex and Tim quickly shifted the focus to the more dodgy elements they percieved to be in the show. Professor Oak's oddly close relationship to Ash's mum; Ash's stupidity; Brock being a horndog; Togepi being an evil leech that ruined Misty as a character; James' "obvious" homosexuality; Team Rocket's utter inadequacy as bad guys contrasted by their skill and nous as legitimate business enterprise; and of course the underlying concept of just how the hell the Pokémon world could possibly operate with no apparent centralised Government and gangs of school drop-outs bumming around the countryside cockfighting.

The site quickly grew in size, incorporating fanart and fanfiction both by Lex and Tim (now dubbed the Dodgemasters) as well as the site's visitors (dubbed Dodgers). Contests and articles on various topics (primarily Team Rocket) followed as well, but the heart and soul of the site was always the "Dodgy Episode Guides". Almost entirely written by Tim, the guides set out to detail both what happened in any given episode of Pokémon, as well as the underlying "dodginess", whether it was blatant, subtle, or just plain ridiculous and over-the-top rambling by Tim. At the same time, the community around the site grew, with the creation of first a message board and guestbook and later a small forum where the Dodgers and Dodgemasters could chat about anything under the sun.

For a brief time, Pokemopolis seemed to be growing out of control, with the Dodgemasters having to devote more and more time simply to keeping up with the postings in the forum. Hundreds of active users were putting a real strain on things, and the show stopped airing in the Dodgemasters' country of residence, meaning it became increasingly difficult to keep up with new episodes when in the past the site had actually been AHEAD of American screenings. While Pokemopolis never had anything close to the active userbase of the likes of Serebii.net, it was all too much. Dodgemaster Tim made some changes (creating a new, streamlined forum and removing a chatroom feature) that didn't go down well with all users, a number of which shifted off to form their own community. Those who remained continued to be active, but Lex and Tim were struggling to find time to devote to the website. Eventually Lex moved on, and Tim found it so difficult to find time to work on it that the site would go without updates for months at a time, with only the forum showing any real activity.

Eventually Tim found himself back in a position where he had free time again. Catching up (slowly!) on episode guides for those episodes he had missed as well as keeping up to date with current episodes, Tim eventually completed his task to have an episode guide for every aired episode of Pokémon up on the site. Of course, many of the early episode guides were extremely short or otherwise incomplete, as well as using an old and out of date format. He started the (long!) process of updating those guides as well, but came to the realisation that a great deal of the site's other features were now defunct. 13+ years of shifts from free hosting sites like geocities or topcities to our own hosted domain to reformats of the site's look had left Pokemopolis a mess.

So the decision was made to strip out everything but the episode and movie guides, and drastically trim down the existing forum to fit the smaller user-base. A shift to a new domain (pokemopolis.net became pokemopolis.com) as the old webhosting expired served as a symbolic new beginning.


Unfortunately roughly around April of 2014, I (Dodgemaster Tim) finally had to face facts that I no longer had the time (and frequently not the desire) to continue working on the site.

I've been doing this since late 1999 and while I still really dig the show, the fact is that I just can't really justify the time, expense or effort into writing up nonsense about a cartoon like I could in my early 20s as a student with a ton of free time.

Time has really moved on as well, when I first started doing this the show was airing in my country five times a week and was weeks if not months ahead of America, and it was difficult for any but the most enthusiastic to get access to the original Japanese episodes. Now literally every single person on the planet pirates the Japanese episodes within a few hours of airing (or watches them on a live stream) and have discussed them to death months before they air in America for the first time in English and I get a chance to see them and write about them. Plus more and more people are interested in the games, which honestly have never really appealed to me all that much aside from brief initial playthroughs.

With many of the people who made this place a fun community to discuss things having moved on with their lives, I feel like the only reason I continued to do this for so long was the sheer weight of the momentum and time and effort I'd already put into it. The number of regular users of these forums has declined significantly, and while I like all of you I feel like for many of you coming to Pokemopolis feels more like something you do out of a sense of obligation as opposed to anything else. A site that once included fanart/fan-fiction/articles and other interactive elements has been reduced down to nothing but episode guides, and many of the early ones are bare-bones experiences. The idea of rewriting all those episodes is a daunting task and I don't know when I'd ever get the time to tackle it anyway, and to what purpose I don't know.

The site doesn't cost me anything financially since I recoup more in ad revenue that the cost of hosting, but the (tiny!) profit I make from keeping the site up pales in comparison to the time/effort cost of keeping up with things in what little spare time I any longer have. There are other ways I would like to spend that spare time, and unfortunately Pokemon and Pokemopolis is no longer how I want to do that.

So now in May of 2014, I have closed the forums and am going to let the site's hosting run out come October/November of 2015. So until then, the site and all episode/movie guides will remain up at pokemopolis.com, but after that the site will be gone forevermove. However, a number of the site's regular forum users have decided to continue on in the spirit of the site. They have set up an unofficial replacement forum, and you can join them at http://pokemopolis.freeforums.net/ if you wish. This is in no way an official continuation of Pokemopolis, but seeks to carry on in the same spirit of enjoyable nonsense. I wish them nothing but the best.

Back in 1998/1999, Pokemon was already being called a "fad" that would never last. In 2014 it shows no signs of ending, and even though I always joked it would run "forever" I had no idea how true that would turn out to be. I will continue to watch and enjoy the show, but I think 15+ years is more more than enough time to devote to running a site about it! I hope you all enjoyed the ride while it lasted (an astonishingly long time) and continue to enjoy the show for many years to come!