Potential tl;dr warning, I somehow manage to type a lot even when not intending to.
Damn, I can't believe I'm actually posting this. I am posting it, right? Well, yes, I suppose I am. Anyway, I have to say that was a very creative captcha you got there! Usually they're just the standard verbal ones. Is this like the Ruins of Alph or something?
Well, what to say? I used to be into Pokémon in a huge way starting from when I first discovered it about 12 years ago. I'm 23 now. (God, has it already been so long? The time just fritters away...) I chanced upon an episode of the anime, I believe, and found it sufficiently interesting to warrant a frenzied Internet search attempting to discover anything and everything about it.
Some 30 minutes later I was playing Blue on SMYGB, but ended up buying a Game Boy Colour along with the retail cartridge anyway. I like to think that my interest predated the global Pokémon craze of '98-'00, but I must say it was very refreshing to have my interests and those of the mainstream intersect, however temporarily, as I was always marginalised at school. I used to watch the anime - I still have the promo cards from The First Movie, actually - played the games entirely too much, and also played the TCG. Bought Pojo magazine and everything. (Incidentally, I'm surprised they're still going!)
I probably lost interest somewhere along the line while waiting for the release of Stadium 2. Except, of course, that I never really did, it was just put on the backburner for a while as I moved on to later and greater things. However, I've been playing through Pokémon XD on the GCN for the first time recently, finally being able to get it for myself, and I find myself coming almost full circle. It's like a bizarre brand of homecoming.
Of course, no longer being as young as I was when I first got into it, it's a little bit awkward. Now I'm not the greatest fan of arbitrarily imposed societal stigmas at the best of times, but I still can't help but feel a little self-conscious. (I remember my father telling me at 14, oh, you'll grow out of it, you'll forget about it. I knew it would still be lurking inside, somewhere, but it's something of a hollow victory.)
I've been using Bulbapedia religiously of late and actually had no idea that this was its parent site. Stumbling upon it, it seemed like a welcoming atmosphere, so I thought, hey, why not? I can't guarantee you I'll stick around or be an active poster, as I seem to be very mercurial in my interests and obsessions despite myself. But I'm certainly signing up with the intention of becoming part of what seems like a pretty awesome community.