How To Fit In

By Aeroblacktyl. Art by Fatecrashers.
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Most of you have been playing Pokemon since you were 12, about 6 years before you'll most likely hit puberty. Once you hit that magical age of consent though, 13 via COPPA restrictions, you are finally able to attend the prestigious Smogon University. The BW metagame isn't quite completely finished yet so you explore around campus and find yourself wandering along the forums. Like the obviously Internet-mandated socially awkward teen that you are, you have no idea where to go or what to do. And that's why I'm here, to act like Heatran and torment you. Then I'll act like a Skarmory and Whirlwind you to one of many random classes where you can hang out:

The first and easiest way you can become a well known person is to become good at battling. You think you're good? You probably are, but then you need to stop using that lv 255 Snorlax and Cloyster team you caught off Cinnabar Island. If your timing is good, you can catch the right round of Tutoring. See, I jumped right to the conclusion that you need tutoring because it's implied that you're –not– good. With some helpful tutoring from our staff along with lurking the appropriate metagame forums, you can start joining Tournaments. You do well and people will recognize your name, and you'll perhaps gain the one thing that you were probably going to turn out to be in real life: stalkers. Your name will get spread around and the important people will start to recognize you for anything else you do because our discussions will go like this:

"Taylor found out he isn't actually a girl and will be gone so we need someone to be a project mod in Dragontower Spiral, Rapidasap!"
"Well what about ___________, at least he's good in Pokemon, that's very important (ahem Haunter)."

But battling isn't your thing? Then you can just forget about joining the Team Rater clique. Just kidding, Theorymon does fine and he wouldn't be able to battle if his life depended on it. Start browsing the RMT archives, and browse through random teams. Take note of the metagame through these presentations and you'll be able to learn on your own. Then you can join the channel #ratemyteam on IRC and slowly insert yourself into conversations. People will notice and then when it's time to hand out those team rating badges, we'll have conversations like this:

"Quick! SoT found out he doesn't actually know how to rate teams, he's slacking and we need a new helpful person, Rapidasap!"
"Well what about ___________, at least he's good at finding cool pictures for these RMTs!"

But all your friend(s) says Pokemon will get you nowhere, you'll never win anything or amount to anything in real life by being super awesome at this game. Then head your way on to the nearest regionals and play VGC. Here you can meet many other Smogon members. You can finally put a face to that Internet tough guy and proceed to beat the shit out of tyler422. After you're done being an IRL tough guy and just an overall jerk (because really, who starts shit IRL cause of the internet; if he stole your WoW password, then okay fine, but other than that, be cool bro!), you can get involved into the battling scene. Win your way up, and you can show them those trips to Japan and Disneyland-Tentacools and other prizes. But if battling isn't your thing, you can still meet up with cool new people that wouldn't have otherwise and double up your MySpace friend count (because you're still 13). Once you hang with some of these cool people, you'll be brought up like this:

"Well turns out Andrea only got to the finals because all her opponents never saw a girl before so they timed out while staring. We need someone deserving, Rapidasap!"
"There are a lot of good people, but probably fishy, she's a girl."

So you tried battling, but you just can't hit that 1450 barrier and always cap out at 1449 before freefalling. You tried rating teams, but everything you and another friend say only makes people's team look like franky's. Then you try your hand at VGC but turns out your Internet handle was Giga Punch. So where does this leave you? Well gather all your knowledge and try helping out at The Smog, Smogon's own e-magazine. It's no Playboy, but there's a lot of play concerning your Gameboy! Try take the knowledge you've gained at all your failed endeavors and putting to positive use. An article about something informative, something light-hearted and fun, or something extremely clever will get you known which will lead to this banter:

"Yeah, Rising Dusk kind of quit on us, so we're going to promote everyone so now we have a new opening, who do we own as a slave now? Slavery ended too Rapidasap!"
"Well how about ____________, at least he's easily manipulated. Just kidding, but he will be our bitch."

Despite all your sucking up and the increasing likelihood that you'll end up having a minimum wage job in 30 years, you can just bum around and hang out on mIRC. It's where every clique hangs out. If you want to talk Pokemon, you can join #pokemon. Still into that failed attempt at rating teams? You can join #ratemyteam (who would've guessed). Or if you just want to talk about everyday things, take your hand at the ever elusive #smogon. If you're an avid sports fan, feel free to hit up any channel and ruin their conversations. Just kidding, don't do that. Seriously. You might get me to join in and then everything will always be blamed on me. But slowly incorporate yourself into these chats. If you see a topic that's being brought up that you like or have knowledge about, just talk when necessary, share your intelligence and insight, and eventually everyone will know you which lead to this tidbit:

"Let's add some new vOPs, who do you want to add?"
"Let's add _________, he can handle CaptKirby, and Arceus knows we need more good men to be able to do that."

And if that fails too, just remember there's still always a place for you, and that's http://www.smogon.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=161. :)

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