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Pokemon Fans Demand Name Change for Online Forum Smogon

Pokemon fans were taken aback upon learning that the popular online forum Smogon originally began as an anti-Semitic joke. The revelation sparked a conversation on Twitter among users who called for a name change by the site's administrators.

Smogon has been a key resource for hardcore and competitive Pokemon players since it was established in 2004. The forum is renowned for providing strategic guides, data, and resources for Pokemon games. The site's team is also credited with creating the widely used online battle simulator, Pokemon Showdown, and developing their own tournament format. Their discoveries include breeding techniques for shiny Pokemon, such as the well-known Masuda method.

The site's origins as an anti-Semitic joke were recently brought to light in a Reddit post on August 13. A user explained that “Smogon” was chosen as the name because it was the German term for the Poison Gas Pokemon, Koffing. Archived versions of Smogon from 2004 confirmed this claim, revealing that the original logo featured a Koffing with a hate symbol on its chest. During that time, an off-topic board called “Smogons Great Nazi Empire” was also prominent on the site.

Upon discovering Smogon's dark beginnings, users began questioning the visual representation of the forum's current logo. Some believe it depicts the Legendary Pokemon Lugia and Ho-Oh performing an offensive gesture, while others view it as an unfortunate coincidence.

In response, many users urged the leadership of Smogon to change both the name and logo of the site. They argued that altering the logo, specifically by removing the raised wings of Lugia and Ho-Oh, could address the issue. However, a site administrator named Finchinator2 on Twitter, who identified as Jewish, did not believe that Smogon was inherently anti-Semitic. They expressed that changing the name now, many years later, would not make a substantial difference.

Finchinator2 and other fans argue that Smogon has evolved significantly from its origins and no longer represents the hateful ideology it was originally associated with. Finchinator2 claims to have spoken with Smogon's current leadership team and reported being “satisfied” with their response. They stated that the current Smogon community and appearance are not anti-Semitic or bigoted, and they refuse to support or acknowledge that narrative.