Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26óóó͘¥½®Öæƒþ®Ä›͘ěã&›ÙçƒÙùϮϬϭϳ ϭϯ Sergio Solorzano is a fan of Spider-Man and Nintendo who also dabbles in cosplay. When he's not going conventions or catching Pokémon, he can be found writing about geeky things for 21st- centurynerd.com. For more of his nerdy adventures, find him on Twitter @sergiosolorzano or on Instagram @sergiospanishninja. their own names in, or putting in deliberately silly names.After all, it’s hard to imagine yourself as the hero of Final Fantasy VII when he is famously named Cloud. ,QWKHYHU\¿ UVWPokémon game came out for the Game Boy. The game was a risk, as the Game Boy was in decline. It had a lot of content cut out, including an option to SLFNJHQGHU6RZKHQPDQ\WUDLQHUVVHWRXWRQWKHLUYHU\¿ UVW Pokémon adventure, they had to do so as a boy. That didn’t change until the year 2000. The ‘00s When Pokémon Crystal came out and introduced the op- tion of a female character, it was actually behind the times. As the Playstation 2 and Nintendo GameCube were joined by Microsoft’s XboxWHFKQRORJ\¿ QDOO\DOORZHGIRUPRUHFXV WRPL]HGFKDUDFWHUV&ORWKLQJZDVWKH¿ UVWWKLQJWREHDGGHG lending players more freedom of choice when it came to their character’s aesthetic. An interesting fascination of this period was moral align- ment. Fable and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic were just two of the many games from this time that put emphasis on player choice. Now, players didn’t have to be the hero. They could choose to kill and plunder as the vil- lain. World of Warcraft released in 2004 and popularized the online role-playing game, letting players assume an entirely different persona in a public space. They could even kill and plunder each other. 6SRUWVJDPHVEHQH¿ WWHGDORWIURPSOD\HUFXVWRPL]DWLRQ 6SRUWVIDQVFRXOG¿ QDOO\DFKLHYHWKHLUGUHDPVRISOD\LQJRQ their favorite teams, or creating their own. Parody games NHL Hitz and NFL Blitz took it a step further and added bizarre customization options. It wasn’t uncommon to see a team manned by the player, their brother, and elephant, and a zom- bie. As a whole, this decade provided the tools to encourage a lot of player fantasies. Today’s technology has pushed play even further. Now players can spend hours adjusting the size of their avatar’s nose, number of scars, and tone of their skin. All before they even play the actual game. Perhaps that’s why Pokémon fans feel underwhelmed by the options provided to them in the latest games. The few clothing options seem like something more out of 2001. Still, Pokémon has come a long way since the days of the mandatory male character. Perhaps LQWHQ\HDUVZHZLOOEHDEOHWRWDNHFRQWURORIIXOO\À HVKHGRXW Pokémon trainers. The ‘90's TODAY