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Pokémon and the Case for ‘Media Blackout’

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Go to any prominent video gaming website and you will find spoilers. Large and small, for games released and unreleased, tidbits that, when added up, diminish the overall enjoyment of a game. This is a relatively new phenomenon, but the avid gaming community, who scroll through these sites every day, largely accepts it. Pseudo leaks can even come from the within game creation teams themselves. From developer over sharing, to unknowing voice actors letting their loose lips sink secrets.

Are you tired of over zealous gaming journalists, and headlines that give too much away? The solution: media blackout. The premise is simple: avoid all videos, articles, and comments — official or otherwise — about an upcoming game you are anticipating. All gamers have that one gold standard franchise that they will support no matter what, be it The Elder Scrolls, The Legend of Zelda or Final Fantasy. If you know that, regardless of quality, you will purchase a game that you trust will likely be amazing, treat yourself. Avoid the years of stories until your first play through. Media blackout can hugely increase the thrill of discovery and add a fantastic layer to a franchise you already love.

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The recent release of Pokémon Sun and Moon is the perfect example of small leaks over time that spoiled the experience. After the release of the game’s demo, players were able to gain access to the entirety of the Pokédex. While some might like to plan out their ideal team ahead of time, many prefer to be surprised in random encounters and trainer battles. I, for the first time in my life, tested the media blackout strategy, and I must admit that it has made me much more invested in the game. The discovery that gyms are no more, encountering and capturing new never before seen creatures, Pokédex entries that stir curiosity of what each becomes, media blackout made this game.

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Save the links to stories you are interested in reading until after your play through. If you are truly invested, stay off of twitter, Neogaf and sites that are spoiler prone —**cough** Kotaku— in the days leading up to, and after release. The more you invest in your blackout, the more you will gain from it.

While not all spoilers are unavoidable, oversaturation has reached a point, for many, that strips games of the fun and breaks them down to a series of checklists and numbers. Not all games deserve a media blackout. Some games have a rocky history with quality, and making uninformed purchase can often be the wrong choice. Here and there, however, attempt to try out the tactic for yourself. You know the games that deserve your trust, do them the favour of not spoiling them.

Justinas Staskevicius is a freelance writer based in Montreal, Canada. His stories about antifascists, eSports and benefit concerts have graced publications including Goomba Stomp, GigSoup and CULT MTL

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Mike Worby

    November 22, 2016 at 12:46 am

    Honestly this is my strategy for a lot of my most anticipated games. Haven’t watched anything on Final Fantasy XV since E3.

    • Justinas Staskevicius

      November 22, 2016 at 6:19 am

      ya, I’ve stayed away from all the demos for FF15. I’ve watched some of the trailers though.

    • Ricky D Fernandes

      November 22, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Mike do you still have the notes I sent from Nintendo with what we can discuss and not discuss. I’d love to share that with Justinas.

    • Matt De Azevedo

      November 22, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Can’t blame you on that one Mike. After watching FFXV’s stage demo at e3 I’ve avoided all content related to the game as well, in hopes that I wouldn’t vomit in disgust again upon seeing it.

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