I am writing this to inform you all of something that many of you may have guessed right from the start, or may have had suspicions about, but yes, the IAMTHELEAKER rumours on PokeJungle were indeed fake.
Why did I do this?
I have seen many people calling me an attention seeker, or saying that I only did this to boost my ego but this was not the case. What I was in fact doing is I guess what many would refer to as a “study”. I wanted to investigate the reaction of a fanbase, in particular a video game fanbase, to receiving information about their beloved franchise. Originally I was going to use the Super Smash Brother’s franchise as a case study but after some thought I decided that with Pokemon X and Y on the horizon and the gigantic size of the Pokemon fanbase that this would result in a better response. I chose PokeJungle to host my “leaks” as it is a site I trust but also a site with a comment section and a site known for it’s love of rumours. Originally I was only going to post in the morning before I went away for the weekend but on my return I discovered that the rumours had blown up. A post on PokeJungle dedicated to them, discussion on Serebii Forums, PokeBeach, Marriland and Bulbagarden, as well as two posts on Reddit with hundreds on comments and upvotes. This shocked me but convinced me I could take it further and bear even more results. Again I was only going to post for another night but the next morning there was still a large demand.
The Process of Creating Rumours
Now this was tricky, I always had to check back to see if I was contradicting myself at any point. I started off by naming evolutions for Pokemon that were already known, which was actually one of the hardest aspects of the entire “leaks” as it required me to try and match naming schemes while also creating concepts for evolution. I made two mistakes here which I was sure were going to trip me up. The first was naming Chespin’s evolution Chinken, which not only contained a racial slur but was also based around aspects of Kendo as to match with some Japanese names that had been trademarked earlier. Unfortunately for me after this they were re-translated after this to relate to armour and knights, opposed to Kendo. My second mistake was saying that Talonflame was the first stage of the Fletchling family, as soon after I realised that it would have made much more sense being the second stage, something which foreign language version of the Pokemon website seemed to be hinting at. After my initial batch of rumours I was asked multiple questions, including Gym Leader and Elite Four names and types, along with many new Pokemon. Again, I made a few mistakes which I was sure where going to lead to people revealing I was indeed faking. The first was when I accidently said that both the first Gym Leader, already confirmed to be Bug, shared her type with a member of the Elite 4. This was purely due a combination of me being rushed to produce responses and being slightly distracted. I did however feel like I covered this up well, but still, it was very fishy. Secondly, I also contradicted a very reliable leak which said that the 4th gym would be Fighting type. I tried to explain this away by saying that the Rock Gym Leader, the previously revealed Grant, used a Fighting type on his team. I claimed there would be 5 feline species of Pokemon in the game, a truly ridiculous number really. Originally this was because I forgot about Litleo and Meowstick completely, and invented an Electric/Dark cheetah Pokemon simply because I wanted to create a Pokemon with that typing as I new it was something the fans wanted, and a Dark type Jaguar Pokemon, of which I’m not even sure why I mentioned. Then, I had already mentioned a Ice/Rock type Pokemon and in a rush the idea of a Sabre Tooth was all I could come up with. In retrospect I think a Wooly Rhino would have probably been a little more convincing. The next stumbling block I came across was when someone asked me to name the types of the first 30 Pokemon in the Pokedex, so checking back I proceeded to do this. Except I made a mistake, I had previously mentioned a Fire Ant line that was three stages, but in my Dex I said it was only two. I also realised I went back and forth with the number of stages in the cheetah line too. Another sloppy mistake I made was when someone asked me how many Fire types there were in the Pokedex, to which I replied 12 without realising I had already named 15.
A few nights a go the PokeJungle staff, who I have to mention were fantastic through out this and before anyone claims they were in on this to get hits they were not, decided to test me. They asked me about an Armadillo Pokemon with a weird typing, and said that if I managed to correctly identify the typing then they’d have no choice but to trust me. Now, I was fairly sure this was a bluff as I didn’t feel like they had access to this sort of information but to cover my back I said I did not know about this Pokemon but could think of two that were similar.
A few people tried to catch me out but unfortunately they were using the wrong information. A few presented me with a image released of the PokeDex which clearly showed the Pokemon Zigzagoon, saying this was clear evidence that I was lying due to my previous reveal of the first 30 which did not include Zigzagoon but this was easily explained by saying that I was only referring to Kalos Pokemon. I another tried to use the number of Fire types as clear evidence that I was lying but I had said at the time it was an estimation.
Over time it grew harder and harder to come up with ideas. I was particularly stumped last night when someone asked for not only the full rosters of the Elite Four but also the names of multiple abilities and moves. Coming up with moves was actually quite fun and there was some that I was quite proud of such as Wind Shift and Snow Blanket (Which nearly slipped me up when I originally called it Snow Cloak). This morning someone tested me even further by asking for the names of all the pre-evolutions and evolutions I had previously discussed. Some of these were absolutely awful, such as Outland’sh and Implofish but people seemed quite happy to believe them.
One final challenge was when I was asked to draw some Pokemon. I am no artist, and frankly the Pokemon I drew were awful, but people seemed to enjoy them. However people kept asking for more which I just couldn’t do, such as Chespin’s evolution.
Now, this is what is what this was all about. The reaction to all of this was highly mixed, I had many people praising my ideas, and putting a lot of faith in what I was saying even though I had proven no sort of legitimacy. But then I had others who were giving me dog’s abuse for what at the end of the day was just some words on a website. I even had some people telling me I should die, that I should kill myself and criticising me for this supposed big ego that I had. Now I know what I was doing plays with the emotions of a lot of people but this felt a little bit too far. The anonymity that the internet provides, and the god like status that bearer of information can obtain can be a dangerous thing. Many a time through out this process I felt horrible, I was lying to so many people about something that they loved and care about. Some people has put a lot of faith in me but at that point it was too far along and providing too good a results to turn back. The Serebii Forums were the most sceptical and also the originators of a lot of the abuse I was receiving, many of which I deserved to be perfectly honest.
I am expecting a highly negative reaction to this post. I know what I have done will displease a lot of people and I am not doing this for fame or as a publicity stunt. If I was I would have linked to my Facebook, Twitter, Serebii account and Reddit account, but I’m not going to do that. I will also not be making any more posts on this blog, so you can see this was not a publicity stunt to gain traction for a new blog. If anyone wishes to contact me, even if it is just to hurl abuse I have set up an email address IAMTHELEAKER@gmail.com and I will look at the comment on here, Reddit and PokeJungle.
Once again, special thanks goes to the staff at PokeJungle and a shout out goes to their fantastically run website. They put in a lot of tireless work to provide the Pokemon community with a lot of excellent content. I’d just like to repeat that I am sorry for any anger or anguish I have caused and I hope the majority of you will understand I had no malevolent or nefarious intention behind IAMTHELEAKER. Thank you for your time and thank you all for an amazing experience.