Pokémon Sword & Shield is Not a Metaphor For Brexit

By Tim Rogers on at

Nintendo is famous among video content creators for enforcing intense embargo restrictions for new games. The restrictions for Pokémon Sword and Shield are the most intense I’ve seen yet. Watch this video, in which I struggle to follow them.

Pokémon’s game design leverages wonder, discovery, and surprise. Nintendo respectfully asked me, a professional working for a big website, to help preserve that. I love my Nintendo Switch about as much as I love my Xbox One X, so I immediately agreed.

I had to read the embargo restrictions a dozen times.

I can’t show the inside of a Pokémon Centre. I can’t show the inside or outside of a Pokémon gym or stadium. I can show Corviknight, though I can’t show the Pokémon Corviknight evolves from. The list goes on.

My video can contain no more than six minutes of footage, contained in clips of no longer than 20 seconds each.

I Twitter DMed my lawyer to jokingly ask how much he’d charge for a consult on a video coverage embargo. Then I quickly DMed him again to clarify: “Please don’t answer that.” I knew he would charge me an hour’s consultation fee just to reply to a joke. Let that be a life lesson: get yourself a lawyer who doesn’t even joke with you for free.

I sighed at those embargo restrictions many times, that day.

“I could always just not make a video about Pokémon Sword and Shield,” my Blue side said. Then my Red side piped up: “I gotta catch ‘em all [the YouTube views].”

Flummoxed for an adequate coverage strategy, I turned and faced the void. I asked Twitter to ask me questions. 304 of you replied. 220 of your questions died beneath the boots of the embargo.

About 50 of you made a joke about Brexit.

Well, that’s the story of my video.

Click play to experience ten minutes in which I try my best to answer the following questions using six minutes’ worth of 20-second clips from the game, none of them showing the inside of a Pokémon Center:

  • Is There Brexit?
  • Can Trainers Punch Wild Pokémon?
  • Can You Eat A Wooloo?

The Pokémon Sword and Shield video embargo restrictions lift on Friday morning, by the way. I wonder if Gita Jackson and I are going to stream it on our Twitch channel on Friday? Hmm. Maybe we are.