Top 10 Video Game Hoaxes of All Time
There are few areas in the entertainment world so easily taken in by hoaxes than the video game side of that industry -- largely because even the most fantastical of stories can be made to sound perfectly plausible when given the right 'spin' by the culture-jammers who rejoice at taking nothing more than an outrageous idea and turning it into a full-blown 'scandal' that gets emotions flowing on all sides.
That being the case we thought you might enjoy our counting down the Top 10 Video Game Hoaxes of All Time -- bearing in mind that we have had to remove Duke Nukem Forever from the list...
10. The Legend of Minecraft's Herobrine
Very few hoaxes have been so widely accepted and violently defended as that of Herobrine, the mysterious character said to be the ghost of the dead brother of Notch, the creator of the game.
When we say that this hoax was widely and violently defended we mean widely in terms of you know, worldwide, and violently in the sense that arguments on chat boards can be violent -- but still... At least part of the reason it was so widely defended probably has to do with the gullibility of players and with human nature.
That is to say players heard about it and then either imagined they 'saw' it or decided that they did, and stated that to be so in public, making them one of the defenders of the hoax because hey, it is hard enough to admit you are wrong when you are honestly wrong but when other players call BS on you, you gotta maintain props!
The source of this hoax appears to have originated with a gamer named CreepyPasta, who posted a screen shot that was supposed to be the mythical Herobrine -- and the legend began to pick up steam!
Now you would think that once the actual creator and programmer of a game calls BS on a hoax that would be the end of the matter, right? Well, no, not so much really...
It seems that players are simply too convinced that the hoax is real to the point that they wold rather believe that the creator of the game is in fact hoaxing them into believing that the hoax is not a hoax and... Wait... We're so confused!
09. Bigfoot in GTA: San Andreas
The GTA series is well-known for its Easter Egg content, so when the hoax got started that GTA: San Andreas included an encounter with a Sasquatch, gamers were perfectly willing to believe it. And then when players began posting screen shots that were claimed to have been taken in game that featured that big hairy fat fellow gamers took the Mulder Line - I want to Believe!
The only problem was that there was no Sasquatch in GTA: San Andreas -- a fact that was confirmed by one of the dev team, who publicly denied the hoax.
Despite these denials the gaming community wasn't buying it -- hey, screen shots don't lie! Or wait, do they?
The hoax -- and the battle over whether it was a hoax at all -- blew up into epic proportions, finally resulting in another public denial, this time by Rockstar Co-Founder Terry Donovan -- and still there was a significantly large portion of the community who professed the belief that the Squatch did exist, and that the devs and founders were in on it.
While there was no Sasquatch in GTA: San Andreas, the same is not true today with GTA V! Whether the inclusion of the Squatch in GTA V is a nod to the hoax or simply a naturally occurring Easter Egg we will never know for sure -- but wait... GTA: San Andreas was set in San Andreas -- and GTA V is set in San Andreas...
08. Mew in Red and Blue
While the Pokemon series is no stranger to hoaxes, there was one hoax that hit the Pokemon community particularly hard, largely we suspect because of the power of wish fulfillment and the very strong desire that the hoax actually be true -- because very few gamers at the time even knew about the special event at which the Legendary Pokemon Mew could be had -- let alone attended it.
It is fair to say that 99% of the gamers who had a Mew got it by hacking their game with a Gameshark device -- but what if you could legitimately get that rarest of Legendary Pokemon honestly? Legitimately? Fairly?
According to the hoax (a hoax that gained a LOT of traction and press by the way) the secret was simple -- you needed a Pokemon that knew the moves Surf, Cut, and Strength and then you Surf to the shore near the SS Anne where you find an abandoned Ute and you slash the tyres using Cut, then use Strength to push the Truck out of the way and Mew would come out and do battle! Capture him and he was yours!
The only problem? Yeah, didn't work.
After the hoax was fully debunked a new version made the rounds and, shockingly enough gained almost as much credibility as the original one! The difference? To actually get the trick to work you had to have a Pikachu who knew Surf, Cut, and Strength.
Our next three top video game hoaxes of all time follow on the next page.