The prospect of the new Pokémon game being possibly set in the UK has amused some fans, and I’m laughing along with them.
In order to understand these jokes, you’re first going to have to explain the concept of Scottish Twitter. Regional Twitters have regional dialects. A community of Twitter users based in Pittsburgh might say “yinz” instead of “y’all,” and instead of LOL, Twitter users from France might type MDR—mort de rire, or “dead from laughing.”
Scottish Twitter users tend to write their tweets phonetically, like they’re in an Irvine Welsh novel. It leads to hilarity like this:
Where does Pokémon come in? Well, the newly announced Sword and Shield are going to be set in the Galar region, which appears to be based on the United Kingdom. Some people have pointed out that the map of Galar looks like the UK flipped upside down. It looks like the snowy region up top may represent Scotland in Galar.
None of this is confirmed, but it has players imagining what the region will be like. When Black and White came out, I was so excited to see the Pokémon version of New York, and spent a lot of time wondering which town was what borough. While the game didn’t always trade on the stereotypes of New Yorkers I was expecting, it was still a hoot to see the city where I now live from a different perspective. English and Scottish Pokémon players are now wondering how their own countries will look with the Pokémon treatment, and are using their own cultural stereotypes to riff off of.
Take this tweet, for example, which is a riff on a gag from Scottish Twitter:
Or this tweet, which gives the voiceless characters from the trailer some cheeky dialogue:
If just reading the tweet doesn’t do it for you, here it is read aloud.
Why is this shit so hysterical? There’s something about niche jokes that, even if I don’t fully get the context, just tickle me. The idea of Game Freak nailing the culture of the United Kingdom so fully that they based their Pokémarts on Greggs just makes me laugh.
Some players have even envisioned what a battle against the Queen might look like.
It’s unlikely that Sword and Shield will play like this, and we’re still not sure if Galar is based on the UK. I’ll be happy whatever happens, because it’s new Pokémon and I am starved for that. Still, I’m holding out hope that whenever I battle someone, they’ll say, “you wot, mate?”
Correction: 3/1/2019, 12:23 p.m. ET: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the location of Scotland in the United Kingdom, and imprecisely used the word “British” where “English” would have been the correct word. Multiple readers also pointed out that the accent heard in the embedded video does not sound authentically Scottish, so we removed that descriptor as well. Kotaku apologizes for the errors.