Ruby Recommends: Why Shiny Pokemon Give You The Good Brain Juice?

Ruby Recommends: Why Shiny Pokemon Give You The Good Brain Juice?
Image: Ruby Innes / Kotaku Australia

Hello again gamers, goblins, and ghouls. I’m back again this week (and on time) to give you another one of Ruby’s YouTube Recommendations, which is going through a Game-Changing Name Change, to just simply be Ruby Recommends! Snappier, sexier, and similar to a scene name you would see in the MySpace days. Love it!

As mentioned, I’m an absolute fiend for a good deep dive, investigation, rabbit hole or goofy video. YouTube is the perfect environment for that, allowing the average smart fella (or fart smella) to whip up a video essay, gameplay video or descent into madness around a specific niche.

While we here at Kotaku Australia have hopes to do something of our own on the video-sharing website at some point, I thought in the meantime it would be neat to sit down once a week and share a gaming-adjacent video from YouTube and discuss a little about why I like it.

This week, we’ll be looking at why Pokémon players love shinies.

Am I really crying while the game credits roll?

Daryl Talks Games is a YouTuber that focuses on the convergence of video games and psychology in his content. His series Psych of Play in particular looks at how games affect us psychologically, why we have certain emotional reactions to certain games, or the psychology behind games themselves.

Looking at the psychology of gaming is always interesting because one of the main talking points when it comes to that subject is ‘do violent video games turn children evil?’, and that talking point can get pretty boring. However, sitting down to watch a video about why fourth wall breaks in video games freak us out or why rage-quitting is actually good for you seems to hit that spot of curiosity in seeing games from a different angle.

When it comes to shiny Pokémon, we know that we want them. But why? That’s a question that Daryl Talks Games attempts to answer in his video, The Weird Psychology of Shiny Pokémon.

Oooh, shiny!

Daryl Talks Games’ video starts with talking about shiny Pokémon and takes the conversation all over the place in the best way. When I do these descriptions for the recommendations, I try my hardest not to give too much away as I’d prefer you watch a well-made video about a topic like this than have me fart out a poor description that doesn’t do the hard work justice. The spoiler-free synopsis here is that this is a wacky video that makes sense of the phenomenon of shiny hunting from a psychological perspective.

Daryl uses all kinds of examples and academic sources outside of Pokémon to provide a greater context for why shiny hunting is a reflection of a lot of different patterns we have when we game. It’s dense subject matter, but it’s delivered with fantastic editing and a goofy sense of humour. Highly recommend checking the whole Psych of Play series out! You can also support him on Patreon.


This weekly post is also an opportunity for creators to feature their work. If you’re in the business of making YouTube videos diving into niche gaming content, investigating lost game media, or just doing any cool shit with games, OR you have a favourite creator that you’d like us to spotlight, let us know!

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