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  • Rumor has it there's been video circulating around online

  • that there's this new super-rare Pokemon out

  • that has proven impossible to catch.

  • But you know me, impossible is not a word that I understand,

  • so we're gonna find this thing,

  • and stick him in our balls.

  • Rock!

  • Rock!

  • The Rock? WhaSome sort of weird promotional thing

  • that Nintendo's doing, well, okay, cool!

  • Gotta catch 'em all!

  • Bring it on, Rock!

  • [Pokeball shakes]

  • [Rock escapes]

  • [Grunt]

  • I could do this all day, you little Weedle-catching bit

  • Okay, well suck on this Great Ball!

  • [Pokeball falls]

  • Got it!

  • Are you kidding me!?

  • Maybe you should lay off the candy, "FatPat",

  • you're starting to look like a Jigglypuff!

  • But hey, that's just my theory.

  • Man...Pokerock is a dick.

  • [Game Theory Theme Plays]

  • Hello, internet!

  • Welcome to Game Theory, where that opening was part of a collaboration I did with Dwayne

  • The RockJohnson.

  • Yeah, the Fast and Furious guy.

  • The video isWhy I gave The Rock Pokemon Go.”

  • Just kidding...I gave him Undertale.

  • Just kidding again -- man you guys take this too seriously.

  • I didn't give The Rock any sort of video games, okay?

  • But I will say this was a super-cool opportunity,

  • since it’s not every day you get to tell the world’s highest earning actor to suck

  • on your Great Balls, so even though I didn’t catch him, I’d call it a win.

  • If you want to check out the whole video I did with him, click right here.

  • But the fact that I got to do a collaboration with a former wrestler turned Scorpion King

  • about a POKEMON game just goes to show how big Pokemon GO actually is.

  • And as if you needed more proof, just a few days after the game’s release, it basically doubled

  • the value of Nintendo -- the WHOLE company.

  • In a week, it became the biggest mobile game EVER -- CRUSHING Candy Crush.

  • And everyone is checking it out -- both genders, practically every age group.

  • I mean, when my cellphone wielding grandma is asking me to breed with her Female Nidoran,

  • I think two things: First, this game is HUGE and second, seriously?

  • You can’t find a Male Nidoran, grandma?

  • Theyre literally like every five steps.

  • Oh, and let’s add to the list, 3) I never want to think about breeding and my grandparents

  • in the same sentence ever again.

  • But despite a HUGE number of people playing this game coming in from all walks of life,

  • one trend has already started to emerge: the domination of Team Mystic.

  • And that’s not me showing favoritism; It’s a proven fact.

  • For those of you who don’t know, or live in Brazil (where the game isn't released yet) and have to rely on the Olympics

  • to entertain you instead, once a player reaches level 5, they must first pick a team: Mystic,

  • Valor, or Instinct.

  • This in turn dictates your team color, your team leader, and which team you battle for

  • at gyms.

  • But most importantly, once youve picked your allegiance, it’s impossible to switch

  • teams, so it’s a PERMANENT move in the game.

  • And yet, despite presenting three evenly-matched teams to the player,

  • 43% of total players of Pokemon GO are currently Team Mystic.

  • That’s nearly HALF, despite there being three options.

  • It’s a MASSIVE difference as Valor only has 32% of players and Instinct is far behind

  • with only 25%.

  • Which begs the question: WHY?

  • How could one team dominate the choice so heavily?

  • Well, what’s really happening here is a collision of personality, competition, and

  • social psychology.

  • In other words: a whole lotta SCIENCE.

  • And when you boil it down, there are actually three key reasons

  • why Team Mystic is the Pokemon GO team of choice,

  • and no, it’s not just a #TeamMystic Thing.

  • So let’s pick apart the minds of Poketrainers across the globe to get to the root of Mystic’s

  • magical domination of the field.

  • Every day, the stuff we see around us influences the way we think, usually way more than we

  • even realize.

  • Ads, marketing, even regular news articles you read take advantage of the way your brain

  • works and I’m here to tell you that Pokemon Go teams are no exception!

  • Were going to get into plenty of psychology about the teams themselves, but before we

  • even get into that, I’m going to tell you that even the way the game’s marketing presents

  • the teams, as well as the game's interface,

  • makes you predisposed to choosing team Mystic.

  • Look at this layout of the teams.

  • And this one.

  • And this one.

  • Which team do you notice first when you look at these images?

  • If youre like the vast majority of the population, you notice the one in the middle.

  • This is called the center stage effect and it’s one of the most common marketing tools

  • out there.

  • In a display case, youre more likely to look at and consider the object in the middle,

  • and not the ones on the ends.

  • It’s also known as theGoldilocks effect

  • You know, after "Goldilocks and the Three Bears",

  • [High Voice] "This porridge is too hot, this porridge is too cold",

  • "This porridge is juuuuust right."

  • [Normal Voice] Anyway, The Goldilocks Effect says that most people choose the middle option.

  • If everything seems relatively equal across all of them (like people don’t get a special

  • prize for choosing one) theyll choose the one that’s visually in the middle.

  • That’s why if you have the choice to go inside the same building through one of three

  • doors, youll most likely choose the middle one.

  • If all three lanes are empty on the highway, and none are considered a "fast lane" or "carpool lane",

  • well, people will choose the middle lane.

  • And if all three bathroom stalls are clean, people will choose the middle option to poop...unless

  • of course there’s someone in that first stall, in which case you can BET

  • I am going the COMPLETELY opposite side of that room

  • not being that creepy guy who chooses the stall right next to the other guy

  • who happens to be in there, give me space, okay?

  • Pooping is NOT a group activity.

  • Speaking of: in high school, the group of guys in my show choir would have this thing

  • where they would all run to the bathroom together and have a "Poop Party"

  • I never did it, I was very confused.

  • Sorry, back to Pokemon...just very shy about my stall ethic, okay?

  • [Clears Throat]

  • Anyway, if youre a huge Pokemon fan or you already know other things about these teams,

  • well then, the choice isn’t so equal anymore.

  • For instance, if you have a friend on Team Valor, you might be tempted to also choose Team Valor

  • to play with them; it’s no longer a neutral choice.

  • But for those of us with no friends, still walking around at level 5 not realizing that

  • we just have 75 Bellsprouts in our to our name, were just going to choose based on whatever’s

  • in front of us.

  • And what’s in front of us at the moment of choice is Team Mystic.

  • For those of you jumping on the Pokemon Go train a couple weeks in, there’s another

  • factor, as well: everyone wants to be on a winning team.

  • Think about it: This is one of the few games most of us have played in recent memory where

  • you actually have to occasionally interact with real people in the real world.

  • It’s horrifying.

  • And for those of us who are used to the anonymity of the internet where we can celebrate our

  • victories by dancing around our basements in our underwear - admit it, you do it, too

  • - we don’t want to face the embarrassment of a loss,

  • especially when playing a game in the REAL WORLD.

  • No, now when were going to choose a team, there's a whole lot more at stake, BUT we have an advantage:

  • we already know what the most popular choice is,

  • because everyone’s been talking about it. We know what team is going to get more wins,

  • controls more gyms, and potentially has the best shot at special perks, because

  • it's the team with the MOST PEOPLE.

  • You guessed it: it's Team Mystic.

  • This is called the Bandwagon Effect, and is a very real psychological phenomenon that

  • says people are more likely to adopt a belief or start doing something if they already think

  • it has momentum. It's the reason why Yelp reviews exist.

  • As human beings, we get information from the people around us - we go with the majority

  • based on instinct.

  • No, not Team Instinct, just actual instinct.

  • So think of a really terrible example from history.

  • One of the most horrific moments in history,

  • where people joined a bandwagon, and got carried away...you guessed it:

  • Justin Bieber.

  • As more and more people thought he was good, the easier and easier it became

  • to overcome the critics, despite everyone's eardrums bleeding.

  • And Justin Bieber goes to show you how dangerous bandwagoning can be.

  • You see it on YouTube all the time where for a while it becomescoolto hate someone,

  • or some channel. Or bad mouth some kind video or a game.

  • With Pokemon Go, people see that it’s easy to be in the in-crowd if they choose Team

  • Mystic, so theyre more likely to choose it, on top of being reinforced by seeing it

  • front and center quite literally all the time.

  • But it’s not all about how the teams are presented to you on the screen -- theyre

  • also all associated with a color.

  • Mystic is blue, Valor is red, and Instinct is yellow.

  • And last week, to help write this episode, I surveyed you Loyal Theorists and over 30,000

  • of you responded.

  • One thing that was immediately interesting about your answers was that 23%, or about 7,000 total,

  • chose your Pokemon GO team based purely on the colorthat’s A LOT of people, over a fifth.

  • So, then why would the Blue Mystic team have the advantage here?

  • Well, first, because blue is the world’s most popular color.

  • Across multiple tests, across nearly all countries, and across both males and females.

  • Second favorite -- either red or green depending on the country.

  • And MUCH further down the list, is Yellow.