To Know the Unknown

Mine tanker ang suspens og trangen til at kende det ukendte.

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1. To Know the Unknown

We all know the feeling, you get a small taste of something, a sneak peek of what is to come… but that’s all, and now you eagerly want to know more, want to see more – you want to play it!

Within the gaming community, nothing is more frustrating to me, and yet fascinating, than the excitement you feel when you know something is coming, but much of it is secret, because the developers gave you a teaser, but holds the rest of the cards very close to their bodies. Take the Nintendo Switch, back when it was only known as “Project NX”, all we had were rumors, among many was the rumor that it was going to be a hybrid console – a middleground between handheld and home console – but that was IT, we knew nothing about its features or even what it was going to look like. The anticipation was unreal, and everywhere fake “prototypes” were popping up from unreliable sources, claiming to hold the answers, and trolling us into believing that THIS WAS IT!
Then finally, in October of 2017, Nintendo finally lifted the curtain on the console’s design… but they still kept us in the dark on the actual specs and what it could do, aside from being a hybrid, and even then, what exactly did they mean by that? They announced a date where they would unveil everything, and once again, we were left in breathless suspense.

The same goes for video games themselves, where we are shown bits and pieces, and it just tickles in our fingers to get ahold of the game for ourselves, to dig out all the secrets and learn more about the game’s world on our own, uninhibited terms. I mean, people lose their jobs if they are caught leaking game footage, that is how serious they take it, and there is nothing worse than watching an interview with a developer getting asked a juicy question, only to answer, “that I cannot talk about right now”. But I also get why they do it, partly because they fear rival companies will copy them and then beat them to the punch with their own game.. but also because they don’t want to risk losing our interest. The less we know, the more we WANT to know, and the more interested we get.

Knowing that something you look forward to is coming, but knowing next to nothing beyond that, is suspense on a nearly unbearable level. It is always great to have something to look forward to, but sometimes, maybe it is better to just be surprised, as the product is being released, rather than being told, years in advance, that something is coming?

But the moment it is released, the moment we get it in our hands, and nothing anymore stands between us and the product, we get a sensation of control and empowerment, that WE are now in control, that WE are now the owners of the product, and have full access to what was previously inaccessible to us.

People want what they can’t have, and people want control. But the paradoxal thing is, that some of us also get a kick out of being in the dark, for all the reasons listed above. For as much as we want the game, so we can be the masters of its content, we also get a thrill of being left with our imagination. Trying to predict what the final experience will be like. It is like a dream, anything can happen, and sometimes the actual product turns out better than you imagined.. other times it don’t.

On that note, waiting in breathless anticipation for something that ends up disappointing, or just not living up to the hype, is a bummer for sure, but nothing can take away from you, the excitement you felt when you were just waiting for it.

To know the unknown, is both a blessing and a curse, it is relieving to finally get answers, but the unanswered mystery is ultimately what stays with us the longest, and is what we’ll remember in the end.

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