A really strange new Pokemon card has been banned from use in the World Championships because it may lead to awkward situations in a multilingual setting.
The card, “Blaine’s Quiz Show” forces whoever used it to “put a Pokemon from your hand face down in front of you and tell your opponent the name of an attack it has. Your opponent guesses the name of that Pokemon, and then you reveal it,” the card’s stipulation reads.
“If your opponent guessed right, they draw 4 cards. If they guessed wrong, you draw 4 cards. Return the Pokemon to your hand.”
The issue the card creates is with translations. If both players speak the same language, then the card can be played without any issues. However, when two players don’t speak the same language, that’s where potential problems arise.
Stéphane Ivanoff, whose Twitter states is the TCG NA International Champion 2018 and 2019, took aim at the card and began a campaign to get it banned from play.
The Pokebeach writer presented a scenario that may come when two international players face off and the card is used. “Here’s a simple situation: if I play Blaine’s Quiz Show at Worlds, using a French Pokémon card, should I announce the name of the attack in French or in English?”
“If it’s in French: unless my opponent speaks French, they probably can’t guess the Pokémon. Is this an intended effect of the card?” he asked. “If it’s in English: What if I don’t know the English name of the attack (since my card is in French)? Also, even if I know the name, what if my opponent doesn’t speak English (say it’s a Japanese player)?”
“If using translators, there is one major issue: attack names don’t always map one-to-one between languages. Here is an example: Lillipup (BLW 81) and Gliscor (UNB 99) have the same attack Collect. In French, Lillipup’s Collect was translated to ‘Collectionner,’ and Gliscor’s Collect was translated to ‘Collecte.’”
Ivanoff continued with his assessment, “If I play against a French-speaking player and announce ‘Collectionner,’ they know it can be Lillipup and not Herdier. If I play against an English-speaking player and announce ‘Collect,’ it can be both. This means that doing the exact same game action has different results depending on the language used.”
Pokebeach has since revealed in an e-mail to Japanese players that the card has been banned from Worlds and its side events. A public announcement will be coming very soon.
Ivanoff was happy with the announcement sharing a photo of the reported ban with the caption, “Strangely enough, mission complete.”