We here at Zelda Dungeon have recently been doing some teamwide introspection, particularly regarding just how easy it is to contribute to a Zelda journalism “snowball” as discussed in The Hyrule Journals‘ recent video “The Snowball Effect of Zelda Journalism.” While our editorial team works hard to try to ensure that Zelda Dungeon doesn’t contribute to the next big Zelda misinformation dogpile, it’s very easy to fall into traps when so many new stories and outlets lead with hype over facts.

As we inch closer and closer to May and Tears of the Kingdom‘s release date, both Zelda journalism and the fandom as a whole have a major type of erroneous reporting tendency to contend with, namely content creators who advertise unfounded theories as if they were actual rumors, newsworthy tidbits, and even as confirmed fact. Just perusing the YouTube results for Tears of the Kingdom news yields tons of videos with words in the thumbnail like “REVEALED” and “CONFIRMED.” Meanwhile, the actual content of these videos largely seems to conflate seeing a new tool or ability in a teaser or trailer with having firm knowledge that what we’ve seen will actually be included in the gameplay, which is never a guarantee. When discussing what we know so far about the upcoming game, some creators even make connections to content in other Zelda games and state these connections as confirmed and intentional, when all they’re basing these claims on are personal opinion and subjective analysis.

This leads us to the realm of the Zelda conspiracy theory, in which fans will extrapolate potential new content or connections from even less information than those claiming tenuous information as “confirmed” to their audiences. Discussing conspiracy theories can be a ton of fun. While these theories are typically founded on very little, creating such connections in the Zelda space can make you feel like you’re in on a big secret with other fans. Engaging with these theories is also a way of creating more meaning between titles in the series, which can overall strengthen your connection to the Zelda series. On the other hand, when taken just at face value, conspiracy theories can lead to their own misinformation snowballs, particularly when they’re represented as anything but what they are: just a theory.

While I think Zelda conspiracy theories can quickly get out of hand, especially in the lead up to highly-anticipated new installments in the series, what do you think? How do you feel about Zelda conspiracy theories?

Do Zelda conspiracy theories lend a healthy amount of speculation and discussion-fodder for fans? Are they dangerous breeding grounds for misinformation? Somewhere in between? Let us know down below in the comments!

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