I don’t know if I wrote about this before but I feel like my mindset when it comes to spoilers has always been “weird”, “strange”, or “different”. You see, I don’t mind spoilers too much. Like, when I watch a show, I don’t mind someone spoiling stuff like the Laser Baby in The Boys. I knew about that before I watched the show. In fact, I watched the show specifically because of that spoiler there and the journey up to the Laser Baby was actually great. I feel like spoilers aren’t that bad at times because if a spoiler can ruin a story then the story may not actually have been that great in the first place… Or rather, a story should be well-written and if you hear about a spoiler, you can still enjoy the show, the book, the video, the game, or whatever up until that point without any issues, in my opinion. Clearly, this isn’t the case for everyone and that’s fine. I won’t spoil things for other people because it’s a sucky thing to do… but at the same time, if someone were to tell me how The Boys’ second season would end, I’d probably just say: “Alright, looking forward to seeing how we get there”.
Now, my mindset is essentially “the journey is the goal and not vice versa” but I can understand that this isn’t exactly a “hot take” (hence just lukewarm). To make this point clear, I will spoil you the ending of this post: This blog post will end with “Cheers”. You may get super upset about it… but you could still enjoy the rest of the post. I mean there are 999 other words in this post that you may still enjoy a lot, right?
I think more people should think of it that way instead of getting overly upset about spoilers. I wrote a few “spoiler-talk” posts of sorts before and due to my previous layout in the theme with the columns and whatever, it actually did get spoiled to some people based on the screen they used… which sucks. I’m glad I changed the theme as it not only looks better now but it also has no more columns and I can just leave a BIG fat spoiler warning at the beginning and then I won’t have to worry about people getting mad at me.
Something that I do understand, however, is spoiling games being bad. I mean, come on? Why would ya do that? When I play a game for the first time like Undertale, I don’t want to see people coming into the chat, spoiling the final boss of the pacifist route, and then basically just leaving. I mean, I don’t know if there’s a final boss in that pacifist route… In fact, the existence of different routes and different endings was spoiled to me. It takes a bit away from the experience. Sure, I still can experience everything up to that point and enjoy the journey but it’s a bit different from shows, books, and other media.
I think the key difference between games and other media is that in games you actively play a character and you’re essentially part of the story… Meanwhile, in books, movies, shows, anime, manga, videos, etc., you usually are an observer that is going through the story but can’t interact with it too much, if at all. Going in “blind” when you’re reading a book can really be enriching. The same goes for books. When someone spoils you the last chapter of the book, however, it can still be enjoyed up to that point… and even that last chapter is still probably well-written and not just abridged. Meanwhile, in a game, it sucks when you should have gotten scared or surprised at a certain point but some other person decided to hit you with that “Be careful about that part” or “This next part is my favourite”. It takes away from the experience and is very much annoying, just like how “backseating” is annoying.
For anyone that doesn’t know what backseating is… It’s basically when you’re telling someone how to do something and you’re being super obnoxious about it. My parents used to let me drive the car and would tell me when to change gears or whatever even though I either already did it or I was in the process of doing it. My father would tell me to go faster while my mother was telling me that I’m too fast – when I was actually just at the limit of what the current speed zone allowed me. It’s annoying and can be quite frustrating and it can even cause problems. When you stream a game on Twitch (or other platforms), you may see people coming in, telling you to go to certain locations, to use certain weapons, or to play a certain way. They may talk about their favourite parts, the upcoming second phase, or they may tell you about this easter egg that is at this specific spot. You can think of all of those examples as spoilers or as backseating or both but in the end, we can all agree that doing a lot of that is just annoying.
So, let’s sum up my opinion on all of this: I personally can enjoy media even when I get spoiled and while they’re not favourable, I don’t mind spoilers. Spoilers in Gaming are a bit touchy, still, but in other media, I feel like the process of getting up to that spoiler may be still quite enjoyable even if that point that got spoiled is not as enjoyable or surprising anymore. Also, backseating and spoilers kinda go hand-in-hand and they’re obnoxious and people should stop doing that.
What do you think about my lukewarm take here? How do you feel about spoilers? Has someone spoiled media for you before and how did you react to it or were you still able to enjoy it? Let me know!
This post is part of the Blaugust 2021 event. For more information on that, check out this post!
This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well. If you find this post on a website other than Indiecator.org, please write an e-mail to me. Thank you!
Risky move putting an actual spoiler for a pretty recent show in here without a warning, not everyone is quite so chill with such things!
I am somewhat onboard with the idea that a spoiler isn’t necessarily the end of the world when it comes to ability to enjoy the media its for. Some people have gone as far as no longer watching movie trailers for belief that they reveal too much. I don’t share such concerns to say the least.
However, having said that- I *also* absolutely think it is a douche move to spoil something for someone who hasn’t asked for it. I also think not all spoilers are created equal. There are some that do far more damage to the potential enjoyment than others. Which is which is going to vary to some extent person to person, too. Another reason I think you shouldn’t ever spoil something for someone who hasn’t asked.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I clearly mentioned “Spoilers” in the title! /s
I don’t think character appearances, such as Baby Yoda or the Laser Baby, count as spoilers unless you go into more plot-related detail. I know Baby Yoda appears in the Mando-whatsit but I don’t know why Yoda is a baby or whatever. I also don’t really care but other commentors or readers may call any answer to that a spoiler. :) Similarly, the Laser Baby appears in one scene and I didn’t go into detail about the Ws: What, Why, When, Where and (w)How!
So yeah not all spoilers are created equally. There are worse ways to spoil The Boys and since I’m still watching it, I’m glad that I didn’t encounter any but even if I did it wouldn’t be a worldender.
But I agree with ya that it’s a dick move regardless. Even if I don’t mind, that doesn’t mean that I’d go through the trouble of spoiling something for someone.
How do you feel about game spoilers vs. other media spoilers, Nait?
Certain pieces of information become more significant as a spoiler the more you know. Found this quite recently with FFXIV and the expansion trailers. Originally, nothing in them could really count as a spoiler because I had no context or idea wtf was going on anyway.
Now that I’ve gone further, I know I can’t watch them again. I have the context and enough necessary information to turn what’s in them into potentially very big spoilers indeed.
As to media — it doesn’t make a difference. It’s the quality of the story and how pivotal the spoiler is that matters. Information that changes how the entire story is perceived or makes things click into place at just the right moment? Those are huge- whatever the media is.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hm. I don’t think your take on spoilers is as weird or uncommon as you might think. Most people can probably agree that there are harmless and “harmful” spoilers. Certain scenes without context can pique interest without hampering the experience. After all, that’s what trailers do. They show you cool scenes from a movie/game that hopefully make you want to watch/play it. And when you get to that scene, you suddenly get the context.
On the other hand, if you’re going to reveal the big twist of a story, it will be harmful to the experience. SPOILER FOR THE SIXTH SENSE HERE xD: If you go into The Sixth Sense knowing that Bruce Willis was dead all along, it is a whole different experience, and you’ve been “robbed” of watching it the first time. Sure, you can “enjoy” it in a different way, but a key factor to the experience has been compromised.
As I said, I think most people are okay with the harmless spoilers. However, I believe the Internet’s strict No-Spoilers-At-All-Rule has come from the fact that there is a grey area between harmless and harmful spoilers that is based on a subjective viewpoint. And just to be sure, on the Internet, the No-Spoiler-Rule has become stricter than necessary. Plus, a lot of times, people just want to complain, so they’re not really unhappy with the spoilers, but are happy that they have an opportunity to talk shit.
Also, I don’t think that there is more than a tiny difference between games and movies/books when it comes to spoilers. Even in games, you are “just” an observer. You might make different decisions (if the game even allows that), but in 90 % of the cases, it is still just a story that you observe. It is not your story, but the game’s character’s story. Interactivity has a huge impact on the experience, of course, but it has little impact on the story itself.
LikeLiked by 1 person