SPOILER: There could be spoilers of random intensity within the following. Nothing too recent probably, but if you’re already nervous, I’m not sure I could… Crono dies!!!
I would like to declare my colors early. I use spoilers like the written equivalent of a “dick punch” or a “sack tap”. I do not just throw them around because they can do some serious damage. However, carefully timed… are hilarious for everybody involved.
Everybody has some level of dislike for spoilers. Nobody WANTS plot elements to be spoiled to the point where joy is removed from an experience. But everybody has that one friend who never watches anything soon enough, never reads the book fast enough or plays games in a timely fashion. I have a friend who still won’t listen to me talk about Portal… the first one. And so what if it was Portal 2? It has been years! When developers release the game, they release it to the public to consume and dissect. It is understood that for the sake of other’s enjoyment that spoilers be kept to a minimum or avoided entirely. I’m all for people enjoying media but there really needs to be a line.
What is a spoiler, really? Almost anything can be an actual spoiler. I updated my status with something to the effect of “Mordin, No!” when I was playing Mass Effect 3 and that was called a spoiler. There is a spoiler that I call the “Nothing spoiler” because it is a spoiler but without context, it means nothing. But people still get mad. I dropped a bitcomic with my avatar pointing at spoilers while listing off a series of classic spoilers, one from Bioshock Infinite and one from The Last of Us. I’m not repeating them all because the context is different. However the one from The Last of Us was a “Nothing spoiler.” It was “Joel lies to Ellie.” First of all Joel isn’t exactly full of truth with Ellie and secondly, only people who have experienced the entire story know what I’m talking about. Ultimately, other than hearing random information I have tagged with a spoiler, that tells you nothing. You’re just mad to be mad.
As far as online social spaces go, I treat Twitter and Facebook differently. I’m much more open on Facebook and kickstart more intimate conversations. Around the six month mark after a game comes out, I’ll pose open questions where anything goes. Topics include ideas like “Who kept their Shepard alive?” or “Who did you save, Doug or Carly and were you pissed when they bit it too?”
SPOILERS! They cry! SPOILERS they shout from their rooftops. The masses huddle, hungry for blood. SPOILER BLOOD! They are hungry for it! This one Jenga block of information has toppled their tower of enjoyment. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
I’m not walking past the Star Wars fans at the second showing saying “Wow, can you believe Vader was Luke’s father?” I’m not showing up on you feeds tagging your name to spoilers. I am on my page, in my bubble making statements about games that are mostly gathering dust or in somebody’s backlog. On top of it, most of the questions I ask or any question of any interesting aspect of any game could be a spoiler. Spoilers are never about what I think I spoiler is. It is about what you, the person reading, think is a spoiler. I can equip Jack’s face in Borderlands 2. Is that too much of a spoiler? Will you accurately deduce the means to gain his face and have it ruin the experience? Are you fuming now that you know either Doug or Carly will die no matter what you do? Well then maybe… You might be the problem.
Yeah, you! Not you, but, you. You’re holding up the friggen’ line! In every other hobby, there is a learning curve and then there is a mash of public knowledge. With movie enthusiasts, there are movies every one of them have seen, with musicians, there are songs most of them would know and with gamers there are games everybody plays. Nobody is going to hate on you right away if you have not seen the movie or know how to play the song but you better watch the movie or learn that song real fast. You need to keep up with the class or drop out. I give you a six month curve. If there is a game out there you don’t want spoiled, play it! For the love of everything plushy, play the everloving shit out of it! You owe it to yourself, you owe it to Game Nation and you owe it to America. If it is Assassin’s Creed, then you owe it to Jade, Mother of the Assassin’s Creed. Peace unto her…
As she smiles unto thee…
So play games for Jade. Or do you support the douchebag portion of the movement spawned from a celebrity? There is no telling how long a game will sit in a gamer’s backlog and you cannot expect everybody to keep their thoughts to themselves on a game. That is if it actually exists in a physical pile. If the game is on some literal store shelf then… well… screw you. Now you’re cherry picking spoilers.
You know what? YOU’RE THE SPOILER! Not you! You! That guy! The one who just deleted his Walking Dead file because he knows Doug is destined to get shot in the face. The real spoiler is you! Why? Because you’re spoiling this moment here. You are spoiling this moment right here that we could be having if you just played the damn game at least two years ago. It came out in 2012! But no! You’re cherry picking spoilers because you intend to play the game. That is completely unfair especially when years roll by!
I’m sorry. I went off on a rant there. I didn’t mean to alienate you. I didn’t mean to hurt any feelings. We need to come to some sort of understanding about spoilers because there is too much in-fighting going on within the community about them. I submit, for your approval, the 6-to-a-year proposal.
- For the first 6 months after a game’s release, using the player’s best and most mature judgement, withhold all spoilers.
- After the initial 6 months, without specific spoilers mentioned, it should be fine to discuss the plot without any “spoiler alert tags”
- After one year, anything goes. Your bubble, your rules but it is on the person with ears and eyes to guard against them. Nobody owes you a spoiler warning on green beef.
Every person in Game Nation is not their own country. We are one giant community and it is time for us to learn to live with one another and get organized.
The Jaded Gamer