And Not Really The Spoilers Themselves
Spoilers are not bad. There is no “right” path to choosing when it comes to whether or not you want spoilers. It is merely that someone chooses a path, and you respect that path.
I am apparently one of those people in the world that don’t enjoy things well when things are spoiled. According to studies it seems that most people do enjoy things well with them, but I can’t even count any games or films that I actually enjoyed when it was spoiled, even when critically and/or popularly acclaimed. I don’t care if people want to spoil things for themselves, it’s whether or not they care about spoiling it for others. It’s not so much a matter of entertainment for me, because it is something I can lose. It is a matter of gauging people’s respect for others. The only thing someone can lose for not telling a spoiler is the pride that someone can have of telling someone something they don’t know. Which, frankly, is a very douchey reason to do it. Most websites put pretty good spoiler tags, so if you spoil those for yourselves even when it’s obvious like that that’s your own fault.
So it’s mostly the same thing you can realize for how they react to other life decisions, and for this one, it’s really shopping cart-esque. To put away the cart is of little effort, and there is no consequence for not doing it. There really is very little loss in not spoiling something, and whether or not someone can hold their tongue in that aspect is quite a tell of someone’s respect. Accidents happen of course, especially when vocally speaking, and that’s fine. People make mistakes.
For me it all stems back to what the person is like towards me. It’s so much more than just the game or the film. And what worries me the most goes even further. I am worried for the people who think that, at any level of anonymity, it won’t affect them. But again, this is a matter of respect, and nobody lives in a vacuum. Sooner or later they will have to learn respect, and I just don’t want their experience to end up being worse than just words.
Leaks are a bit different. Leaks are more like a surprise party. I find it even more selfish in this situation than spoilers to give away leaks because the creators are withholding information for the sake of our enjoyment. I just think, “We just wanted to make you happy,” kind of thing is a sad expression to see broken. I also don’t like leaks because they create an unwarranted and unexpected level of hype. The audience may grow an expectation that is much higher than normal because usually only a little bit of information is let out and at too early a time. Then they are disappointed when it was they themselves that set up the situation. A good marketing team sets up times for announcements for a reason, and a lot of it is this. You want a controlled situation when you show your product to the public. You’re not being a superfan by sabotaging the creators.
So by all means, if you want to know the stories for yourselves, go ahead and look them up. If you want to feel ahead, just do it. Leaks can be illegal, so I would discourage that. But don’t feel bad about spoiling things for yourself if you consent.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been gatekept out of a situation just because I am someone who doesn’t do well with spoilers. Not because they can’t talk about it, but because I am both actively and passively removed from the group the same way some women won’t work in some places because the atmosphere is just too toxic. I am always seen as a lesser person in this community because of this, and, let me tell you, as part of a minority group in real life I get enough of that. So for goodness sake, all I want is some respect. The fact that I have to actively ask for that in the entertainment community I exist in is such a low standard, and I care enough to actually vouch for it.