Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Spoilers: Really a Big Deal?

I recently did a blog post about how I felt regarding ATLUS blocking streams and video content of Persona 5 and how the main reason for this choice seems to be an overly zealous effort to help people to avoid any kind of spoiler for that title.

Whenever there's a new game, especially a story driven one, the one thing people panic about above all else is hearing spoilers for that game before they've played it.  I find that spoilers are a lot easier to avoid than most people make it out to be.  The way people go on you might feel that the internet is some kind of massive spoiler danger zone where you can't go on any website at all without having something spoiled for you.  Aside from this being far from the case with most websites that I see writing about new games take quite careful measures to avoid spoiling anything usually I find that even if you do catch a spoiler it's not really a big deal.

Back when Resident Evil 7 came out I started streaming it right away and I had a grand old time.  Lot's of discussion about the game itself and the direction that the series had taken as well as just general banter and fucking around in the chat, streaming that game was a ton of fun. 

There will be spoilers for Resi 7 from here so if you've not played and you're THAT worried about it, skip the next paragraph

So one night I'm streaming a section nearer to the end of the game where you're dealing with the Baker's son, Lucas.  Everything is going well when some guy turns up in my Twitch chat.  He drops a greeting and then a few minutes later posts something along the lines of "Ethan dies and you end up playing as his wife at the end of the game".  So some people might think "WHOA NOW! Don't tell me that! what the hell?!" but for me, while the fact was shocking it just made me curious to play longer for that evening than I originally intended.  Yeah sure, a key event in the story was "spoiled" for me but it was spoiled with no context and that's why I felt that it wasn't a big deal.  Plus his spoiler was shit and without dropping any end game spoilers in this paragraph, he was clearly a player who hadn't finished the game

Here's maybe a better way of explaining what I mean.  Imagine that you're playing Final Fantasy 7 way back when for the first time.  Let's say your friend approaches you gets overly excited and drops the "Aeris dies" spoiler at you.  Is that really such a big deal?  Wouldn't it make you want to hurry up and get to that point to see what the fuck he's on about?  How does she die? Where? Why? What was Cloud doing?  Is it mandatory? A spoiler like that, at least for me, just raises more questions than anything else.  If someone told me that she dies before I got to that point I'd just want to hurry up to that point to find out what the fuck he's on about.

I've actually already had some Persona 5 spoilers thrown at me on one of those silly nights I decided to browse the video game board on 4chan despite the efforts of ATLUS but all the spoiler did was sort of confuse me.  Now I HAVE to get to that point of the game and find out what the fuck is going on because I single sentence about one character just, once again, raised more questions that I need to play through and answer for.  Plus there's even a chance the person posting could have been flat out wrong or misunderstanding things so I've got no reason to lose any enjoyment from just a few contextless words like that.

People need to chill and if you care that much just avoid any places that may post that stuff for a while.  Surely if you're THAT passionate about a title where spoilers would ruin everything for you, you'll probably be playing it through pretty quickly anyway.  I get why it sucks but at least to me, spoilers are not such a big deal.

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