Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Spoiler Statue of Limitaions - Don't Worry, No Spoilers

There is nothing worse than sitting down to read a book when someone walks by, looks at the cover, and says "Oh yea, I read that.  I lovde when So-and So won the big case at the end".  Or when you have begged and begged your co-workers to not talk about the big game you DVR'd to watch when you get home from work, only for the bagel boy to come in and immediately announce the winner complete with score and detailed synopsis of how suspenseful the game was.  I've never been burned by spoilers from video games, but that has all dramatically changed.

I have never played the Gears of War games.  I'm not dishing out any hate, third person shooters are just not my thing; more importantly, I am awful at them.  While I admit to being shockingly, I aboslutely love a well constructed story.  So when I began hearing from grown men how emotional the game was, I knew I had to jump in.  I posted my new adventure on a social networking site only to have someone immediately reveal one of the game's most emotional, surprising, and pivotal events.  Thread ruined. 

The attack on this person from my friends for spilling the beans was immediate and intense, and I kind of understand why.  I watched the summary movie at the beginning of Gears of War 3 that explained what happened in the first two games, so I was more than ready and eager to see how it was all going to end.  Having this blown for me really sucked.  A lot of people I know had extremely emotional reactions to that specific part of the game and then when I played, my response was greatly diminished.  The person who posted the massive spoiler lashed out and said that the game was six days old so everyone should have completed the game by now.  That's when it struck me, how long before a peice of information is no longer a spoiler?

I can definitely say that six days is not even remotely enough time to drop those kind of bombs.  If the game goes on sale Tuesday, it is not reasonable at all to expect people to finish it by Sunday.  Most people have jobs or families that prevent them from playing substantially during the week.  Also, numerous people that I know played on the hardest difficulty so they could take their time and really soak in the final chapter.  Just because people are not hardcore fans that plow through the game, doesn't mean they don't deserve to enjoy it.

So having ruled out the obvious that less than a week is still a spoiler, what other time restraints are there?  I probably wouldn't consider saying anything about Gears 2 a spoiler because that game is three years old and there is a summary movie at the beginning of the latest title.  What about other story rich games like Mass Effect 2?  Its been one year since that game came out, which is a significantly less amount of time, plus Mass Effect 3 isn't out yet.  Is it safe to openly discuss that ending?  And what if a game doesn't have a sequel, is there a flat out time limit?  Maybe the amount of time one must wait depends on how significant the information is.

At the end of the day, be mindful when discussing games.  Even our super guest blogger Kevin had been careful about not reading spoilers when two guys ,who had both completed the game, began discussing pivot plot points right next to him.  Just because you already know, doesn't mean that others do.  What do you think the limit should be on spoilers?

1 comment:

Linz said...

I was talking about Harry Potter at a restaurant the other day and I said I was so sad when Dumbledore died in book 6, and immediately felt horrible and looked around to make sure I didn't spoil it for anyone. I would say the statute of limitations is up on HP.. but I think it's always polite to try to keep any spoilers under your hat! Talk to a friend quietly, or at least warn a brother before you say who's out there digitally dying.