The blog Shojo Corner wrote a really great piece regarding spoilers a while back. The post talks about the idea of spoilers and how a spoiler negatively or not so negatively impacts our decision to watch or read something.
My view on spoilers is it doesn’t quite matter to me if something is spoiled. I’m more interested in how we actually arrive to the ending or to certain major plot points. I think I very rarely tell someone to not spoil me on something if I really want to be surprised. I find myself itching to find out how something unfolds before I even get to watching, reading, or playing something. It’s funny how spoilers just happen to find you without it being intentional.
I am currently playing the video game Mass Effect 2 for the Xbox. I haven’t really spoiled myself too much on how the games goes down, but I have looked up a few things to make sure I don’t screw up any big decisions I make in the game. Mass Effect 3, the final chapter (or at least the final chapter of the main character Shepard’s story) of the series, came out in stores last week. Players who have eagerly bought or pre-ordered their copy of the game have gone through the entire game within a week or less since its release on March 6th. Being unable to resist finding out some players’ experiences of how certain story plots and romance subplots play out in Mass Effect 3, I sought out mild spoilers.
At first I did avoid anything having to do with the ending, but eventually I stumbled upon a floodgate of fans’ outcry about how Mass Effect 3 ends. To say fans were upset about the ending is a HUGE understatement. After reading the non-spoilery responses from pissed and disappointed players, I eventually chucked my carefully constructed vow of not reading anything about the ending and I just read whatever I could about them. I had to know why so many fans who have played through 1 and 2 of the game series were up in arms about the ending in the last installment of the Mass Effect franchise.
What I have read is not good. Fans who agree that the game is great up until the last few minutes of the story are so vehemently against the ending as it is that an online petition has been created to demand that the developers at Bioware change the ending.
Knowing what I know now about how Mass Effect 3 ends, does this mean I won’t pick up 3? Absolutely not. I have read spoilers about how Dragon Age 2 ends before I even got around to playing it, and Dragon Age 2 also got a lot of flack for being a terrible installment of the Dragon Age series. After I played 2 to see for myself if I would hate it as much as other people did, I found I didn’t hate it as much as others who were ready to sell their copy or forget it ever existed. If anything, I thought the negativity was greatly exaggerated.
Spoilers for whatever reason are hard to resist sometimes. It’s the feeling of wanting to know how something turns out. I think we get anxious to the point that rather than wait and see what happens ourselves we want to seek out what others already know. Knowledge is a seductive thing indeed. I think I spoil things for myself these days rather than wait for the surprise. Maybe it’s a comfort thing? I really don’t know. Does it ruin the stories for me? Not in the least. I have spoiled anime and manga series on my own just because I wanted to know how it ends. Usually when I read spoilers, I end up forgetting how something ends until it actually happens. Then I remember how I read about it on the Internet.
When spoilers are out there, especially when it’s all over the Internet, it’s like a siren call beckoning you to read them. Even the disclaimer of “spoiler alert” gives me a sense of excitement. What does this person know that I don’t? I think I admire people who avoid spoilers like the plague. I don’t know how anyone does it, but I’m terrible at avoiding them. Even when I have every intention of avoiding them on those rare occasions when I may want to be surprised.
How do you feel about spoilers? Are you good at avoiding them? Or are you like me who has to know no matter what?