I don’t know if I wrote about this before but I feel like my mindset when it comes to spoilers has always been “weird”, “strange”, or “different”. You see, I don’t mind spoilers too much. Like, when I watch a show, I don’t mind someone spoiling stuff like the Laser Baby in The Boys. I knew about that before I watched the show. In fact, I watched the show specifically because of that spoiler there and the journey up to the Laser Baby was actually great. I feel like spoilers aren’t that bad at times because if a spoiler can ruin a story then the story may not actually have been that great in the first place… Or rather, a story should be well-written and if you hear about a spoiler, you can still enjoy the show, the book, the video, the game, or whatever up until that point without any issues, in my opinion. Clearly, this isn’t the case for everyone and that’s fine. I won’t spoil things for other people because it’s a sucky thing to do… but at the same time, if someone were to tell me how The Boys’ second season would end, I’d probably just say: “Alright, looking forward to seeing how we get there”.
Now, my mindset is essentially “the journey is the goal and not vice versa” but I can understand that this isn’t exactly a “hot take” (hence just lukewarm). To make this point clear, I will spoil you the ending of this post: This blog post will end with “Cheers”. You may get super upset about it… but you could still enjoy the rest of the post. I mean there are 999 other words in this post that you may still enjoy a lot, right?
I think more people should think of it that way instead of getting overly upset about spoilers. I wrote a few “spoiler-talk” posts of sorts before and due to my previous layout in the theme with the columns and whatever, it actually did get spoiled to some people based on the screen they used… which sucks. I’m glad I changed the theme as it not only looks better now but it also has no more columns and I can just leave a BIG fat spoiler warning at the beginning and then I won’t have to worry about people getting mad at me.
Something that I do understand, however, is spoiling games being bad. I mean, come on? Why would ya do that? When I play a game for the first time like Undertale, I don’t want to see people coming into the chat, spoiling the final boss of the pacifist route, and then basically just leaving. I mean, I don’t know if there’s a final boss in that pacifist route… In fact, the existence of different routes and different endings was spoiled to me. It takes a bit away from the experience. Sure, I still can experience everything up to that point and enjoy the journey but it’s a bit different from shows, books, and other media.
I think the key difference between games and other media is that in games you actively play a character and you’re essentially part of the story… Meanwhile, in books, movies, shows, anime, manga, videos, etc., you usually are an observer that is going through the story but can’t interact with it too much, if at all. Going in “blind” when you’re reading a book can really be enriching. The same goes for books. When someone spoils you the last chapter of the book, however, it can still be enjoyed up to that point… and even that last chapter is still probably well-written and not just abridged. Meanwhile, in a game, it sucks when you should have gotten scared or surprised at a certain point but some other person decided to hit you with that “Be careful about that part” or “This next part is my favourite”. It takes away from the experience and is very much annoying, just like how “backseating” is annoying.
For anyone that doesn’t know what backseating is… It’s basically when you’re telling someone how to do something and you’re being super obnoxious about it. My parents used to let me drive the car and would tell me when to change gears or whatever even though I either already did it or I was in the process of doing it. My father would tell me to go faster while my mother was telling me that I’m too fast – when I was actually just at the limit of what the current speed zone allowed me. It’s annoying and can be quite frustrating and it can even cause problems. When you stream a game on Twitch (or other platforms), you may see people coming in, telling you to go to certain locations, to use certain weapons, or to play a certain way. They may talk about their favourite parts, the upcoming second phase, or they may tell you about this easter egg that is at this specific spot. You can think of all of those examples as spoilers or as backseating or both but in the end, we can all agree that doing a lot of that is just annoying.
So, let’s sum up my opinion on all of this: I personally can enjoy media even when I get spoiled and while they’re not favourable, I don’t mind spoilers. Spoilers in Gaming are a bit touchy, still, but in other media, I feel like the process of getting up to that spoiler may be still quite enjoyable even if that point that got spoiled is not as enjoyable or surprising anymore. Also, backseating and spoilers kinda go hand-in-hand and they’re obnoxious and people should stop doing that.
What do you think about my lukewarm take here? How do you feel about spoilers? Has someone spoiled media for you before and how did you react to it or were you still able to enjoy it? Let me know!
This post is part of the Blaugust 2021 event. For more information on that, check out this post!