Op Ed

Spoilers and Me

Following something before it gets released always brings the temptation of looking for spoilers. I’m an avid spoiler hunter. I love them, I eat them… but sometimes I wonder if it’s a good thing. This entry will be spoiler free. ;)

My first encounter with spoilers was for TV shows. I love to read people’s discussions about my favorite TV shows. Seeing speculations, ideas, plots elements I missed appear under the scrutiny of somebody else. But by spending hours reading various TV show forums, stumbling upon spoilers was easy and once you taste it, you want more. That actually turned me into a spoiler hunter for Battlestar Galactica. Well, at least for two and a half seasons. After that, the spoilers made me lose interest in the show. It just wasn’t turning into something I wanted to watch anymore. I love well crafted stories, episodes of the week just aren’t my thing. So spoilers spoiled the show for me.  I probably wouldn’t have been as sad over it if I didn’t hunt down each and every little tidbit of information in the first place. Strangely, while I love looking for spoiler for TV shows, I don’t for movies. I guess that the episodic format make me impatient and I need my fix faster…

You might be wondering why I’m talking about spoilers. Well, unless you missed the news-bit in the press, George R.R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons was shipped early last week to a few people in Germany and people spoiled the whole book already. Now, apparently a lot more stores broke the street date as well. Anyway, so once I learned about the “leaks,” I started searching the web for information. I’m not a BIG fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, but I did like the early books and I do have favorite characters (Arya! Therion!). So you can guess what I was searching for on the web since I learned about the leak. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much; it seems like most fans with the information prefer to respect the street date of July 12th, or they are more interested in whining over the little things that don’t fit their personal speculations of what was supposed to happen. Although, the ASoIaF fandom is a lot less crazy in that department than the Harry Potter fandom. Yeah, I followed the HP fandom for a couple of years and I was there when book 7 was leaked. I still haven’t bought it, now that I think of it. I guess my experience at the time kind of turned me off (although, I also hate when things end).

I also check spoilers for comic books and manga. In those cases, looking for spoilers mostly means reading early previews or synopses of what is happening. Although, in reality there is only one manga I follow religiously. It’s a monthly, called Claymore; the official English version is published by Viz and available on Amazon. I usually learn the new chapter is translated at the same time I’m looking for the information. I usually read people’s impressions before searching for the scanlation, though (fan-translated Japanese Manga). This mean, I know what is going to happen before reading, although in the case of comic book or manga, it’s harder to spoil the art part. Now, while I love to check spoilers for TV shows and books, I don’t like doing it for games. This is one area where I try to avoid them and it’s probably the place where it’s the hardest to achieve. For some reasons, some gamers don’t give a crap about story spoilers and they feel like writing them everywhere in forums, including in thread titles. No warning, no usage of spoiler tags. Now, I’ve also seen people request these type of spoilers, before deciding if they should play the game or not. Strangely, when I play a game I prefer to be surprised. I usually stop visiting pre-release game forums, once I know the game was leaked/released. My only exception to this is Guild Wars. I never really intended to play the game, so I actually read a lot about the game lore first. I learned about most of the different campaigns’ contents and story before buying the game.
So anybody else have a weakness for spoilers?

One reply on “Spoilers and Me”

I read and write fanfiction, and some of the stuff I read is from shows I’ve just started watching, so obviously there are spoilers even in the fic summaries. It gives me a vague little thrill to read them, because I know what to look forward to (and I have time to wonder exactly how such-and-such plot twist will occur structurally), but I always swear never to do again, and now pretty much know the details entire series and I’ve only watched one of five seasons.

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