reader discussion

Reader Discussion – Has A Spoiler Ever Ruined A Game For You?

by Suriel Vazquez on Sep 15, 2018 at 05:00 PM

SPOILER WARNING: This article is about spoilers. Specifically, it's about a time you learned about a crucial plot detail or twist before watching the moment for yourself and having a movie, series, or game ruined that part in the moment for you.

This is usually the part where I list an example of my own, but I don't think it's ever really happened to me. I don't mean that I've never been spoiled on a game: It happened to me with Red Dead Redemption, Undertale, The Last of Us, and most recently, God of War. But I never thought during any of these moments "Bummer. I wish I could have experienced this for myself."

I do think it alters the experience. But there's a certain kind of glee in knowing something is coming, and can inform earlier parts of the plot you may not have known if you hadn't known about a twist. As a result, I think spoiler culture is a bit too paranoid, and that people make way too big a deal about them most of time. I'm not going to ignore people's preference to avoid them, of course (I don't go around spoiling things for people out of spite), but I don't mind, say, overhearing spoilery conversations around the office here at Game Informer. My motto: If a story is so reliant on a twist that knowing it ahead of time ruins it, it's probably not all that great in the first place.

This also applies to game mechanics. I've gotten through Destiny raids for the first time with the guidance of people who knew every detail and gone in blind, and again, they're different experiences that I think can be equally cool. Being blind has that thrill of discovery, but being guided still requires you to execute properly, and also gets rid of what could be a frustrating struggle of learning what to do (which can be made worse by how large of a time commitment raids can be).

Am I wrong? Has being told the twist or plot of a game before going into made it a (theoretically) far lesser experience? Yell at me in the comments!