Should gamers be working so hard to avoid spoilers?

mario-blindfolded-running-pokemon-sun

Have you ever attempted to have a conversation with someone about an upcoming game, and they wanted to avoid spoilers? It’s not fun, because they insist that you dance around certain topics that they might find revealing.

But hold on, the game hasn’t even been released yet. How can there be any spoilers? As it turns out, they don’t mean something like the ending or some plot point, they mean that they want to avoid any information on the game that they possibly can, so that the game will be a total surprise for them when they play it.

So, what they’re saying is that they’re sure that they want to purchase a game, but they don’t know anything about it besides its title. How can that be good for the gaming industry? If you’ve enjoyed the last few games in the Pokemon series, it’s not a bad bet that you’d enjoy the next one. But what incentive would the game makers have to continually improve their product if they are sure that they have your purchase? If game makers think that they can make steady income by virtue of the name of the series itself, that’s all they’d need to get sales. And persons who buy their games without doing research (such as those who attempt to avoid spoilers) only prove this to them.

So, what is someone to do to avoid all information about a game leading up to its release? If it’s a high-profile game like Pokemon, they’re bound to accidentally run into news of the game just by using the internet.

And for what? Some special revelation that could only occur the first time a person plays the game, not knowing what they’re getting into?

Game companies produce trailers for their video games for a reason: to market their products. Of course, they’ll have already won over those who have already made up their minds. But another reason game companies release trailers is because they contain information that they want buyers to have access to. They might be just what it takes to prevent people from being disappointed in their product when it turns out different from their expectations.

A person may be attempting to avoid disappointment by avoiding the hype machine. However, there’s still a potential for disappointment by virtue of the fact that the person has their own expectations, even if they develop those expectations independently of the game maker’s influence. And a person can’t avoid having expectations about a game that they intend to purchase. The very fact that they pre-order or purchase a game is an indication that they have expectations. Or that they’re reckless consumers.

If a person wants to leave themselves out of the conversation, that’s their choice. But avoiding game trailers for fear of spoilers is silly. It’s not like you can’t trust an official source with story-sensitive information about your game. And speaking of, video games are not books or movies. No one plays them for the story, they play for the game mechanics. It’s one of the primary things that sets video games apart from other forms of entertainment media.

I knew that Aeris dies before even playing Final Fantasy VII because many people were talking about it. People were talking about it because it was considered a big deal at the time. Insisting that people don’t talk about it just because you haven’t gotten around to playing the game yet is pretty selfish. Especially when what is discussed is information that has already been disclosed through trailers, which usually contains minimal information about the game to begin with.

1 thought on “Should gamers be working so hard to avoid spoilers?

  1. Pingback: Metroid Prime 4: The logo that won E3 | Magnetricity

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