Its really useful when someone not only gives my argument for me, but does it far better then I could as well.Azuaron said:I completely disagree with your premise. You say that you gain hours of enriched experience by being spoiled by sacrificing the split second of surprise, but your experience wasn't so much "enriched" as "different." Knowing Vader is Luke's/Leia's father brings a whole new light into all of their interactions, yes. Watching Star Wars again after that discovery is practically a whole new experience. But NOT knowing isn't just about the surprise, it's about the subtle details leading up to the surprise. It's about the limited 3rd-person perspective given to the viewer so they can experience the journey with the protagonists.
I remember reading Into Thin Air (a good book) and being incredibly frustrated when it started with the equivalent of, "But most of us would die before we got off the mountain." Without giving me that information, it would have been a great book. I would have been able to share in the trials getting up Everest, the triumph at finally reaching the summit, and, finally, the despair, horror, and confusion as people died coming down. Instead, the trials seemed irrelevant; reaching the top only meant people would start dying soon; and the despair, horror, and confusion was nonexistent, I'd prepared myself over the past 200 pages. The spoiler had inoculated me against feeling any strong emotion while reading the book.
Further, spoilers ruin Fridge Brilliance [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FridgeBrilliance]. Knowing Luke and Leia are siblings will cause a squick when you watch Empire Strikes Back. NOT knowing will cause a squick after watching Return of the Jedi when you remember that they kissed earlier. Which is the better experience? I prefer Fridge Brilliance.
Finally, as theexhippy said, you can only experience the game/book/movie in one way: knowing the end. By not being spoiled you can have it all: the experience of not knowing, and the suspense/surprise associated with it AND the experience of knowing when you play through again to see all the subtleties that led up to the twist.
Back when Roger Ebert said games weren't art, there was a lot of argument about what, exactly, constituted art, with a strong faction saying art evoked emotion. In my mind, spoilers ruin the emotional experience. In my mind, spoilers are the equivalent of painting a mustache on the actual Mona Lisa, taking a sledgehammer to the Taj Mahal, or burning 80 frames, at random, out of the last copy of A New Hope. In my mind, spoilers destroy art.
But it closes off maybe the most important "way to appreciate the experience".Michael Thomsen said:Learning a game's secrets in advance merely opens up new ways to appreciate the experience.
Right there is where I stopped reading (see: ragequit)."I think most gamers that completed Mirror's Edge enjoyed running and jumping and solving puzzles, but the story was just in the background leading the player forward. The game would still be enjoyable without a story," he continues.
Indeed, Mirror's Edge is a series of simulated physical experiences without arbitrary tool upgrades or stat boosts. It draws players through a constructed environment that gradually asks them to do more and more with the mechanics they've had from the beginning. Knowing that you'll end up on a skyscraper rooftop at the end of the game doesn't ruin any of that sensorial exhilaration.
Actually, it was, but opposite of how you're taking it. Spoilers ruin the journey so they can get you to the destination faster. If the destination's the only important part then you'd want the spoilers so you could get to the destination. People who want the journey don't want to be spoiled.ZeroMachine said:I could only imagine the saying "it's not the destination that counts, it's the journey" came up at some point when this article was being written, whether it's in there or not (seriously, I stopped reading it).
For the record: I hate that stupid saying so... fucking... much... what's the point of an exciting journey if the destination isn't nearly as important as what you go through to get there? The resolution should be just a breathtaking as the climax in it's own way. Bah... I'll stop now.
Agreed 100%.theexhippy said:There is certainly something to be gained by playing a game, watching a film or reading a book when you know the twist but there is also something to be gained by experiencing it NOT knowing. To say that spoliers ruin the experience might not be completely true but they only allow you to experience it one way. For those of us who enjoy the surprise I think that spoliers are just that, if the game/film/book was worth the effort then it is a joy both the first time and then again with a new, more informed, outlook. To know the twist without having played the game I think that you're missing out on half the fun.
These two have said it better than I could. But I'd like to provide another example of how a game can be ruined by spoilers. Jade Empire.mjc0961 said:Agreed 100%.theexhippy said:There is certainly something to be gained by playing a game, watching a film or reading a book when you know the twist but there is also something to be gained by experiencing it NOT knowing. To say that spoliers ruin the experience might not be completely true but they only allow you to experience it one way. For those of us who enjoy the surprise I think that spoliers are just that, if the game/film/book was worth the effort then it is a joy both the first time and then again with a new, more informed, outlook. To know the twist without having played the game I think that you're missing out on half the fun.
First of all, when I think about what spoiler means, it always means plot spoilers. So, yeah. Some people think it means telling anything about a game that a player wouldn't know right away, such as "you can find a rocket launcher in Doom". Some people would whine about that being a spoiler, but not me as picking up a rocket launcher that's just sitting on the floor isn't giving me any story details so it's cool by me.
So with that in mind, yes I do think that spoilers ruin your experience with the game. Like the post I quoted says, part of the fun of a good story is when that twist comes and changes everything, usually there are hints or such things leading up to it, or actions a character did that didn't mean anything at the time but looking back now you get it. And then you get to play again and see "Oooooh, that's what that was about." But if some inconsiderate prick on a forum who can't be assed to warn about spoilers or doesn't mark them properly* comes along and ruins part of the game for you, you just lost part of the experience. And for me when it happens, now I'm always sitting there thinking "Okay so when does this part that the stupid asshole spoiled come up? Is it now? I hope it's soon so I can go back to not knowing that something is going to happen."
While spoilers may not completely ruin a game, they certainly does take away from the overall experience of playing it in some way. If a game is still really good you'll keep playing it anyway, but there's no getting back that lost piece of the experience no matter what you do. To claim that there's no reason to care about spoilers at all is just silly.
*Example of a thread title I saw on a Dead Rising 2 forum:
See the spoiler warning doesn't work when YOU PUT IT AFTER THE SPOILER ASSHOLE!!"How do I beat Sullivan? *spoilers*"