The Internet is Spoilt.
So due to unforeseen circumstances I have only been very recently able to go to the cinema and watch The Last Jedi. As we all know this posed a dilemma. The longer I waited the more I am at real risk of spoilers. I’m a fan of Star Wars but I would not go as far as a fanatic, yes I’m been to an opening night showing but generally I let the first weekend’s excitement pass before I take the plunge (#socialanxiety). So in this period I’m forced to shy away from social media to ensure that I can enjoy the story as it’s meant to be enjoyed, first hand and unspoiled.
Turning to my usual sources of information, several gaming and media blogs I like to frequent I’m faced with several items on each page telling me;
“Hey, What's Up With The Knights of Ren?”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi Director on Luke Skywalker's Greatest Temptation to the Dark Side”
“Luke Skywalker is the Most Tragic Character in Star Wars “
What’s worse is that it’s not uncommon for the pieces to be reposted several times over the course of a fortnight so they’re there waiting for me in case I decided to avoid the site for a couple of days to let it fall out of popular circulation.
The problem is rife among all the leading media outlets and unfortunately they are the only place I can really go to get my daily fix of what I actually want to read about.
Now, Star Wars is just my example here, my gripe rings true with all manner of releases, especially videogames.
I don’t own a Switch. I am current on the fence as to whether to get one so I am in a similar situation regarding buying Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey etc. Similar posts litter the webpages; “How to find all 836 Power Moons”, “Things to Do First in Breath of the Wild” (how about just fricking playing the thing!). Beyond that there’s the likes of “The First 16 Minutes of Resident Evil 7” (… so am I supposed to watch it then play what I watched?!).
These are just examples, but is it right that any title which I am expected to pay full price for at launch is already played through and dissected in front of me online just to make sure “I’m doing it right”? Admittedly there is a very large audience for such things, but those individuals know what they are looking for and can seek it out without having these types of articles thrust in front of them on the “Latest” feed (which features reposts!?!).
For me it takes away the thrill of self-discovery, but even if it’s something which I know I can’t own (like Switch exclusives) I might get it one day and I’d rather it not be a watered down experience then either. Do you spend £50 a time on a game to play it by reading a walkthrough? And if so why do you bother buying the thing when you can just watch someone else do it online and save the cash?!
For clarity, my gripe is with new releases exclusively and not anything older than say 3-4 months (the Switch and other examples were . We can all appreciate a Wiki Guide here or there when we want to see it, not when it’s being thrust at us before we’ve got the cellophane off the box. Give me reviews galore too! I’ve no problem them on the proviso that when spoilers lie ahead it’s clearly signposted.
I also watch Walking Dead which airs on a Monday night in the UK however seemingly airs a day earlier in the US. So I’m greeted with articles with terms like “That Major Death” in the title. Not to mention I occasionally have to wait a day and watch a recording (I know, I’m an animal).
And that’s not even getting into Netflix shows which I can catch a whole season review a day after release. We’re not all able to find a whole day to binge watch a new show and those that do, I find myself making a conscious effort to avoid in the workplace!
There’s been furor in the past when movie trailers give away vital plot points or the presence of certain characters or cameos and I don’t see this as any different.
To me it just smells like a playground mentality whereby popularity is gained by knowing something which someone else does not. You have to ask yourself, is there any real joy in that? Especially when you’ve not experienced these things yourself and you’re relying on sources which are likely paid for advertising or opinion of someone you don’t even know?
Fact of the matter is that these articles regularly arrive prior to day 1 of release and are all too revealing of all the things which have been specifically kept from us for the last few months (sometimes years).
Unfortunately I can’t see the problem going away anytime soon and realistically things only stand to get worse. Surely a solution lies in a specific feed where these types of articles are filtered.
I’ve found a useful guide on lifehacker (I’m only 2 years behind) but this still involves far too much input from my end to maintain and update. These things should be dealt with at source via the outlets.
And don’t get me started on how Lego ruin every popular movie franchise every Christmas…