Things Will Get Spoiled, Live With It (Part 2)
There has been some discussion on the subject of ‘spoilers’ this week, particularly in relation to Game of Thrones. There was a big event in this past episode. A real game changer. Something that people have be clamouring for since the first season. They finally…FINALLY…killed Joffrey.
And it looked satisfactorily painful.
Now a bunch of people may be gnashing their teeth and calling foul because I have published this information without the expected **SPOILER WARNING** at the top of the article. If that is the case, tough shit.
No, really: too bad. I know that holding back that revelation is traditionally the reasonable and considerate thing to do with a big plot point but that’s your problem. Why am I being this horrible way? Because I love this show and I want to discuss it online with the millions of other people who enjoy it. We want to talk about how great the episode was, how this bodes for the future and who exactly was behind the nefarious deed.
BUT WAIT! It’s a new episode! What about the people who haven’t seen it yet?!
It’s been more than two days since the the episode aired, and there’s another one being released this week. We have a week to talk about it, and if we’re not creating this rich and wonderful piece of art to provoke discussion and shared experience, then I question what it’s purpose is. The world wants to discuss what is happening in Game of Thrones and expecting us to stay zippered until you’ve taken the time to get around to it because you prioritised The Amazing Race or some other rubbish is inconsiderate.
Now I’m not saying that we abolish ‘spoiler warnings’ altogether and set out to ruin the show for everyone. And you should stop skipping to the comments to tear me a new one because this is the important bit because there’s no need to be dickish about it. If the show has just aired and social media is running hot with discussion, show a little decorum and refrain from posting anything that will ruin the show for those who have had their hands full. Don’t post pictures, don’t yell ‘OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT JON SNOW HAS BEEN MAULED BY GHOST’ (hypothetically) at the tops of your lungs from atop a London bus. Just hold back.
For a little while.
Running with the Game of Throne example, the episode has been out for more than two days. It’s only a few more days until the next one. It gets watched by more than 6.3 million Americans – roughly half of people watching TV at the time, not including international audiences and the approximately 6 million downloading – and they all want to talk about how happy they are that Joffrey is dead and how much they think the drunk fool did it. If you think you’re going to log on to Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr the following day and expect everyone to be politely avoiding the topic until they’re sure their entire friend list is up to date then you are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.
If you can’t watch it on the original airing, or choose not to, It’s a fact of the modern world that spoilers are going to be lurking around every corner of the internet. Even something innocent like googling the name of the show, could produce unwanted information (try it with Game of Thrones, the first result has the above image). You can rely on the goodness of people to avoid giving anything away for the first day or two, but if it’s that important to you to remain ignorant then don’t go online. But maybe Facebook is just so gosh darn important to you, and you should be allowed to go on it without spoilers. In that case, please see above re: Cloud Cuckoo Land.
So what’s the message here? You only get one day to watch everything and then tough bikkies?
With Game of Thrones that’s going to be the case. But with movies and video games and books, which are not as quickly accessible should have a longer grace period than a popular TV show with weekly updates. A bunch of us saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro the other day and we could tell everyone that Gwen Stacy…
…is utterly adorable. But that would be telling.
There are some major plot points we discussed at length, but we kept it to ourselves. Because the movie isn’t out yet and even then most people won’t see it initially. Eventually we’ll all be talking about them openly and if you haven’t seen it yet then it’s not a priority to you. If it is important but you’re prevented from seeing it for whatever reason then stay offline.
You even get people who get bent out of shape over spoilers that are years old. Say that you’re new to Game of Thrones and you’re still in the third series. We’re really glad you’re watching the show now because everyone should watch it. It’s great. But don’t expect us to enter a cone of silence waiting for you. Either turn off your computer and marathon it or accept that you’re going to learn something about the show before seeing it for yourself.
If we’re going to live in a world with the internet then spoilers are going to be a hazard. We’ve had the internet around for long enough to know that spoiler etiquette isn’t always going to be followed. If it’s a choice between internet and a spoiler free world, we’re going to pick the internet. Just like we’ve accepted the cancer-causing radiation that seeps in to our brains from mobile phones.
Although there are people who deliberately set out to spoil things for people. Fuck those guys. Seriously, get a life.
If you put the effort in to learning the contents of the book, dressing up, buying a megaphone, going out in the middle of the night and filming yourself doing it than you really need to have sex with something. Anything. A watermelon. It doesn’t matter. Just have sex with something.
To sum up the bulk of the article, let’s all be considerate enough to give everyone a grace period to see things for themselves. Slap on those spoiler warning. But don’t expect everyone to hold their tongue indefinitely. Experiences are best shared with others and that shouldn’t be sacrificed because of an overt sensitivity to spoilers.