Spoiling: the plague of geeks and fans. It only takes one little remark to ruin something for someone, or a lot of people. But is there a point where spoiling becomes okay? I decided to do some research and find out.
Seriously, I sent out a survey to different geeks and bloggers to see what their thoughts were on spoilers, and the idea of the spoiler alert. Questions included on what types of media should not be spoiled, when is it acceptable to be spoiled, and who is at fault when spoiling happens.
Overall, the most common answers for the type of media were TV Shows, Movies, Books, and Video Games. Below are the timeline answers for each media.
With how often TV Shows change and begin and end, it makes sense that 1 month would be the most chosen answer for this category. It is worth noting that a few respondents put 1 week in, which if you keep up with television it could make sense. Since I am not a person who keeps up with TV, or even turns my TV on, I would personally keep it at a month.
1 month also took it for movies, but never was a close second. I understand that if you are really interested in a new film, you’re going to want to opening weekend or within the first couple of weeks, so 1 month of spoiler free is perfect. But what about people who don’t go to movie theaters? Or maybe it’s a widely love filmed, but your friend hasn’t seen it yet? Wouldn’t you just want them to see it instead of having it spoiled?
For books, respondents favored never spoiling, which I completely agree with. Books are not a time sensitive medium, and it can take decades for someone to read a book. Are you going to run out and spoiler Harry Potter? I didn’t think so.
Video Games is super interesting as a category, since Twitch Broadcasters and YouTubers will play them and you can watch a whole game without playing it yourself. It’s a weird fine line with this one, but respondents also put 1 month, I assume with the same theory as movies. If you really want to play the game, you’re going to get it and play it right away.
But here is the really big part, is it any one persons fault if something is spoiled? Is it the spoiler or the spoiled? A great majority of respondents said it depends on the situation. There are more factors involved then just the transmission of the spoiler.
So how do you handle spoiling and try to prevent it? It’s actually pretty simple: the spoiler alert.
At the top of your post, before you say what you’re going to say, however you have to, warn the people that spoilers exist in what’s to come. Put it in the title if you have to, just to make sure they see it.
And if you are at the possibility of being spoiled, be aware of alerts, or that maybe they aren’t there at all. Be vigilant when looking at information. Only spoil yourself if it is on purpose (which I have done, especially with movies).
If there is an alert and you spoil yourself, be respectful because they warned you. But if you are the person sharing the spoils, be aware of when you are doing it and who your audience is. Let’s all respect the fandoms and things we love and not ruin it for others.
How do you handle spoilers? Let me know with a comment!