Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spoiler Alert

The internet has a way of spoiling life. Whether it be a cryptic text from a "friend", a teaser poster that reveals what the the next season of your favorite drama will be about, an obnoxious headline, or an actual "spoiler", the internet has a way of invading reality and tarnishing its natural excitement.

I just saw a small headline on IGN tucked away in the bottom right corner that read: "Who will play The Riddler in Batman 3?"

Now I don't know if the Riddler has been officially outed as the villain and I don't want to know. It doesn't bother me one way or the other because he is one of the few villains that actually works in Nolan's ultra-realistic and thus contradictory Batman world, so it just seems logical. But it would be nice to go into the next Batman film without any previous knowledge of who or what it would be about apart from what The Dark Knight indicates. This would allow me to not only experience a level of excitement far greater than I otherwise would, but also judge the film in a more unbiased, fair way.

Video games are spoiled even more than films, particularly by IGN. Before a game comes out it is subjected to previews, first looks, dev diaries, gameplay footage, demo footage, conferences, and then prior to launch it goes through the same process again with even more detail, exploring whether or not the game is worth your $60. If you watch these videos and read these previews, all of which almost always detail the game's opening moments, you'll find it difficult to be surprised by anything that occurs in that game. I shouldn't have known how Red Dead Redemption began. But I did. The opening was not a surprise. That's wrong.

Why is this the process entertainment goes through today? Why is there so much scrutiny given to that which hasn't yet actually earned scrutinity? Why, like a sea of impatiant children, do we eat up every crumb of information we can get and why is that information more often than not given over willingly by artists to their adoring public? Doesn't anyone want to be surprised? Doesn't anyone want to go in with a clear mind and without so much expectation?

I will occasionally watch gameplay footage of a game I'm interested in or a trailer simply to get a sense of what I'm in store for and to know whether or not it's a success or a failure. If it looks like a buggy mess, I will lose interest. If it looks amazing, I'll keep it in the back of my mind. But I've spoiled far too many gaming and movie moments by reading and seeing things on the internet, sometimes inadvertently.

So I vow, for the next three months, not to go on IGN, to see whether or not this website affects my life in a positive way at all. Very little useful information is ever given anyway and it's even rarer to read a wortwhile opinion piece that doesn't ultimately amount to something like: "This is gay" or "This is cool".

We should do our best to limit our experience of movies and games to the actual movie or the actual game itself if our goal is to fully appreciate the piece and converse about it properly. If our goal is to get all excited about something and ask "Why, why, why?" and join others in that hype-because it's fun and we're all fans and it's so nice to be a part of something-then we should continue as we are. But such is juvenille and steals away precious moments that might otherwise enlighten, entertain, and amaze to their fullest effect.

1 comment:

  1. Remember those days before the Internet when you'd get stuck in a video game and the only way to find out how to proceed would be by asking one of your friends how they did it?

    I miss those years before the Information Age...