Monday, June 03, 2013

Spoiler Protocol: What To Expect In The Future

Due to the nature of some of the things that I am going to be discussing in the future, there are definitely going to be times when I am going to end up spoiling games (and other media) for people who haven't played them yet, and there is a line between being reasonable and being a prick that I have to be careful while treading.

The reason I am trying to come up with a plan this early on is because for many narrative games, the length of time you have to spend with the material to reach the conclusion of the story is many times longer than it takes to watch a movie, read a book or get caught up with a season of a television series. I would hate to deny someone an experience because they had a game in their backlog that they were going to get to soon and wreck it for them by talking about key details of that title in a way that they were not warned about. I've had that happen to me with games in this generation, and I don't really want to do that to another person.

So what I am think about doing is if I am writing an entry about a topic that leads me to talk about the narrative or character arc for a relatively recent game (and I am using that term in the loosest sense since with PC games and the current length of this generation of consoles, that encompasses a lot of titles), I am going to post a spoiler alert for the games I am talking about at the top of an entry that is about a general topic across a few games so you are forewarned. It would probably look something like this:

Potential Spoilers for: Title 1, Title 2, Title 3

At the same time, there are games that are so old and well-played that I think I should be safe in talking about without warning people. Like if I suddenly started talking about the plot of a game like Final Fantasy VII, I think I should be able to do so without posting a warning. And if it is older, like from the 8 or 16-bit era, I am not going to give a warning about spoilers.

If I discuss something from another medium, like perhaps a particular fantasy-themed show on HBO based on a series of novels, I will not bring up things that have not been on the television show yet and I will generally wait for people to have had a reasonable amount of time to watch the show in general from their DVR.If it is a topic which I think deserves to be talked about before that amount of time has passed, I will again preface the entry with the spoiler warning.

If I write a review, it will generally be spoiler free, and this has been my policy for a while, so nothing really changes in that regard. A "remembering" post however will probably have spoilers.

I tend to err on the side of caution in any case, so in general, you shouldn't be worried that I am going to spoil a game without you knowing about it first.

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