What do you do about future content spoilers?
In World of Warcraft, we’re seeing the public test realm spin up and the spoilers for characters and storylines in patch 8.2 already starting up. I’m not one of those people who minds spoilers, plus it’s sort of my job to know this stuff, so I tend to seek them out and ruminate on them as soon as I possibly can. But this isn’t the way everyone approaches these tidbits of news and information about the game’s future, and I’m almost more interested in how people react to spoilers than I am in the spoilers that they’re reacting to — how do you approach the possibility of learning what’s going to happen before it comes out? Do you dread them, get upset, go into lockdown mode on social media?
There are plenty of other popular media out there who are entering into spoiler territory — just the other day, Game of Thrones fans were going nuts on my twitter timeline arguing back and forth about spoilers for the new season. If you’re one of them, be at rest — I don’t watch Game of Thrones so I have no idea what’s going on. But games are a different beast — since they deliver their storytelling via game mechanics and systems like quests, they have to be tested, hence the existence of a public test realm in the first place. But testing those elements means that people see them, and thus the spoilers are inevitable. Imagine if Avengers: Endgame had to be shown to limited audiences repeatedly because Thanos kept bugging out?
So it’s something we as gamers have had to learn to deal with over the years — there’s going to be datamining, there’s going to be PTR videos, people are going to put those spoilers out there. How do you personally deal with them? What’s your approach to coping with this peculiar form of precognition?
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