Regarding the Arkham City Spoilers: Everybody Simmer Down

Just chill out a bit...like this guy

Crotchety gamers across the internet became cranky when a number of gaming outlets spoiled a plot twist in the highly anticipated Batman: Arkham City. Some outlets put it right in the headline, while others hid it under the fold or within spoiler tags. I’m not here to criticize other outlets and how they handle coverage - especially when it comes from an event devoted to press and media attention. Instead I want to say that spoilers really aren’t the end of the world when it comes to video games.

Of all the mediums that could be affected by spoilers--books, TV, film, and games--the enjoyment of a game is least affected because of their participatory nature. Players are only getting more agency in games as technological and narrative ambitions increase. If someone tells me what happens a few hours into a game, I will still enjoy the hell out of that game.

SPOILER ALERT

Let’s take Mass Effect 2 for example. A few months before the game’s release, Bioware revealed that your ship from Mass Effect 1 blows up in the beginning. The internet freaked out, much like with this Arkham City spoiler. Now think back to when you first played Mass Effect 2. The sequence where the Normandy blows up was still awesome and, sure, it would have been more awesome if it was unexpected. Now, remember all the stuff you did after the Normandy exploded, that wasn’t “spoiled” for you: the choices you made, the side missions, the love interests, the cameos from the first game. Those all combined to make Mass Effect 2 the best game released that year.

Arkham City will be the same way. Consider all the other villains they have revealed, and how large the scope of the game is. There will be awesome twists, action scenes, and takedowns of lethal villains. Arkham Asylum was just as fun on my second and third playthroughs--even after knowing all the story beats--and I expect Arkham City to be the same.

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5 Comments
Posted by jimmy5150
Just chill out a bit...like this guy

Crotchety gamers across the internet became cranky when a number of gaming outlets spoiled a plot twist in the highly anticipated Batman: Arkham City. Some outlets put it right in the headline, while others hid it under the fold or within spoiler tags. I’m not here to criticize other outlets and how they handle coverage - especially when it comes from an event devoted to press and media attention. Instead I want to say that spoilers really aren’t the end of the world when it comes to video games.

Of all the mediums that could be affected by spoilers--books, TV, film, and games--the enjoyment of a game is least affected because of their participatory nature. Players are only getting more agency in games as technological and narrative ambitions increase. If someone tells me what happens a few hours into a game, I will still enjoy the hell out of that game.

SPOILER ALERT

Let’s take Mass Effect 2 for example. A few months before the game’s release, Bioware revealed that your ship from Mass Effect 1 blows up in the beginning. The internet freaked out, much like with this Arkham City spoiler. Now think back to when you first played Mass Effect 2. The sequence where the Normandy blows up was still awesome and, sure, it would have been more awesome if it was unexpected. Now, remember all the stuff you did after the Normandy exploded, that wasn’t “spoiled” for you: the choices you made, the side missions, the love interests, the cameos from the first game. Those all combined to make Mass Effect 2 the best game released that year.

Arkham City will be the same way. Consider all the other villains they have revealed, and how large the scope of the game is. There will be awesome twists, action scenes, and takedowns of lethal villains. Arkham Asylum was just as fun on my second and third playthroughs--even after knowing all the story beats--and I expect Arkham City to be the same.

Edited by Captain_Felafel

I'll name names here and say that Kotaku's handling of this was angering. Putting a spoiler in a headline, regardless of said spoiler's place in said game, is going too far. I don't read Wiki pages, forums or stories about games I'm interested in the story for, but I shouldn't have to be cautious of headlines now too. I have no problem with this information being put out there, but put some damn spoiler tags around it, even if it is likely this spoiler won't actually turn out to be pivotal in the final game.

Posted by ZeForgotten

SPOILER WARNING!

There's an ending to the story about 20 hours later in the game!. I haven't read the spoiler, I just know who dies, but how? I'm wishing for Mr. Freeze to walk up to the guy and go "Hey, Tjill Aut!" and that's it

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Posted by jimmy5150

@Captain_Felafel: Yeah, I also think the headline was pretty terrible for the story in general, regardless of whether it spoiled anything.

Posted by Tylea002

I subscribe to the belief that everyone has their own boundary for a 'spoiler' because it's just that: something that spoils your enjoyment. Some people are just the type where a small thing will nag at them in their head and just make them not enjoy the game as much. And people should use their common sense about it, and not put information that is CLEARLY a twist of some kind, into a headline. You might be okay with it, but other people may not. Deciding 'whether' something is a spoiler is a useless debate - because it's completely different for everyone - use your noggins.