Monday, April 14, 2014

Spoilers, spoilers everywhere

Spoilers are everywhere online: for books, movies, TV shows. Maybe even video games, heh. Sunday nights on Twitter, it's nothing but Walking Dead or Game of Thrones. Episode recaps of just about any and every kind of TV show can be easily found. Within days of a movie's release, you can find all kinds of details about the plot, even if you're not looking. Spoilers for books can sometimes be found in reviews, though on Goodreads there's a way for reviewers to hide spoilers behind a cut and many bloggers do that as well.

Here's my tale of spoiler woe: I haven't seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet. If that's not woeful enough for you, I was actively avoiding spoilers online. I knew who the Winter Soldier is, which wasn't really a spoiler if you recognized the actor, but there are other things that happen in the movie that are big. Like, really, really big. Massive gamechanger for the Marvel Cinematic Universe big. And I stumbled across that spoiler online. I gasped audibly and pushed away from my desk, horrified. Not horrified at the plot point that would now no longer be a surprise whenever I do get to see the movie, but horrified that I'd been trying so hard to avoid spoilers only to have such a big one wind up on my Tumblr dashboard. Even when you try, if you're online, it is really hard to avoid spoilers.

Ernie shares a Captain America spoiler with Bert.

But what does a spoiler really spoil? By knowing in advance, you've already lost that moment of surprise, of delight, horror, shock. But does that really lessen the experience for you? It may depend on the spoiler itself, how much you care about the story, and of course *you* personally. I recently read the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. I bought the ebook set of all five books and read them one after the other, finding them utterly unputdownable. They were a blast to read. I was very, very careful about what reviews I read on Goodreads, not wanting to know too much. But if I had stumbled across something spoilery, I still would have been up way too late reading night after night until I finished the series. Just like I'll still watch Captain America. I love to be surprised by those great "a-ha" moments, but the journey is what I'm really there for. All the big moments are great for a highlights reel, but it's the little moments that tell you more of the story. Tell you who these characters are, and what they stand for.

So I'm not all that bothered by spoilers. What are your thoughts?

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