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I'd like to see some more cast-iron rules for spoilers.

WillethWilleth Registered User regular
This is something that's been bugging me for a while, but it's come to light more prominently recently and I think it's especially worth addressing now.

The example in mind is that the thread for the new Metal Gear announcement contains an apparent ending spoiler for MGS4. As someone rightly pointed out in the thread, people could well be interested in this psuedo-announcement because it might be coming to the 360, and so have never played MGS4.

It's since been enclosed in spoiler tags, but it's still visible in quotes that were quoted before it was spoiled, and there's still no context available about it being an ending spoiler or anything other than a joke. I clicked the spoiler, and having just bought the game for my nice new PS3 I'm incredibly pissed off that I now know something about the game that should have been revealed to me in the course of playing it.

We all know there have been a ton of grade-A titles released over the last couple of weeks. It's very feasible for someone not to get around to buying or playing games like Mirror's Edge or Prince of Persia until February, even for an enthusiast crowd like we have here on the forums. In the Mirror's Edge thread, however, barely a week after launch, people were talking openly about plot elements.

It goes further than something like this, though. I don't subscribe to the idea that if a game's been out a while then all bets are off. It took me over a year to finish BioShock, and yet a very late portion of the game was ruined for me because I found out that near the end
you have to become a Big Daddy.
I'm aware that the longer a game has been out the more likely it is that the plot is more well-known, but when games cost the amount they do and some are exclusive, it's not unreasonable to think that people aren't going to buy them on the week of release.

If you had a friend who had never seen the Sixth Sense or Fight Club, would you assume he knew its plot and talk about it, or allow him to have that experience? "But those films are old, surely everyone knows it by now! What? You've never seen a Star Wars film? Man, you'll love it in the Empire Strikes Back when-"


The spoiler rule that we have right now is essentially "spoil stuff that warrants it, provide context so no-one gets caught out." It worked well in the GTA IV thread at release, for example, but while I haven't looked in the thread for a while I can pretty much guarantee that there are some pretty major uncovered spoilers in there. People who don't have a console and have waited for the PC release should definitely not read earlier pages. I don't think someone should be exposed to something like that because of their choice of platform or because they can't afford a full-price game.

The main change I'm looking for is a little more thought about what should go into a spoiler and a little more clarification on time. I'm not suggesting every post in a thread be spoilered, but certain games have certain key revelations that shouldn't be revealed to people who have yet to play them.

As an aside, is it possible to have spoiler context be a part of the tag, similar to how quotes work?
[ spoiler=ending spoilers for game X ] content [/ spoiler ]

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Willeth on
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Posts

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    People should always label spoilers. People shouldn't post spoilers outside of tags for recently released games.

    However, if you care about spoilers, why are you reading the thread for a game that's been out for so long? I mean, it would be different if someone posted a big spoiler for GTA IV in an unrelated thread, but what, exactly, do you expect to be reading in a thread that's about the game?

    Thanatos on
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Oh, I'm aware that I have a responsibility at that point not to spoil it for myself. I managed it with Half-Life 2, for example. But, if I've just picked up a game and I want to discuss it, I feel like I have the right not to read blatant spoilers about it. I'm likely to get Uncharted for Christmas, and if I get stuck on a particular puzzle and go into the Uncharted thread to talk about it, I don't want to be hit with someone talking about how Nathan's actually a snail-being in disguise or whatever the fuck.

    At the risk of repeating myself, this MGS thread is a good example. A teaser image related to Metal Gear has appeared, and no-one knows what it's about. Maybe it's coming to the 360. That'd mean that people without PS3s would be able to play it. I'm sure it's a great game.

    I think this thread in particular is likely to entice people who have not played MGS4 yet but really want to. Those people deserve an untarnished experience with it if that's the case.

    EDIT: I think the assumption in that thread was that 'it's not a spoiler, because it's been out for a while'. I don't think this is true in any sense, and I really think we need a rewrite of the rule to reflect that.

    Willeth on
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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    If people are posting unlabeled spoilers in unlabeled threads, you need to report it.

    Thanatos on
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Even if the game isn't 'recently released'? What qualifies as recent? There's no definition.

    Willeth on
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  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Willeth wrote: »
    EDIT: I think the assumption in that thread was that 'it's not a spoiler, because it's been out for a while'. I don't think this is true in any sense, and I really think we need a rewrite of the rule to reflect that.

    I'm reasonably sure that I've seen mods say explicitly that spoilers are spoilers, no matter how old. But a quick glance through the G&T rules doesn't mention it, so maybe a clarification is in order?

    Lord Yod on
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  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I think it was Than who said he goes back 15 years. I could be wrong though.

    DeShadowC on
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    I think it was Than who said he goes back 15 years. I could be wrong though.

    So we still need to spoil that Aeris
    dies
    ?

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Forar wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    I think it was Than who said he goes back 15 years. I could be wrong though.

    So we still need to spoil that Aeris
    dies
    ?

    In my opinion, yes. That's really major. It's also got terrible context, as it's pretty obvious what the spoiler contains even if you don't click it.

    EDIT: Yeah this is actually exactly what bothers me.

    Willeth on
    @vgreminders - Don't miss out on timed events in gaming!
    @gamefacts - Totally and utterly true gaming facts on the regular!
  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Forar wrote: »
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    I think it was Than who said he goes back 15 years. I could be wrong though.

    So we still need to spoil that Aeris
    dies
    ?

    This is what I understood the rule to be.

    Lord Yod on
    steam_sig.png
  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    Or that Snape
    kills Dumbldore?
    ?

    [tiny]I totally see the silliness of spoilering highly publicized events.[/tiny]

    Just_Bri_Thanks on
    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • darleysamdarleysam UKRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    It does irritate me when people are talking about a game and saying stupid things like

    "I was so sad when your mum
    dies
    and you set out to avenge her. Man, that made me cry"

    Wow, just as well I'm as retarded as you are and can't crack your outstanding code there.

    darleysam on
    forumsig.png
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Honestly, I agree that people can start dropping spoiler bombs in threads pretty quickly after a game or movie is released... but as such, I stay out of those threads. I managed to get and complete Dead Space without spoiling anything, even with keeping up on the thread, but those guys and gals were pretty good about marking their shit. Bioshock; same deal.

    I don't think a set rule in stone is going to be at all helpful, and honestly, I'd say the statute of limitations runs out far more quickly than 11+ years, as in our oft mocked FF7 spoiler. Interested in something a thread is about? Read the original post, those rarely contain spoilers (I'm sure someone will point out where this has happened, but I've yet to see a bad one), post in the thread if you wish to 'mark your place' and participate with hopefully as few spoilers as possible.

    Hell, plenty of people seem to duck into new game threads and just ask "hey, is it awesome?"

    Maybe we should make that a standard addition to new game/movie thread OP's: is the general consensus Awesome Or Not.

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    There is no strict time limit to spoilers. Generally, the more popular something is, the shorter the time limit we're going to tolerate. Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader is Luke's father? Yeah, obviously the time limit has expired on that one. The Sixth Sense? If you haven't seen that by now, you're living in a hole. The ending to The Game with Michael Douglas? More obscure film, even though it's older than the Sixth Sense, I'd say it's borderline. Anything out in the past year? Regardless of how popular it is, any spoilers from it should be tagged.

    Thanatos on
  • Speed RacerSpeed Racer Scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratchRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    In fairness, the "spoiler" that was posted in that MGS thread isn't from the ending, it's from like the first cutscene in the game. Not to mention, (actual ending spoilers)
    It turns out not to be true anyway.

    Speed Racer on
  • Cold Salmon and HatredCold Salmon and Hatred __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    who on this board doesn't know that
    12 YEAR OLD GAME (FFVII) SPOILERS:
    aeris dies

    I mean, fuck

    Cold Salmon and Hatred on
  • EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Poorly played, old man.

    EvilBadman on
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    I should note that Badman is fucking awesome
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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Why do you have to be so retarded, Zot?

    Drez on
  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited December 2008
    hey, no call for that.

    Tube on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Which? Calling Zot retarded, or Zot posting an untagged spoiler in a thread complaining about untagged spoilers?

    Drez on
  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited December 2008
    calling zot retarded. maybe you shouldn't post in this thread any more.

    Tube on
  • Cold Salmon and HatredCold Salmon and Hatred __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    Fine, I edited it

    but seriously

    it's 12 years old and is constantly spoiled by people

    I bet if you surveyed everyone here, almost everyone would either have played the game and found it out for themselves, had it spoiled for them by someone else or don't really care at all

    Cold Salmon and Hatred on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Sorry, Zot. That was rude of me. And I don't really care about FF at this point, to be honest. I responded that way because I do think a lot of people trivialize anti-spoiler sentimentality and don't really care about them, but it was still rude and I apologize.

    I understand that some people just don't care about them, and that's fine, but I agree with the OP that a little more clarity would service each subforum a bit better so people are clearer on what the boundaries are.

    I think this would smooth things out for both would-be spoiler posters and those that don't want to be spoiled, so that those that don't want to read untagged spoilers know what threads to avoid, and when, and on the flip side that it is very clear to those that don't care about spoilers where the line is.

    Then again I understand why this kind of rule is best when it is breathable. I personally don't even like reporting spoilers, especially for new things, because I know it gets reported to the mod forum which is essentially like spoiling new stuff for the entire mod staff. That would irritate me if I was a mod, especially in G&T.

    Drez on
  • Cold Salmon and HatredCold Salmon and Hatred __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    Oh, I completely agree with what the op is saying

    but there should be exceptions

    Cold Salmon and Hatred on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I hear ya. It's just people post that exact spoiler usually when they are trying to make fun of someone complaining about other people posting spoilers.

    Drez on
  • PlutoniumPlutonium Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Do we need a Realspoiler tag?

    Plutonium on
  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    I hated the real spoiler tag.

    Just_Bri_Thanks on
    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I think we might be better served by a [hidden] tag of some sort that functions just like
    . People use spoilers for jokes, to hide quote trees, and so forth. They could use [hidden] and save spoiler for realspoilers, and enforce it. Otherwise the spoiler jokes just continue with realspoiler.

    Yar on
  • matthias00matthias00 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    A new tag would not change anything, and would be needless extra work for the coders.

    In threads where you're talking about something that has a potential for spoilers (say, a new game thread), people tend to use the spoiler tag just for spoilers. But an easy "fix" is just if you're spoilering to trim quote trees, say "spoiler'd for quote trees" or something like that right before. If you're using it for a joke in threads like that, realize that only a few people will be seeing the hysterically witty punchline you have so cleverly hidden.

    In threads where actual spoilers aren't expected behind spoiler tags, like the stereotypical SE++ thread, it'd be good to mark it with a little thing like "spoiler for Fallout 3" or whatever.

    Those rules are pretty well followed I'd say. The people that aren't considerate enough to mark/tag their spoilers wouldn't do so any more with a realspoiler/hidden tag.

    Basically I'd say all the "stuff" necessary to fix the spoiler problem are there. I think generally people know what spoilers are fair game to talk about freely and what aren't without making it a "cast iron rule". The oft-mentioned FFVII thing is fair game I'd say because it's part of gaming culture. It's as widely known as the fact that your princess is in another castle, perhaps more widely known.

    When I see people wanting it spoiled, it looks to me as if they're mainly arguing for a no-tolerance policy regarding spoilers. That's a little extreme to me, as it has a potential to get out of hand fast. Yes, it's nice to not have anything spoiled. But seriously, we don't need every twist and/or plot point throughout literary, cinematic and videogame history hidden from our virgin eyes. A concrete rule doesn't help things here. Moderator discretion works pretty well.

    I think an announcement/infraction frenzy for those that use spoiler tags unwisely or not at all would be good to solve the current thing. Then again, I could very well be wrong, because I honestly don't see much of a problem at the moment in the first place.

    matthias00 on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    I think we might be better served by a [hidden] tag of some sort that functions just like
    . People use spoilers for jokes, to hide quote trees, and so forth. They could use [hidden] and save spoiler for realspoilers, and enforce it. Otherwise the spoiler jokes just continue with realspoiler.

    Man, I was reading a thread a day or two ago...must've been Fable or Fallout I guess as that's all I'm playing just now and there was a small discussion going on in spoiler tags. I guess maybe it had started off as spoiler-related but had been trimmed and was just discussing something completely unrelated to spoilers like system performance or something. It wasn't in spoiler tags as a joke, I think everybody had just gotten so used to posting everything in spoilers that they forgot that sometimes you could just not post stuff in spoilers and not totally ruin some ones day. I found it quite amusing, like they'd got so scared of accidentally spoiling something that the whole thread, non-spoilers and all was all hidden behind spoiler tags.

    Anyway, my feeling is getting too serious about spoilers and the rules that need to be followed is just silly. Sometimes people spoil something maliciously, sometimes they do it accidentally, sometimes discussions get so complicated it's difficult to tell what should and shouldn't be spoiled and how to alert people what the spoiler is about without still spoiling something. So basically I think people need to just lighten up about it. Nobody needs to get banned unless they intentionally ruin a storyline or are just epically dense.

    I think probably more important is getting it through the technically inept skulls of some people that spoiling porn or huge images doesn't make it not load into peoples browsers. I mean, you're not going to loose your job because
    Indiana Jones Dies At The End (God I hope that isn't actually a spoiler, I haven't seen the new movie yet)

    But you might because
    LOL LOOK AT LINDSAY LOHANS BEEWB.JPEG

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    matthias00 wrote: »
    It's as widely known as the fact that your princess is in another castle, perhaps more widely known.

    Spoiler that shit!

    I think this sounds like a solution looking for a problem, for the most part. I think maybe some better-spelled-out rules regarding spoiler etiquette might be in order (like making sure you put a short description of what's in the spoiler if there isn't other context), and maybe some reasonable time requirements.

    Other than that, you just kinda have to deal with the fact that if you haven't seen/read/played something until two decades after it came out, you just might have the ending or some major plot point spoiled for you. It happens. And in very few cases will it actually significantly impact your enjoyment of the media in question anyway.

    I've not really had that much problem with spoilers around here, aside from a few obviously malicious ones (like somebody spoiling the ending of FFX intentionally in a thread title just to piss people off).

    Sure it's an issue in some areas, like TV show threads in D&D (I think requiring anybody starting a TV show thread to post a clear and specific spoiler policy in the OP would solve that...read the OP, see what will and will not be spoilered, decided if you want to read further). But overall it just seems like a non-issue.

    Oh, and "realspoilers" can go die in a fire.

    mcdermott on
  • EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Spoilers should have an entry field like quotes do.

    Example:

    [.QUOTE="ENTRYFIELD"]This[/QUOTE]

    Results in
    ENTRYFIELD wrote:
    This

    So there could be something similar:

    [.Spoiler="Super Mario Brothers"]The Princess Is In Another Castle[/spoiler]

    Shows up as

    Super Mario Brothers Spoiler:
    The Princess Is In Another Castle

    Sans the second spoiler notification obviously. I don't know if something like this is possible or even something Alpha would want to look into, just throwing it out there.

    EvilBadman on
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  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    That would be nice, but ultimately it's unnecessary because you can just type the context before the spoiler tag. The same people who don't put context already are the same ones who wouldn't use the new feature.

    Smasher on
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    I don't ever remember [realspoiler] abuse. It was made very clear that it wasn't to be used for 'joking' spoilers.

    FyreWulff on
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Well then maybe what we're looking for is a rule saying 'post context with spoilers, or else'. I'm not entirely sure what the or else is, though, because it seems a little harsh to infract people for not providing context if they still spoil the content.

    Willeth on
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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Willeth wrote: »
    Well then maybe what we're looking for is a rule saying 'post context with spoilers, or else'. I'm not entirely sure what the or else is, though, because it seems a little harsh to infract people for not providing context if they still spoil the content.
    We do infract people for not providing context for spoilers.

    I mean, if the context is obvious (spoilers in the Fallout 3 thread, for instance) we don't do anything. However, if you're throwing a Fallout 3 spoiler in a thread about the presidential election with no context, we're going to infract you for that.

    Thanatos on
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    You really are missing the point of the game if you honestly think that's a spoiler in Bioshock you know.

    The question needs to be why does EVERYONE need to inconvenience themselves for the few people who couldn't be bothered playing the game, lets face it, six months after a game comes out, if people are still talking about it because they have finished the game 10 times and they enjoy it. 95% of the the posters need to change their habits for the 5% that apparently like the game so much they haven't finished it.

    I still haven't finished GTA4, if the ending gets ruined for me I should really ask myself shouldn't I have played the game if I didn't want to get spoiled?

    Blake T on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Blaket wrote: »
    You really are missing the point of the game if you honestly think that's a spoiler in Bioshock you know.

    The question needs to be why does EVERYONE need to inconvenience themselves for the few people who couldn't be bothered playing the game, lets face it, six months after a game comes out, if people are still talking about it because they have finished the game 10 times and they enjoy it. 95% of the the posters need to change their habits for the 5% that apparently like the game so much they haven't finished it.

    I still haven't finished GTA4, if the ending gets ruined for me I should really ask myself shouldn't I have played the game if I didn't want to get spoiled?
    If it gets ruined for you in the GTA 4 thread? You may have a slight point, but we're still going to enforce it.

    If it gets ruined for you in another, unrelated thread? There is no way in hell you have a point. Not all of us buy games the very moment they come out, and we shouldn't have to expect that those of you who have that kind of money to burn are going to be dickweeds about it. I realize it's ever-so-much trouble to put a goddamn tag on it (takes all of three clicks), but that effort (which is apparently monumental) saves us a lot of grief.

    If you want to be able to freely post spoilers about games that have recently been released, there are plenty of forums out there on the internet that will let you do that. This is not one of them, and that fact is an attraction to a lot of the people who post on this forum.

    Thanatos on
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Willeth wrote: »
    Well then maybe what we're looking for is a rule saying 'post context with spoilers, or else'. I'm not entirely sure what the or else is, though, because it seems a little harsh to infract people for not providing context if they still spoil the content.
    We do infract people for not providing context for spoilers.

    I mean, if the context is obvious (spoilers in the Fallout 3 thread, for instance) we don't do anything. However, if you're throwing a Fallout 3 spoiler in a thread about the presidential election with no context, we're going to infract you for that.

    Alrighty.

    As regards BioShock, I know it's not the spoiler, but it's definitely a spoiler, and I would have quite liked to have found it out by myself. The fact that it was a secret achievement kind of backs that up.

    Willeth on
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  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited December 2008
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    I don't ever remember [realspoiler] abuse. It was made very clear that it wasn't to be used for 'joking' spoilers.

    I saw it happen a few times, but people usually got slapped down pretty hard for it.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I haven't beaten Fallout 3, but have played enough to enjoy rummaging through the thread. Unspecified spoilers in that case suck hard.

    EvilBadman on
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