Author Topic: Stories Are Not Spoiled By 'Spoilers'  (Read 3927 times)

Neiru2012

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Stories Are Not Spoiled By 'Spoilers'
« on: September 08, 2011, 05:24:06 PM »


Well, there you have it, according to a new study.

[spoiler]
Quote
...Christenfeld and Leavitt ran three experiments with a total of 12 short stories. Three types of stories were studied: ironic-twist, mystery and literary. Each story – classics by the likes of John Updike, Roald Dahl, Anton Chekhov, Agatha Christie and Raymond Carver – was presented as-is (without a spoiler), with a prefatory spoiler paragraph or with that same paragraph incorporated into the story as though it were a part of it. Each version of each story was read by at least 30 subjects. Data from subjects who had read the stories previously were excluded.

Subjects significantly preferred the spoiled versions.
...
“So it could be,” said Leavitt, a psychology doctoral student at UC San Diego, “that once you know how it turns out, it’s cognitively easier – you’re more comfortable processing the information – and can focus on a deeper understanding of the story.”...
[/spoiler]

I have mixed feelings about spoilers. For some stories I actually want to know spoilers, mostly to make sure I wouldn't be wasting my time by reading/watching them. For other stories I don't want to know what happens, but even if somebody spoils something for me I don't rage. I've had One Piece Marineford spoiled for me, and I was very annoyed at the time, but when I actually read it I enjoyed the hell out of it anyway. It even amplified my experience of it in a morbid kind of way.

Indeed, I love re-reading/watching stories, and 9 times out of 10 I enjoy them more the 2nd time around. I've noticed this especially when it comes to movies. The first time I watch a movie it can come off disjointed to me: the pacing feels awkward, things happen that might not make sense right away which leaves me disoriented, I don't know the characters well enough to care about them or what they're doing, etc. But the second time I watch, knowing all that, it flows a lot smoother and I can better appreciate it as a whole.

Of course, I still think it'd be silly to watch/read something for the first time knowing everything that happens. But I also can't deny that the more I re-read/watch something, knowing everything that I know from the first/subsequent time(s), my enjoyment of it doesn't diminish and my liking of it actually increases. And, as Leavitt put it, I can "focus on a deeper understanding of the story."

So... how do you feel about spoilers? Does the study make sense to you? Discuss!!

kensh1ro

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Re: Stories Are Not Spoiled By 'Spoilers'
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 10:41:35 PM »
I occasionally read and watch Poirot stories and some of the ones I read and watched, I already know who the culprit (or culprits) is. Some of them, like Orient Express, have very famous endings that almost everyone knows, but the recent Suchet movie version was still very entertaining. Can't wait for Curtain (which, again I know the killer in that, too).
But, I think the idea is that someone that knows the ending ahead of time would not enjoy a story's climax and resolution the same way as someone who reads it with less prior info. They'll still like it, they just won't be surprised, obviously.

Okuni Sensei

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Re: Stories Are Not Spoiled By 'Spoilers'
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 03:36:51 PM »
It's not really surprising.

I'll take example into the video games industry : in general some little details about the development of a game prepare the fans to the coming release. Especially for series, to make the fans waiting for the next ones, and not disappearing between two opuses.
It's interesting to notice that giving too much info make the player bored to wait or not that interested anymore. Giving too few just make this kind of statement "oh they make a big deal about how the project was too great to be presented, I'm pretty much deceived."

Final Fantasy XII is a perfect example. At the beginning it was pretty fine. But unfortunately the project takes a huge time to develop and the release was delayed several times. To satisfy the complainers, they spread some images of the game and released some goodies. But it was just some wallpapers and one or two trailers. Nothing much. In the end, people were deceived. They expected a exceptional game, regarding the time Sqeenix took to develop it and the secrecy imposed around the game, and we earned only a decent one. A really good one, but not as much as the expectations. If the development had been shorter the reception would have be better. Their marketing strategy killed the game.

You can find a similar reaction in movies. In general when too much of a movie is already available before the release, in most of the time it means it's not that great stuff. But they really need to attract people, because the watchers would expect more that they already know.
For the producers, it's not important if the watchers are satisfied or not, they need the watchers pay their cinema tickets xD

But, in any case, the player/reader/watcher hate being forcefully spoiled. It should be something he's a participant in the information collection and spread. This is why we always hate our friends that give us spoilers without warnings x)
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We're in need of a proof-reader too.

Raiden [雷電]

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Re: Stories Are Not Spoiled By 'Spoilers'
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 11:39:02 AM »
I don't mind spoilers at all. I actually already know what happens in most of the anime and manga I'm currently following - I read about the plot and characters before actually getting into the series. It doesn't diminish the experience for me in the least. I even started my David Eddings collection by reading the LAST book in his Garion cycle first. And that series consists of more than 10 books! XD

Sometimes I tend to read the ending of a book first... but in some cases, I want the ending to stay a mystery until I actually finish the book. I did the latter with The Wheel of Time. I just read it normally, not once even glancing at the end of the book.



kensh1ro

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Re: Stories Are Not Spoiled By 'Spoilers'
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 08:22:38 PM »
Well, I kind of read the ending of "Return of the King" (really just the part where Gollum... nevermind), but that didn't affect/effect (can't remember which one) my enjoyment of... watching the movie.
I don't read much anymore.  :(

Plantress

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Re: Stories Are Not Spoiled By 'Spoilers'
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2011, 09:08:18 AM »
I normally don't mind spoilers very much. I do occasionally avoid spoilers if there's a particular theory I have about a show/game that I want to see if it plays out myself before discussing it.  But most of the time I don't care if I get spoiled on something.   There are actually some things (like certain things in Berserk) where I was glad I was spoiled because then I got a chance to prepare mentally for it.   

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Hydrus

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Re: Stories Are Not Spoiled By 'Spoilers'
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 01:46:41 AM »
I agree with Plantress, though for me it kind of depends on what's being spoiled.

I can't afford to pick up all the monthly comics I'd like to (at least not when they first hit the shelves) so I usually read summaries to know what's going on and whether I should buy the collected editions.  If it's video games though, I absolutely hate finding out what happens beforehand.  It's not that I'm playing them essentially for shock factor or anything (for example, I didn't buy Mortal Kombat because I was expecting an intricate plot) but it takes a lot of fun out of the experience for me.  In video games, more than in books/movies/etc. I like to watch the story unfold along with the protagonist/s, and when I already know what's going to happen, it's hard for me to care.  The game is still fun, but the story no longer interests me.

Cadraire

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Re: Stories Are Not Spoiled By 'Spoilers'
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2012, 12:57:37 PM »
Perhaps the journey is more important than the destination... I think...

Hallwill

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Re: Stories Are Not Spoiled By 'Spoilers'
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2015, 12:05:17 AM »
There are actually some things (like certain things in Berserk) where I was glad I was spoiled because then I got a chance to prepare mentally for it.   

Lucky you, I wasn't spoilt when I began Berserk... and I dropped it for a time, my brain needed some rest.

Perhaps the journey is more important than the destination... I think...

The experience of reading/watching/playing is more interesting than being spoilt on the story.
I don't care about spoilers, if somethings seems to be interesting, I can be spoilt in depth with much details that won't stop me from giving it a try and see by myself if it's good or not.
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Re: Stories Are Not Spoiled By 'Spoilers'
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2015, 10:05:22 AM »
Spoilers don't ruin things too much for me simply because the way I imagine things tend to be different from how the series I'm watching/reading/playing approaches it.  It can lead to disappointment, though that comes from me imagining something to be much grander.

Lucky you, I wasn't spoilt when I began Berserk... and I dropped it for a time, my brain needed some rest.

Berserk does that to people.