On False Premises disguised as Spoilers
  • POSTED BY elheber on Dec 22, 2016

    SPOILER NOTE: I will be discussing the premises of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and linking to an article that discusses potential spoilers for Passengers and Collateral Beauty.

    You guys ‘member Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and how the marketing for the game focused on the “will they/won’t they die aspect? I made a review for it where I originally “spoiled it” that Nathan doesn’t die.

    It didn’t seem like a spoiler to me because it’s never a part of the story. Instead, the concept of this potentially being the death of Nathan Drake seemed to have originated squarely in the marketing department. The idea that the game was being sold on a false premise irritated me at best and, at worst, meant people would be buying the game under some measure of false assumption. But how can I help readers know what they are buying if I can’t tell them what it isn’t?

    After some discussion with Rob, we came to the conclusion it was best I rewrite that bit so as not to spoil the game. It was a reluctant choice I made, but I respect Rob and the website too much to go against what must seem like very basic spoiler guidelines. Given a similar situation, I would make the same choice again and drop the spoiler. But I still mourn the idea that these false premises could be considered spoilers.

    Just a couple of days ago, an article from Crave by William Bibbiani mirrored my sentiments exactly. In  ‘Collateral Beauty’ and ‘Passengers’ Have Spoiled the Concept of Spoilers , Bibbiiannniiii discusses the same problem except with recent movies.

    “But if you try to warn people, as many of us have tried to do with Collateral Beauty and Passengers, you’d be accused of spoiling the film. Even though the opposite is true: by failing to inform the audience of what they’re really getting, it’s the marketing that’s actually “spoiling” these movies more than anybody.”

    I have a major hard-on for avoiding spoilers. As soon as I have decided to buy something, I self-impose a media blackout for that thing until I can get it. For example, I only ever saw the first trailer to Rogue One. It’s the one that ended with a shot of protagonist Jyn Erso in black Storm Trooper gear looking evil with Forest Whitaker saying, “what will you… become.” It’s then followed by the words ROGUE ONE. I was sold on the idea that a mejor story arc would involve a “spy going in too deep.” I never saw the other trailers because I was already convinced I wanted to see this and I don’t want the risk of getting spoiled any more. And, holy smokes, was that ever the most misleading trailer I’ve ever seen.

    Telling people, “Drake’s fate isn’t a story element at all,” in Uncharted 4 is like telling people, “Jyn Erso’s allegiance isn’t a story element at all,” in Rogue One. However, even though I tuned out to further marketing for Rogue One, the later trailers and promos dropped those overtones entirely and were more honest to the product. At least they eventually got honest, is what I mean.

    But Passengers and Collateral Beauty are proof that marketing teams are being willingly misguiding to attract an audience… and worse: they’re doing it in a way that, to correct them, forces you to “spoil” major story elements. It’s super fucked up.

    “Druckmann added that keeping Drake’s fate ambiguous in press interviews and official marketing assets was a way to ‘throw people off.’ But killing the beloved character was never in the cards.”GS

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on Dec 23, 2016

    I think if we were to run into this same situation again, adding a small notice that there may be a minor spoiler would be acceptable. I don’t disagree with your point at all. Hell I actually consider it to be 100% deceptive marketing. And I would even go as far as saying this subject is worthy of its own article.

    Honestly, I made the wrong decision on that. Sorry I didn’t realize it sooner.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    POSTED BY elheber on Dec 23, 2016

    I thought it was the right decision and I would do it again.

    …at least until you mentioned a special spoiler notice HOLY SHIT why didn’t I think about that? I’m kicking myself for not having thought of that at the time.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on Dec 23, 2016

    I can check and see if revisions are enabled. Might have a copy from before the edit that we can mod to bring it back.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.
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