Ask Dr. NerdLove: My Girlfriend Is Too Intense About Spoilers

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Hello all you lust-macaques of the InterTubes, and welcome to Ask Dr. NerdLove, the only dating advice column that’s the strategy guide for your open world dating sim experience.

This week, we’re tackling the strange, new and different, the questions you never thought you would encounter. How do you handle online dating… when you have a brand new face? What happens when the number one conflict in your relationship requires a spoiler warning? And how do you make sure that you have someone’s consent when they’re too shy to talk to you?

It’s time to ditch the side quests and critical path the storyline for your love-life. Let’s do this.

Hi Sir NerdLove,

It’s coming up on two years on my relationship with my girlfriend. She’s amazing. I love her. She’s kind, sweet, funny, has follow-through and is insightful. The sex is great, fun. She and I see eye to eye on many things, such as kids, marriage, and various social issues. We share a lot of similar interests (we met via Twitch). I’m thinking fairly seriously about marrying her.

However, we do have a few issues. One of the ones that’s most vexing is spoilers. Yeah, spoilers. She takes a hard line on spoilers, she stays off social media, mutes people, waits until she has seen/played the thing. However, this makes things somewhat difficult when we talk about shared interests. Like, to the point where I can’t talk about a video game because, at some point in the vague future, she *might* play it. I’m neutral on spoilers, but it’s become really hard to talk about shared interests if she hasn’t played/seen it, and then I’m stuck not sharing stuff I’m excited about with her. I mean, I can find other people to be excited with (like, you know, the internet) but it’s...sometimes a really big bummer not to share my favourite stuff with her because of this.

I know this is a super silly thing, but is there a happy medium with the spoiler averse? I feel like there’s some sort of way to grow in terms of communication from here.

Thank you,

S. P. O. I. L. E. R. S.

Funny thing about spoilers: they don’t actually ruin our enjoyment of an experience. In fact, in many cases, knowing the outcome builds tension and enjoyment in ways that you never expected. Sunset Boulevard famously starts with a shot of the corpse of the narrator, and as the story progresses, we feel the tension because we know that his death is coming.

In other cases, knowing the end means that we can enjoy the journey to get there more than we would the first time around. Understanding the twists from, say, The Usual Suspects, Fight Club or The Sixth Sense means that you can see how the story builds up to the reveal.

While there’s definitely something to be said for being surprised by the media we consume, there comes a point where trying to avoid spoilers becomes an exhausting enterprise. Doubly-so if you have any sort of meta-knowledge, whether it’s an awareness of the game’s tropes (looking at you, Red Dead 2) or simply understand storytelling language.

And when you’re so spoiler-averse that you’re avoiding spoilers on the off chance that you might play or see it? Well, at that point, you’re now not just interfering with your own enjoyment but that of the people around you. Because if they have to be on their toes about spoiling a game or movie or book — one that came out quite some time ago, especially — then you’re making it harder for them to express their enjoyment.

So my suggestion is an expiration date on spoilers. It’s fair to, say, not want spoilers for a movie or game that only just came out that you’re looking forward to. It’s not entirely unreasonable to ask to remain relatively unspoiled for something that you’re planning on playing in the near future — let’s say, three to four months.

But if the thing you’re trying to avoid spoilers on is a conditional desire — I may want to play this in the future — well, while that doesn’t make it fair game for someone to spoil it willy-nilly, if it’s past the three month mark, it’s unreasonable to impose those restrictions on others and make a fuss if you do find out some detail about it.

But that’s just my opinion. I’m curious to hear what others think in the comments.

Regardless: your girlfriend is welcome to whatever policy she wants on spoilers, but there quickly comes a point where it’s just a pointless stance for its own sake that actively starts to impinge on the enjoyment of others.

Good luck.

Dear Dr. NerdLove,

My question relates specifically to online dating and the pictures we use. I recently had facial reconstruction surgery due to an injury. While I’m assured by my friends and family that my face looks the same, there are slight differences that are definitely noticeable to me, and to others when I point them out. Now, after several months of recovery, I’m ready to get back into the dating scene, but these days that means apps and online dating, and that means pictures.

It doesn’t help that I’m naturally pretty camera shy, so I only have one or two good pictures of myself post-surgery. Which brings me to my question, how do I deal with this in the world of online dating? I don’t want to be dishonest to the people I may end up going out with. Do I disclose it and just get it out there ahead of time, commission a photographer to take headshots, or am I just overthinking this?


Facially Impaired

You need some current pics, FI.

The trick to online dating is that, by necessity, it is built on trust. When you’re putting yourself out there on a dating app, you’re making yourself vulnerable by choice. You’re saying, intrinsically, that you know that there are fakers out there, people who’ve fudged the numbers, who’ve put up misleading information or even created completely fake lives, but you’re still trusting the folks you contact to be who they represent themselves to be.

And they’re asking the same of you.

Now there’s a certain amount of obvious polish that goes on; when you’re putting up a profile on a dating app, you’re presenting yourself in your best possible light. You’re not necessarily going to say “Look, I’m basically a trash gremlin whose definition of acceptable adult attire involves whichever pants have the least noticeable stains” (though kudos to you if you are; there may be folks who’re actively looking for their own Oscar The Grouch). You’re going to pick the photos and write your profile that tell the best story about who you are. But “who you are” should be an accurate reflection of “who you are now.

This is one of the reasons why people get annoyed by profiles whose information is out of date. It may have been accurate once, but it’s no longer a reasonable portrait of who they are at this point in time. We’re all different people as each year moves on, and it’s worth sharing that with the people we are trying to date.

In your case, it’s who you are, post this injury. And in fairness: any differences may only be noticeable to you because you’re intimately familiar with your face. But it’s still your face as it stands now. It’s the face that people who want to meet up with you in person are going to see. So even if these differences are so minor that they’re only noticeable after someone points them out, it’s still better to err on the side of honesty and let folks see you as you are.

And honestly? The stress of “how will they respond if they realise my photos are out of date” isn’t worth it. This way, you aren’t going to spend the run-up to your dates worrying that they’ll be put off if they see you — even when that anxiety is complete bullshit.

Get yourself some new photos, FI. You’ll feel far better and more confident about the people you’ll be meeting when you do.

Good luck.

Hello, Doc,

Long introduction, short question. I’m sorry.

I’m a 26 years old guy who’s not much of social person. A few months ago, I decided to try Tinder to meet girls, improve my social calibration and get experience in dating. It seemed like a low stake and easy way to guide my brain into “talk to people” state. Anyways, I matched with this woman, who is 36, and talking to her was pretty hard for me from the start. Despite my efforts, her replies were short and abrupt. When I was sure that this match was done, I threw an invitation to drink tea together thinking she was going to deny or just leave me without answer. “I can’t know for sure if I don’t ask,” thought I. “OK, when?” said she.

Our first two dates were kinda nice, kinda cute, kinda meh. They didn’t go well but were not too bad either. She wasn’t very talkative and I wasn’t able to lead the conversation. While silence itself doesn’t bother me, it’s not a good thing to have during a date when connections should be made. She did show some signs of interest in me but didn’t elaborate on them. Then we couldn’t meet for about a couple of months because we both were busy. We had some text exchanges which were short and abrupt as well. She initiated about a half of these exchanges. Recently we had a third date and it was really, really good and I’m starting to like this woman a lot. But the way she acts is puzzling me.

She’s 36 but when I’m with her I feel like she’s 19. I feel like she’s a little bit infantile (in a good way) and shy or closed off. I can’t quite wrap my head around it. On our third date there wasn’t much silence (in big part because I was able to pull my head out of my anxiety bubble and just let my mind flow). And she became a lot more open to me. She laughed at my jokes and made jokes herself. It got me thinking that she is probably into me but might not be comfortable in opening up so I need to lead the dance.

During the date I was proactive in establishing physical contact. For instance, a gentle push at her upper back during an uncomfortable situation at a doorway, playful touching during fooling around in a store or grabbing her hand at a very busy crosswalk and guiding her through the crowd. (She’s very short and I was legitimately worried about her safety. Heck, I was even worried about my own safety.) After the crosswalk I kept holding her hand and we joked that the footpath is slippery and I’m scared to fall. At the end of the date I went for a good-bye kiss. At first, she leaned back slightly and I thought she was dodging me, but then she leaned closer to me, lowered her head and smiled like a shy cartoon character. I slowly got close to her face and we kissed. I think it was very cute and romantic. But it made me think about consent.

Was it bad that I went for a kiss after only saying that I had a good time? Considering things will go further, how can I ask for her consent without creeping her out if she gets shy when I try to be more intimate? Whenever I made physical contact with her, I didn’t ask whether she minded it. I was paying attention what body part I touch and for how long I keep the contact for it to be appropriate. Holding her hand was ironed with a joke, but it wasn’t asked for. And the first try to kiss was a bit blunt.

I guess the answer would be just ask for the consent, own the awkwardness, be patient and more attentive to her. I rarely meet people like her. Usually I’m the quiet one who needs some push to get going. I feel like I’m on the right track but if you have any advice, I will appreciate it.

Best regards,

In Cute Uncertainty

The key to getting consent and making sure that it’s enthusiastically given is, simply, asking.

Now there are a lot of ways to ask for consent, especially for physical contact, and not all of them are verbal. For example, if someone were to hold out their arm to another person with their elbow slightly cocked, then it’s a fairly clear indication that you’re asking them to walk arm in arm. If you hold your hand out to them with the palm up, then it’s pretty clear that you’re asking if they would like to take your hand.

If you want to be especially sure that they understand that you’re asking, then you can always simply say “May I?” in a light voice.

But the surest way to know if someone is consenting is just to use your words and ask them. And yeah, sometimes it can feel awkward to ask “Can I kiss you?” But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, asking for consent — for a kiss, for a touch, for considerably more — can be hot as hell if you do it correctly. Imagine, for example, that on your next date, after an emotional high-point — you’re laughing, having a good time, standing close to one another — you lean in and say “I want to kiss you so badly right now.” Or “What would happen if I kissed you right now?”

And then you wait, giving her the time to decide: does she want this? Or is she going to give you the wave-off? She may say “no.” She may say “Let’s find out.” She may lean in herself and kiss you instead. But in all of those cases, you’ve gotten a clear answer from her. You’ll know, one way or another, whether she wanted to be kissed by you.

That same logic applies to other activities. “What would happen if I kissed your neck?” “Would you like me to touch you?” “Should we take this back to my place?” When you make asking for her consent part of the play, then it’s not an awkward interruption. It’s part of the dance, an act of mutual seduction.

But what if she doesn’t say anything? What if she’s so shy and embarrassed that she flinches away? Then you take that as a “no”, and all you have to say is “I understand and if you change your mind…” and leave it at that. Because if you give her the space to decide, shyness or no, then you’re giving her the space to say “yes” in the future. Trying to push the issue is a great way to get a “yes” that she may not be ready or willing to give.

By letting her decide, you create the possibility for her to decide that the answer wasn’t “no” but “not yet.”

Good luck.

Did you use misleading photos in your online dating profile? How have you asked or been asked for consent? Share your story in the comments below and we’ll be back with more of your questions in two weeks.

Harris O’Malley is a writer and dating coach who provides geek dating advice at his blog Paging Dr. NerdLove and the Dr. NerdLove YouTube channel. His new dating guide New Game+: The Geek’s Guide to Love, Sex and Dating is out now from Amazon, iTunes and everywhere fine books are sold He is also a regular guest at One Of Us.

He can be found dispensing snark and advice on Facebook and on Twitter at @DrNerdLove.


    Funny thing about spoilers: they don’t actually ruin our enjoyment of an experience.

    If anyone tried that bullshit argument with me I'd have a few choice words for them. For me, I pretty much lose interest in any narrative that's spoiled for me. I don't feel invested in the journey when the outcome is known. That's me, but I know a lot of people feel similarly.

    So Nicholas Christensen can get stuffed.

      Red dead 2 got spoiled for me I was 3/4 through the story I haven't played it since.

      Completely agree. The sample is smallish (800 or so), incredibly subjective, and the results are all within margin of error anyway - that is, in every test case they gave in the chart, the 'spoilers' lower error limit is below the "no spoilers' upper error limit.

      That study has been used by so many people as an excuse to spoil things against people's wishes. Fuck that. If someone doesn't want to be spoiled, how about respect their wishes. It's not even hard.

      If someone spoiled "the usual suspects" for me, I would have so hulked out.

      Exactly. If spoilers didn't ruin our enjoyment or experience then you would see them on the back of books everywhere but people want the experience of discovery for the first time.

      Spoilers are a deal breaker for me... If you spoil a game or show once, you get no sex. If you make a habit of it then we're breaking up.

      I wonder if you would feel that way in a world where you were never introduced to the concept of spoilers? I see a ton of people who freak out if they discover the slightest bit of information about a movie. They've gone from being trolled with legit Harry Potter spoilers to freaking out if they find out that the Wasp is in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
      It's almost a trained response when it reaches the point described here. Like it's not even about trying to enjoy the subtle twists and turns of a story. Every bit of information is treated like the ending to Fight Club even though almost all of it is just stuff we're all smart enough to figure out as we go.

      I'm happy to avoid giving out legit spoilers but it seems like the definition of spoiler has been expanded to mean just any information about anything. People who want to see stuff completely fresh are fine, I really do get it, but they sure suck the fun out of it for anyone who wants to talk about stuff they enjoyed.
      Anyone who feels that strongly needs to put in the effort to actually watch/read/play the content in a timely manner. They can't tell me how important it is to play a game without knowing any story details and then wait a month before they start playing.

        I think it depends on the scope of what it is honestly. Finding out a minor plotpoint, eh whatever. Finding out a major twist that's a huge revelation in a movie, i.e. Vader is Lukes father? Bruce was dead the whole movie? That's a whole different kettle of fish and makes you view the *entire* movie or series an entirely different way.

          I'm nitpicking here, and am commenting on specifically Star Wars and not about spoilers.

          Does knowing that Darth Vader is Luke's father that big of a spoiler that it ruins the the whole narrative of Star Wars 4/5/6? I'm sure there are many of the younger generation that hasn't seen Star Wars before but knows of this fact and still enjoys watching the trilogy for the first time.

            Yeah, it absolutely does if you found out before the big reveal in ESB. It was a gigantic moment in the movie. Before then, he was the guy that killed Anakin, the guy that was the worst in the universe.

            When you found out he was ACTUALLY Lukes Dad? It was massive. It's one of those moments in my life I still remember finding out (Hell, I was 7 when I found out and I'm 41 now). It was pretty huge then.

              Agreed. Once you know that information, it changes not only ESB but pretty much every single Star Wars film.

      I remember way back when, having someone spoil The Matrix for me before we walked into it at Carindale Cinemas. Was a total dick move, we're about to walk in, he walks out calling out plot spoilers like a major douchebag. Those who think it doesn't affect enjoyment are 100% wrong.

    I call shenanigans on dredging up Nicholas Christensen’s spoiler study every time as proof that spoilers don’t ruin the enjoyment of shows/video games etc..

    no one has repeated the studies to my knowledge, and no one has expanded them to other media.

    I truly believe a short story’s narrative is going to be massively different to a 10 part epic that drip feeds plot clues over 10 weeks and it’s disingenuous to use that study as proof that all spoilers don’t matter.

    Re the consent issue - it's now heading the way of 'enthusiastic consent' being required to defend yourself from a sexual assault claim. It's already this way in Victoria and Tasmania, and NSW is looking to review its law next month.

    Sucks if you're dating someone shy, or if you are shy yourself.

      My partner has an anxiety disorder so is also shy. It's not hard to get an enthusiastic response. Maybe you're doing it wrong, maybe they don't want to and you don't realise.

        He's not talking about you and your partner. But cool story bro.

          It is a cool story, better than saying it's to hard to get a yes so I'll just take it.
          You can't get a yes there's no excuse, your a rapist.
          But keep defending it's to hard to get a yes.

            Huh. It's hard to read what you're saying.
            I don't think anyone is suggesting to 'just take it'. Weird.

              It's pretty easy if you read the message chain, or did you just realise you're defending someone that says getting concent is to hard.

                They didn't say getting consent is hard. They are saying the way people convey themselves is nuanced and not always easily readable.
                I think you missed this entirely and made up your own narrative.
                Have a nice day.

                  If you can't read someomes sexual desires, it's your own problem. It should be easily readable unless they don't want to, which "I couldn't read their nuances" Is no excuse.
                  I didn't make up my own narrative, remember it was you who jumped in with the lame troll attempt of "cool story bro" for which the only reason I can think of is the aformentioned trolling, or as in defence. Don't leave, stick around, I will even give you a shovel if yours has worn out.

      I am shy. My (now) husband is also shy.

      But by the time we got to sleeping with each other, we trusted each other enough to say what we wanted, to and from each other. Enthusiastic consent, and knowing you are rocking your partner's world, is really, really hot. Not to mention having your own world rocked. Sexy talk is fun. Being sure about consent is just one of the benefits.

      Don't look at it as a chore; look at it as a skill that makes sex way better (not to mention safer), and practice, practice, practice!

        I agree. The problem with generalising, however, (and laws must generalise, in order to function) is that there will inevitably be people who fall through the cracks and people who take advantage. I'm not saying there is a solution. I'm just pointing out that there will be problems, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way.

        I think that in practice, you are just going to see a shift away from 'was there consent by conduct?' to 'who is telling the truth about whether consent was given?' in the courts.

          Sure; and the laws as they stand are hardly perfect anyhow. But 'he said/she said' suddenly becomes a lot clearer if someone has to admit that they actually heard a no, or didn't hear a yes. And if they are expected by law to check for a yes, or accept a no when they hear one, hopefully that'll lead to fewer misunderstandings and the law won't get involved nearly as often.

          This isn't just a legal issue, though, it's also a social one. As a rule, teaching people of all genders that they should check rather than assuming that their partners are into what is happening can only make things better--not just from a legal perspective but from a social one. No one (who isn't evil) wants to commit sexual assault; not just because of potential legal consequences, but because it'd be an awful thing to do to someone. And teaching people to make sure is better than having them find out after the fact.

        See the problem with using anecdotal experience when drafting laws to cover the masses is that the end result is poorly formed and creates too many loopholes to put innocent people away.

          "Get informed, enthusiastic consent" is not just a legal precept, though; it's a social one.

          And I'm having trouble identifying loopholes. I mean, "Did he tell you he wanted this?" is not exactly a question you can misinterpret. Either he did, in which case, you've done all you can do get consent, and absent other factors (like drunkenness or mental impairment, which mean a person can't legally consent to anything) you're in the clear. Or he didn't, in which case, you've possibly committed sexual assault. Which no one of sound mind wants to do, not just because of possible legal ramifications, but because it'd be a horrible thing to have to live with.

          No one's going to put you in jail for asking the question.

            Ok, I'll detail the ways it's not great. So you started off with anecdotal evidence where "getting enthusiastic consent" seemed to work well for you.

            Situation 1:
            "Hey, do you want to have sex?"
            *male proceeds to put p in v amongst other things*
            Female: "he raped me"
            Male: "she gave me enthusiastic consent!"
            Law: the act of sex can be many various things, and she did not enthusiastically consent to your p in her v. You're off to jail.


            Situation 2:
            Male: "hey baby wanna do it"
            Female: "mmmmmm ohhhhhh"
            Male: "im sorry what?"
            Female: "ohhhhHHHH!! that feels so GOOD!!"
            Male: "Im really sorry but you're gonna have to be more specific..? Is that a yes? You have enthusiasm but I don't hear consent"


            Situation 3:
            Male: "hey Name, do you want to do x?" (description of the next step from kiss -> sex)
            Female: "yes! do it now!" (for each step)
            Female: "he raped me"
            Male: "I got enthusiastic and direct consent to each action
            *end result, nothing*


            Just cos it works for you, doesn't make it suitable for mass-consumption, and it sure as hell doesn't make it suitable to be THE LAW.

              This is the worst speculative fiction I've read in a long time.

              You seem to live in:

              A world where women throw rape accusations around like confetti for no readily explored reason, and are universally believed. IRL, most women don't ever come forward, and many of those who do are assumed to be lying, mistaken or vindictive, even by the police.

              A world where men are prosecuted and convicted on the context-free word of a woman, even when in cross-examination in the scenarios you described, they would have to testify under oath that they said 'yes'. Cross-examination is rough on women in sexual assault trials even when there's been evidence of violence and coercion. Much of the law holds that consenting to being in a man's presence in, say, a hotel room is consent to any and all things that might happen there, even if it turns out there's an entire footy team involved. Your scenarios are therefore implausible to the point of incredulity. Except the last one; the only implausible bit there is that a woman who knows she said "yes" at the time feels like she has a snowball's chance in hell of convincing anyone she didn't give consent. But the lack of criminal charges; that bit is plausible.

              And lastly, a world where "oooh, that feels so good" does not imply enthusiastic consent. (I mean, if you need to hear 'yes' by all means, wait till you hear a 'yes,' but most of us are better at communication than that.) And where the only reason you would check someone is into what you are doing with them is because you might get charged with a crime.

              I do not live in that world, nor does anyone I know.

                I think you missed the point.

                I was giving exaggerated examples of things that most definitely are a possibility, IF a new law was made that stated "sexual participants MUST have enthusiastic consent prior to the act" or similar.

                Such a proposal is as ridiculous as my examples - and that's the point.

                I don't live in that world. I'd like not to live in such a world. But if a LAW is made in similar fashion, then these ARE possibilities.

                  Yeah, nah.

                  The stuff you're imagining is not even plausible on paper, much less in the real world with real lawyers and judges and real litigants and prosecutors. As Zambayoshi pointed out above, we may see a shift from "consent by action" to "explicit consent" in sexual assault trials, but the laws will stay as they are.

                  And as I keep saying and you keep ignoring; emphasis on requesting and obtaining consent is as much a social/moral issue as a legal one. You should care about consent because you don't want to sexually assault someone, at least as much as you don't want to be charged with sexual assault.

      Don't start this shit. This isn't a sad boy safe space.

        I don't think I understood any part of your comment :-P

          Don't start doing the whole "Dating is ruined by feminists!" thing. The law isn't going to throw you in prison for flirting. If you're already being a decent person, you shouldn't need to change your dating behaviour much, if at all.

          I mean, yeah. Things are changing a bit. But it's not the end of the world.

            Fair enough. I don't think dating is ruined by feminists. I do take an interest in the way that the law changes in response to social attitudes. Now the proposed changes to the law will themselves alter social attitudes, putting the cart before the horse, in my view.

              Laws are a reflection of social attitudes. Lately (like, the last 30 or so years) the attitudes have been changing, but the laws haven't. There are going to be weird issues and they will be dealt with as they arise. But at the moment, it's basically so hard to prove sexual assault that very few people are ever convicted of it. Victims of sexual assault often don't bother reporting because they know they can't win. That has to change. This is a step toward that. If it ends up being clumsy (it almost certainly will), the laws will be tweaked until they work well.

            The law isn't going to throw you in prison for flirting.

            I'll excuse ignorance, so I'll educate you - various laws in Australia exist, or are worded as such, that it is perfectly possible for someone to be charged with crimes while performing acts of flirting that 99% of western people would be morally okay with.

              lol ok, mate. Please excuse my ignorance and educate me, sempai.

              Or you could give me one of those big ole' citations about how anyone has ever even attempted to use the law in that way.

                ...I need to give you a citation on how someone has falsely tried to accuse someone of rape?

                  You could show that your scare tactic is in any way based on reality and not another pointless slippery slope and sky falling panic.

      That's weird, because the precedent still is technically 'innocent until proven guilty', which doesn't work if you need to prove 'enthusiastic consent' just based on the verbal accusation of someone.

      Also, READ THE POST. The 'consent' given there as examples isn't even consent. "What would happen if I kissed you?" "Let's find out.." is NOT consent!!!!

    My partner and I have a system for spoilers (especially with KHIII just around the corner)
    Weird part is we never discussed it, we just flowed in to it naturally.

    We know what we want to experience together and are both pretty practical and realistic about what we don't and what we prob won get to in the next few months or longer.
    So while we avoid spoiling stuff for each other, one of us will always ask what's happening or who's who if we aren't going to be watching or playing something.
    (Even then we might hold off on the big twists unless asked specifically)

    Now when it's a game we both wanna play (like KHIII) she will play during the day when she can and at night when our son goes down, I will find something to amuse myself till she gets tired and then okay for a while after she goes to bed.

    When it comes to film and TV we keep a list of stuff we want to watch together and then figure out a time to enjoy it when we are both free (usually weekend nights)

    So to me the problem isn't likely spoilers so much as the time you both have to enjoy stuff together and how you use that.
    When you both have that time, use it or lose it and be honest about it when you know that something is at the arse end of your pile of shame.
    Then I think a small spoiler is a good way to excite them and set them up for the juicy stuff.

    "My girlfriend doesn't like spoilers."
    "Tell her she's wrong and she should like them."

    Doesn't really address the issue, does it?

    Trying to push the issue is a great way to get a “yes” that she may not be ready or willing to give.

    Are you saying its great as in you pressure the person into saying yes,
    it sounds like your saying its "great" becuase your getting laid but the other person wasn't really into it.

      Sure, like saying "climbing into the lion's enclosure is a great way to get yourself killed" implies that killing yourself is a good thing.

    I'll support any and every study that finds that people get way too fucking uptight about 'spoilers'. :)

      And this is why we'll never be friends.

      Even when it completely disregards the concept of experiencing something more than once, and how different and incomparable those two experiences are? And the fact that the author of the study acknowledges this?

      "So it does seem that if you are going to read a story once, it should be spoiled. However, if you are going to read it many times, it is still possible that you should make one of those times unspoiled"

        There's a yawning fucking chasm of difference between blurting out the surprise twist of the series finale over twitter before anyone's had a chance to watch it, and getting pissed off that people are daring to talk about something that came out six months ago that they'd like to engage with others about in a public forum, or - the most extreme examples I've seen - yelling at companies for putting spoilers on their box art.

        That's what I mean by 'way too uptight'. There are so many people in my circles of friends who get crazy militant about shit that I personally don't even should be considered spoilers, like... trailers or promotional material showing that a pokemon game, for example, has a specific pokemon in it.

          Sorry, I thought you were talking in general about the study referred in the article; that pokemon example is more than a little ridiculous.

          And if you're six months late to something and read a spoiler in a public forum, that's kinda on you, imo - there's usually plenty of forewarning when someone in a thread is about to delve into details. The random dicks posting spoilers seems to have died down years ago... or maybe they just moved to social media? I wouldn't know, tho it would explain a lot.

            I mean, the study kinda has merit. It's kinda explained a little better by lay-folk over on this article:

            Best summary, here:

            A common complaint of people who take courses like Media or Film studies is that they never look at a TV program, advertisement or film the same way ever again.
            Analyzing a medium in depth and pulling it apart by the seams teaches you to watch things critically — analyzing every aspect and codifying them inside your mind.
            Most tropers, academics, directors or writers who do this start to find new ways to enjoy media. The subtle blends of plots, the new spins on old stories. The rare and welcome times where a plot you weren't expecting appears. But it is never the same.
            Enjoyment comes from a balance of Recognition and Surprise — we enjoy things that we can relate to and have seen before, but we also like to be surprised. Total recognition is cliché; total surprise is alienating. Through comparing different works of fiction, browsing TV Tropes will merge surprise almost entirely with recognition and you will begin analyzing everything and taking a totally new (and possibly better) enjoyment from media - or reality.

    An excellent point regarding spoilers, and a policy that I think would be well adopted by the computer gaming media generally.

    Spoilers must have an expiry date, and quite frankly, far too many people are still bitching about games from 1999 getting 'spoiled' in the forums of gaming blogs. It really isn't our problem that you haven't yet got around to playing a 20 year old game and if this is an issue for you, seriously, just get off the internet.

    I suggest an embargo of something around nine months, for simplicity, but if you wanted to over-complicate things, perhaps up to the first time the game goes on sale for 50% off the launch price on Steam - by that time anyone with any prospect of playing the game any time soon already has a copy and the rest of the potential future players clearly aren't going to get around to it any time soon.

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