Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pet peeve of the day: Spoiler posts

Undoubtedly, this will be one of many posts I'll be doing on this subject, but it's one that many people have bumbled over, time and time again: posting spoilers.

I think there's some proper procedures to follow when it comes to posting video game spoilers on web pages, and not everyone follows the rules. Failure to follow these guidelines will brew spite and ire to your sites, so pay attention!

1. Don't post spoiler news or pictures straight on the main page.

It's hard to catch these, because once they're out, the internet's pure outrage and intolerance for the reveal usually forces the moderator to rectify their post...but it happens. People's posts revealing screenshots of images are not the best way to generate site traffic. Most sites employ a more voluntary link for users who wish to view the spoiler goods, shielding the others who do not wish to spoil for themselves. For any spoiler text, some sites and forums have same-color text as their sites' backgrounds, and force users to highlight if they want the full story, which works just as well. Just, don't be a jerk and post it straight out.

2. Don't post spoilers AS the main subject header.

This is just as asinine as posting news and pictures on the main page. To post the big reveal in marquee lights for all to see is a humongous no-no.

3. Post actual text warnings about spoilers.

Protecting people from spoilers via links is all well and good, but it doesn't mean squat if you don't warn your audience first. You have to consider that the average internet surfer usually clicks faster than they tend to, so anticipate their...well, anticipation, and give them ample warning before they take that spoiler-filled step.

I think those are the 3 most major rules to follow when posting a spoiler. No site's infallible; I've seen lots of my favorite sites accidentally post game spoilers at times, and as a result stayed away from them for a while. To me, when I see a spoiler, it's like the equivalent of a friend's betrayal; after the act, you don't feel like you can trust them anymore for a while.

What would be considered "spoiler," you ask? Well, anything that can potentially put off anyone from playing the game if they had known. Believe me, I've stopped playing a few just because of simple spoilers.

What do you guys think? Oh, and keep the posts spoiler-free, too.
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