Spoiler (media)

From Academic Kids

A spoiler is a summary or description of a narrative (or part of a narrative) that relates plot elements not revealed early in the narrative itself. Moreover, because enjoyment of the plot depends on dramatic tension and suspense, this early revelation of plot elements "spoils" the enjoyment that consumers of the narrative would otherwise have experienced.

In recent years, spoilers have mostly appeared on specialist Internet sites and in newsgroup postings. In these cases, the spoilers are mostly directed at film endings. Usually the spoiling information is preceded by a warning, or the spoiler has to be highlighted before it can be visibly read on the web page. But in recent years these warnings have been omitted, and some unwitting readers have had movies they were looking forward to watch spoiled.

People who spoil give the excuse that:

  • readers don't need to read the spoilers (even though most of them are obviously accidental)
  • people should have seen the movie already
  • if a movie is not enjoyable anymore because of a spoiler, then it is not a good movie worth to be watched

On Usenet the common method for obscuring spoiler information is to precede it with many blank lines known as "spoiler space", traditionally enough to push the information on to the next screen of a 25-line terminal. A simple encipherment using ROT13 is also used in newsgroups to obscure spoilers, but is rarely used for this purpose elsewhere.

Wikipedia encourages media articles to place a Wikipedia Spoiler Warning in an article before it reveals important plot details or endings. The Warning looks like this:


Examples of spoilers

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

A classic spoiler example occurred in 1999. Someone calling himself Mr. Spoilsport posted a message to the newsgroup alt.fan.starwars and spoiled the long awaited Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace. The post caused some subscribers to the Star Wars newsgroup to read the spoiler without having to open the article, since the spoiler was put in the subject field of the message.

This angered many alt.fan.starwars subscribers, since although they were fans of Star Wars, many had been waiting 20 years for the prequel, and running up to premiere of the film, they had been making a conscious effort not to read any spoilers. Although the original posts by Mr. Spoilsport have been deleted and wiped from the Internet by angry alt.fan.starwars moderators, many of the replies are still available here: [1] (http://groups.google.com/groups?q=mr+spoilsport+group:alt.fan.starwars&num=100&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&c2coff=1&as_drrb=b&as_mind=1&as_minm=2&as_miny=1999&as_maxd=1&as_maxm=4&as_maxy=1999&filter=0).


In 2004, Ken Jennings was amassing record winnings on the TV game show "Jeopardy!" Immediately after the show where he lost was taped, several media reports and Internet newsgroups posted information about Jennings' loss (the information presumably by audience members who attended the taping). Production officials with "Jeopardy!" and Jennings himself repeatedly refused to divulge or verify information and rumors surrounding the loss until the actual show aired, but viewers had already been tipped.

Million Dollar Baby

In 2005 the spoiler controversy hit mainstream media when Million Dollar Baby was nominated for the Academy Award's Best Picture. In discussing the film, which was released in late 2004, newspapers, magazines, and television news routinely revealed the movie's "surprise" ending.

The Crying Game

This movie is infamous for having its "secret" being cited again and again in a special context.

Usual Suspects

The movie is infamous for often being subjected to spoilers (mostly on the Internet), especially by telling the secret identity of "Kayzer Soze".

Monkey Island

At the end of The Curse of Monkey Island adventure game, Guybrush Threepwood asks LeChuck what is the secret of Monkey Island, and he tries to guess by suggesting the "secrets" of classic movies (although they are unnamed): Citizen Kane, Soylent Green, The Crying Game, Old Yeller and Chinatown.

See also

External links

de:Spoiler (Medien)


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