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Checkpoint: Media Blackout Edition


Did you know you could have watched the first hour of BioShock 2 and Mass Effect 2 before you were even allowed to buy game? That’s like watching the first 20 minutes of a full length movie. I know why they do it. They want to feed on the hype of the weak and lure them over to their websites. But it’s a trend that I’m not too pleased with.

GiantBomb’s Quick Looks operate in a similar fashion, but they tend to focus on less story centric games. It’s okay to watch the first twenty minutes of Sega All-Star Racing to see how it works out, but why spoil the first hour of a story heavy game like Mass Effect 2?

Even if it’s not story heavy, certain games thrive on creating spectacles and to have it ruined by 480p streaming video when you could have experienced it first hand on your 52″ 1080p HDTV is a travesty in my opinion.

But as difficult as it is to stay unspoiled pre-release, it is twice as difficult post-release. With websites, podcasts, forums, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, I’m finding it very difficult to stay pure. Just searching for possible technical issues on a game before buying can incredibly risky in forums. Even NeoGAF with its spoiler tags and dedicated spoiler zones can sometime slip up.

And that’s why I didn’t even bother with visiting the God of War III official thread on GAF. I don’t even bother visiting the Heavy Rain one either since I have yet to play it. I’m also skipping entire podcast episodes since they’re covering Final Fantasy XIII for the week.

I didn’t care much about these spoilers a few years ago, but since games have become a bit more interesting narratively, I’ve come to care about it more and more. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t be caring since developers and publishers are allowing sites like GameTrailers to post the opening acts to their games for all to see before release. If they don’t care, why should I?

That’s something to think about.

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