Yeah, I totally follow that being spoiled* on something changes how you engage with it yourself. And I certainly won’t go into discussions where people are new to something and happily shout a twist in their face, that’s what assholes do.
But as your examples show it’s impossible to disentangle media from our lives. Powerful scenes will always be talked about, referenced, parodied and endlessly recontextualized. We cannot exist in a fully “unspoiled” state when engaging with old media (arguably we cannot ever be, since we all bring our own contexts and knowledge into play when we watch or play something, so what even is a blank slate?).
The alternative to not spoiling something in any way is to never discuss or reference it in the vaguest terms. I think that’s fundamentally unreasonable.
That’s being a bit too literal. I realize that most players aren’t suggesting that any bit of information is a spoiler. My point is though, that to some extent we (currently) do talk openly about stories, twists and turns since they become part of our cultural bank. It’s more accepted the older the media (few will be angry if we openly discuss the end of Moby Dick) but once it’s out there, can we just put it back in the bag?
Returning to the game in question, can the FF7 remake ever recreate that original moment for new players? In the end, just the discussion about there being a huge thing to spoil changes how it will be received. Not to mention just how much games have changed over the past 20 years, in part due to that scene.
But again, that’s not to say that being spoiled to it won’t change your enjoyment of it. I totally get that and will not throw it in your face if you are engaged with it. And I don’t mind head lines being spoiler tagged until it’s once again deemed old hat.
Finally, getting to a comment that Rob made, there’s definitely a thing for some gamers to want to know everything about a game but stay ignorant of it. To not miss out on the discussion but to ignore the actual discussion. Like people getting sour that new information about an upcoming game is being discussed because it’ll spoil it for them. I understand the feeling but if you are that concerned about spoilers you probably shouldn’t be reading the conversation.
To be clear I don’t think that extreme represents the general public who’s spoiler averse. But I have seen a trend of more and more things being considered spoilers and I don’t think that trend is good for open and thoughtful conversations about media.
*FTR I think the term itself is pretty bad since it implies that the content has been ruined for a viewer, not just altered. Nitpick? Maybe, but the discussion around this is becoming more and more polarized and I think the term invites this framing.