We Discuss FOMO, Hot Takes, and Spoiler Culture on Waypoint Radio


Few movie franchises inspire as many hot takes as Star Wars, and with the latest film dropping, you can already feel the Internet shaking. There are zero The Last Jedi spoilers in this podcast, but the movie's release prompted myself, Danielle, and Austin to consider why people so compelled to deliver their opinions ASAP, how hot takes relate to spoiler culture, and more.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/59wzx5/we-discuss-foma-and-spoiler-culture-on-waypoint-radio


A thing that this ep didn’t get into, though it touched on tangentially a bit, is that spoilers are not limited to narrative, esp with games. Mechanics can be spoiled (or, revealed before someone encounters them, “spoiled” makes it sound inherently bad, but also its a good shorthand).

This is something that is mostly unique to games, the idea that, narrative entirely aside, there is an experience that can be easily described and spoiled. Often that’s good, that’s basically what a lot of game strategy guides are, or, say, learning the meta of a game through research.

There are sometimes game mechanic shifts that, while they accompany narrative often, do not have to, rely or are improved by surprising the player. Undertale is an example of that for me (though often the mechanical surprises there were concurrent with narrative moments).

I don’t really have a take here, one way or another, but i want to hear what people here or waypoint staff thinks about the idea of spoiling mechanics, be it internal game rules or modes of interaction.


On the topic of spoiling mechanics, I found this especially prevalent in the spoiler culture behind Undertale and What Remains of Edith Finch, which both relied heavily on mechanics to deliver their narratives.


You can totally spoil game mechanics. I’m not even gonna name the game, but in that game there is a very significant thing that is about a press of a single button.

This duality of gameplay vs. story is bs anyway, but that’s different discussion.

Some years ago, I was mod/admin/news writer/designer/everything for a pretty big LiveJournal community about one creative person that I don’t like anymore. That taught me to respect other people’s desire not to be spoiled. And as Austin said, that one is very easy (<lj-cut> that thing), so why not.

(But I would choose content warning over spoiler any time. That’s way more important.)

On the other hand, personally I don’t care about spoilers at all. LPs (completionist, with everything explained), are a good example of this. I watched first three “Uncharted” games, and then played them. But I played “The Last of Us” day one(ish), and then watched couple of Let’s Plays. I don’t see any significant difference in those experiences.

Aeris dies, btw.


Re: content warnings as spoilers, I tend to agree with Danielle that having content warnings available is more important than not spoiling “the shock”. For a game like the one Patrick played, where the swerve is a big part of the experience, I think maybe having a simpler content warning with the option to expand for the specifics may be a good choice for devs making that sort of an experience.


That’s a really interesting example too, as, I had no interest in the game whatsoever, until I heard about the turn it takes, and now I’m intrigued. (Where I otherwise just… don’t really play visual novels, particularly of the “relationship simulator stuff with high school kids” variety.)


YES, an expandable content warning would be awesome.


The direct download link goes to episode 120 btw. Hoping that gets fixed soon.


yea, I def want content warnings for a content warnings


Spoiler “culture” is one of those things where it comes from an understandable place, but some people take it ridiculously far. To the point where I think some are worse off for freaking out about everything remotely spoiler like, but eh, that’s their choice.

It is sort weird to spoiler things like that the movie’s villain loses at the end of the generic action movie, or that I just beat a shrine called Vah Ratuna. Spoilers have shifted from being about a big reveal to just anything that happens (although maybe that’s been a thing for longer than I know). But that’s still everyone’s own choice so whatever.

It’s worse (and I think worth talking about) when this attitude affects others, and it does. I’ve seen quite a few examples like mentioned in this podcast, where people give others grief for innocuous headlines, or discussing the content of a trailer in a devoted forum thread, or reveals that should be obvious in an article about a thing. And sure, headlines aren’t something you can necessarily be expected to avoid, but should one ever be surprised to read about, you know, the thing one is opening an article about? That’s when “spoiler culture” becomes a wet blanket on discussion.

I once read a comment about how the more extreme spoiler phobes seem to want to read everything about a game/movie/series but not learn anything from it. Thinking about it, that mindset seems similar to the discussion about racing to having “takes” on something new: you don’t want to miss out on the fun of a hot topic.

All that said, I’m a bit grumpy about it ( :slight_smile: ) but I take spoiler tagging things seriously for other’s sake.


I’m going to be honest, I found it pretty offensive that Danielle laughed off “drug use” content warnings. There are a lot of people who can be triggered for a variety of reasons when they see drugs being used, even recreationally, and I think it is very short-sighted to laugh it off just because you aren’t someone affected by it. Maybe I am being overly-sensitive, but it seems very out of place in a Waypoint podcast to laugh at a trigger warning that can cause serious mental trauma (i.e. relapse) for some. With trigger warnings, in general, becoming the butt end of many jokes in recent years I hope Danielle can see this and at least take it into consideration.

Sorry if that came off as pushy or rude, just wanted to share.


Spoilers don’t really bother me normally but i tweeted about a minor scene in a game the other day and had some rando viciously @ me to tell me something that happens with one of the characters involved. It was an extremely minor spoiler (just like “this character gets a certain job after graduating high school in game 3”) but that still really steamed me up just on the basis of like what variety of motherfucker is out here namesearching a game just to hand out inconsequential spoilers?


You are absolutely correct, and I apologize for this.

For some reason, in the moment, I was picturing the ESRB style system, where drug use or smoking is “not something children should see” and I, very insensitively, said what I said.

I lost a cousin to opioid addiction just over a year ago, I work with many folks who struggle with addiction in my volunteer life, and there is no excuse at all for my being flippant with this.

I’m sorry I said this, and sorry for being thoughtless on this.


I’m so sorry for your loss.

Thank you for being prudent in not only responding, but making sure you recognized the issue and resolved it. That’s a trait few people have, let only one that I could attribute to an entire website. :heart:


The thing I often find missing from discussions about whether something is more fun/equally fun spoiled as it is unspoiled is that you only really have one opportunity for the unspoiled experience. Yes, it can be a lot of fun to experience media knowing what’s coming and seeing how the artist gets you there. But it’s also fun to discover that fresh. I generally try to avoid spoilers (though I don’t get extreme about it) because I have plenty of opportunity to go back and experience something again with the knowledge of what happens, but I only have the one chance to see what it’s like not knowing. Even if the spoiled version is just as fun or more fun, it’s a different experience and I would like to have both experiences for media that I enjoy.