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Author Topic: Spoilers  (Read 1587 times)

Calach Pfeffer

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Spoilers
« on: January 07, 2016, 10:11:07 AM »
Spoiler Alert: Stories Are Not Spoiled by 'Spoilers'

Many of us go to extraordinary lengths to avoid learning the endings of stories we have yet to read or see – plugging our ears, for example, and loudly repeating “la-la-la-la,” when discussion threatens to reveal the outcome. Of book and movie critics, we demand they not give away any plot twists or, at least, oblige with a clearly labeled “spoiler alert.” We get angry with friends who slip up and spill a fictional secret.

But we’re wrong and wasting our time, suggests a new experimental study from the University of California, San Diego. People who flip to the last page of a book before starting it have the better intuition. Spoilers don’t spoil stories. Contrary to popular wisdom, they actually seem to enhance enjoyment. 

Even ironic-twist and mystery stories – which you’d be forgiven for assuming absolutely depend on suspense or surprise for success – aren’t spoiled by spoilers, according to a study by Nicholas Christenfeld and Jonathan Leavitt of  UC San Diego’s psychology department, to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science....



#darthvaderisluke'sdaughter.

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AMonk

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 10:31:36 AM »
... and the butler did do it! bibibibibi
Moderation....in most things...

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 05:48:39 AM »
The butler? You mean C3PO? Of course he did it. No one suspects the robot but he's been on the dark side since the beginning. I mean, you can tell everyone that negative feeling, fears and so on, lead to the dark side, and then show them a robot afraid of everything, and they'll say, omg did you hear about Luke, Leia, Vader, anyone but the damn robot right in front of their eyes?!?!

Darth 3PO. The one they never suspect.

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cruisemonkey

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2016, 11:11:05 AM »
It wasn't a gay robot... it was EL!
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2016, 02:49:36 AM »
Well, now everyone knows.

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cruisemonkey

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2016, 03:40:26 AM »
It's OK... apparently, knowing won't 'spoil it' for anyone.  ahahahahah
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2016, 05:03:47 AM »
Oh, it spoils the...
surprise.


But raises the effect.




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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2016, 02:06:50 AM »
A well written story with a surprise ending loses far too much if the ending is revealed in advance.  Personally, I love it when a book or movie pulls the rug out from under established reality, leaving both the characters and the reader/viewer trying to deal with the new and unexpected turn of events.

If you aren't familiar with it, go watch Shutter Island and try to tell me you would have enjoyed it more knowing about the ending.  Yes, it would be fun to watch it again knowing how it's going to turn out, but that wouldn't be the same as having established reality getting blown to bits.

(Spoiler Alert - Shutter Island ending - suddenly, he wakes up and realizes he's on the Titanic having a fling with Rose - except that Rose is really trying to plant ideas in his head via her dream manipulation skills, since she wants him to get a job as a stock broker so he can manipulate the stock price of LucasFilm, allowing Disney to buy the company.)

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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2016, 03:18:30 AM »
The study says otherwise.

Then again, the study was in terms of reading. Written stories presumably don't much rely on visceral surprise. Movies by contrast entertain at least in part by yanking your chain in the moment. So they presumably can be spoiled.

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2016, 12:36:55 AM »
I suspect the study contained some flaws in its methodology.  When I first read Sherlock Holmes, the fun wasn't admiring the skill of the great detective.  The fun was seeing if I could crack the case before he did (OK, I only succeeded once, but my one moment of triumph over Holmes would never have happened if I'd read the solution first).
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2016, 01:55:34 PM »
Raises the question I suppose of what's gained on a second reading of a story, and is it genuinely very different from what's gained on a first reading. As it happens, I rarely re-read, so I don't know.

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2016, 01:46:31 AM »
Well, if we are to believe that knowing the ending makes it better, perhaps we should read all the surprise ending stories twice.

If I've successfully avoided spoilers, I do enjoy watching mind- bhbhbhbhbh movies a second time a few weeks or months later, if only to see how well/poorly done the foreshadowing is done before the horrible truth is revealed.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2016, 10:36:49 AM »
Consider Moby Dick.

Spoiler: they don't catch the whale.

Story ruined?



But wrt movies... I wonder if movies aren't too simple as stories. If the thrills and spills can be genuinely spoiled - and I do avoid spoilers often too - then perhaps movies don't have that much substance to begin with.

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2016, 01:10:08 AM »
Not really sure how Moby Dick could be a big surprise ending.  Not a lot of options.  Whale lives or dies.  Ahab lives or dies.   Still, it could be more pleasurable to read if one didn't know in advance how it turned out.

It would be MUCH better if there had been a surprising plot twist.

And the great whale turned and spoke, "Ahab, I am your father.  Turn to the whale side and we will rules the oceans together!"

Or if Ahab had been secretly working with Moby to bring human flesh for whale snacks. . .

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Stil

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Re: Spoilers
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2016, 04:28:34 AM »
Raises the question I suppose of what's gained on a second reading of a story, and is it genuinely very different from what's gained on a first reading. As it happens, I rarely re-read, so I don't know.

If you look at a movie like The Sixth Sense . If you watch it after knowing the twist, you can pay attention to the clues that are there throughout the film. Sometimes in a well written story, how you consider the dialogue after knowing a characters fate, is different.