Teasers, trailers, Youtube, webisodes… All these avenues give us previews and peeks into our favorite entertainment. But are previews more detrimental than helpful? What is the difference between a great preview that entices our appetite, and a spoiler that ruins it? You might be surprised by what you’re about to read. 😉
Just this week, content for the upcoming video game, Diablo 3 was leaked. By leaked, I mean special surprises and features from the game’s collector’s edition were illegally posted on the internet before the official launch day of May 15th. Is this leak a spoiler or just a lucky sneak preview that enthusiastic fans want? Well it depends on the type of media. Let’s look at four types: Movies, Video Games, Television and Books.
Preserving that first-time, first-look experience for a new movie is important. Long before there were any previews for The Avengers, I knew I would see this movie. But how did I know without watching any of the previews? Because I love well-made action flicks, and have thoroughly enjoyed the movies leading up to The Avengers, i.e., Iron Man, Captain America, etc. So what did I do? I AVOIDED all trailers, teasers, leaks, reviews, everything. What was the result? I had a very different experience (a better one in my opinion) than my theatre mates sitting next to me. They had previewed every trailer, read reviews, and chatted with friends about the film before seeing it. So when the movie came out, it was not as epic for them as it could have been. They had already seen the best CG moments, heard the funniest lines, and were keen to the climaxes of scenes.
Long before I played World of Warcraft, I watched the Wrath cinematic. This type of preview was good. It didn’t spoil the experience of playing the expansion, it enhanced it. Blizzard Entertainment’s Wrath of the Lich King trailer is moving, and soul-piercing… It is about family, about a son’s desperation, and a father’s hope. If you haven’t already, watch this cinematic. But do it justice: turn down the lights, turn up the volume, and out the distractions. Click here!
Assassin’s Creed Revelations Cinematic enhanced my experience playing the video game because it didn’t leak any spoilers, but instead gave background and density to the hero. After seeing the cinematic, I could relate to him and could therefore empathize and connect with the game and the journey into the end. The cinematic for this game is amazing. Sit back and enjoy. Click here!
I don’t watch much cable TV, but I am a huge fan of a few Hulu shows. So even though I can’t say for sure whether TV previews enhance or spoil the show, I’m guessing that even TV previews give away too much, and ruin moments in the episodes. >.<
I’m on the fence about Book Trailers. It’s a cool evolution for the new generation of books. It fits right in with the overflowing previews pushed into the market for other media. But I can’t help but wonder if book trailers are a hinderance to the experience of reading. Part of what makes reading a book so special is that the reader is creating, imagining and picturing everything. Dictate all those details in a book trailer and ZAP! The reader’s creation and imagination have just been overridden.
What do you think? I’ve just revealed my breakdown for a formula that guarantees my entertainment experiences will be preserved, cherished, fresh, and new. Do you think filtering your exposure will effect your experiences? Will movies be more epic for you because they have been preserved? Do video game trailers help immerse you in the world and connect you with the characters? And what about book trailers? Give me your opinions. Your comments could convince me one-way or the other!
The next time you hear about a movie coming out, (like BRAVE, or the new BATMAN) don’t watch the previews, and don’t read the reviews. Plug your ears and close your eyes. Jokes won’t be spoiled, epic special effects will be a delight, and your experience will be different—10 TIMES BETTER!
Your first impression in each of these genres can only happen once. So for media’s sake, and your maximum viewing pleasure, GUARD YOURSELF.