Rumors have caught fire ever since this past Wednesday when certain unannounced games appeared on Walmart’s Canadian website. Walmart quickly took the games down and claimed that a glitch was to blame. Speculation still ensued about what revelations would appear at the upcoming E3 in June. Some may classify knowing about these games as spoilers for E3. If you would like to know which games these are, you are free to look them up. I will not spoil the titles here.
Hurt Leads To Anger
No matter the reason, games that people previously did not know would exist, now do. And certain gamers are angry. I believe this anger comes from the hurt of a perceived theft of enjoyment of discovery.
According to the 2008 research article, What We Regret Most Are Lost Opportunities: A Theory Of Regret Intensity by Denise R. Beike, Keith D. Markman, and Figen Karadogen,
“[R]egretted experiences in the most commonly regretted life domains are perceived as offering the least opportunity for improvement in the future”.
Reading this, we know a couple of things. One actuality includes that people get angry when you take control over their future away from them. The loss of what could have been hurts more than past mistakes. I do not mean to insinuate that knowing about the existence of any of these games is in line with regretting never saying hi to your crush before they moved away. But a lot of people find importance in the “OMG” moments of watching a reveal trailer online at the same time as millions of other people.
Do Spoilers Ruin The Experience?
As someone who does not exactly stay up to absurd hours or take entire days off work to watch live streams, I can only personally identify with those who do on a small scale. Mostly, when a trailer is revealed to me, I am, at first, looking at the name of the YouTube video. I know what to expect. But the excitement of seeing the Final Fantasy VII Remake announcement is just as palpable.
In fact, when I played the original, the game was around ten years old at that point. I had been completely aware of the plot twist at the end of Act 1 for a while. And yet, it still emotionally affected me in a way that I did not expect. The spoiler did not ruin my experience, but let me read foreshadows and feel the excitement and dread the first time around.
Do Announcement Spoilers Even Count As Spoilers?
The Walmart leak is not even a plot spoiler, however. It is a spoiler of how you may or may not want to find out about something. It reminds me of when I was a kid. I was a huge Dragon Ball Z fan. I was walking with my best friend in the woods, and he turns to me and tells me there’s something in Japan called Dragon Ball GT. He then proceeded to “spoil” certain plot points of a series, that as far as I was concerned only existed in Japan. The quality of this show aside, the informal nature of this “announcement” made me want to see it even more. It would be years until I could see it.
I have my doubts about whether you can spoil an announcement of the existence something for the person receiving it. Whether you accidentally let it slip that your friend is getting a surprise party or a new baby, the person receiving the news is still excited and has anticipation for the event. The anger would fall on the planner or mother. In the case of these game leaks, it is truly the game developers that miss out.
We can only speculate about which games’ announcements publishers had scheduled for E3. Like it or not, gamers are thinking about these games now. Publishers may have wished that the games had had their reveals in a more controlled manner later. I just don’t believe that it’s the end of the world, and there is no reason not to be excited.