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Spoiler Territory

With a large pile of unfinished games spoilers are always a potential issue. I am pretty far along the spoiler-hating spectrum. I avoid trailers, and sometimes even refuse to read book blurbs. I realise that's pretty extreme, and I don't actually expect anyone to be that considerate. I've had to learn to make allowances, but I am still reasonably choosy about the information I read.

If I care strongly about a particular game I'll prioritise playing it, and be careful about what I read online. Normally this works out fine.

Mass Effect 2 is something I would normally prioritise, partly because a lot of my friends play it. But I held off this time, and decided to finish Dragon Age: Origins first. This plan didn't work out very well. I started to get really bored with the monotonous Deep Roads (old Dwarven tunnels). Then the weather started to get colder, making console gaming by the heater a more attractive option than the PC in my freezing bedroom.

So, of course Mass Effect 2 has been coming up in conversation at just about every social event I attend. I have talkative friends who are not easily put off once they start telling anecdotes. One or two of these conversations I could have handled, but after the third or fourth I rapidly hit my spoiler threshold and started acting like a brat about it.

And it really is being brat. Maybe if it came out last week I'd have something to complain about. As is, it's a pretty minor thing and I brought it on myself. I could do to get more perspective sometimes.

What actually interested me most about this situation was the difference of opinion about what constitutes a spoiler. Once everyone knows someone listening hasn't played a game (and intends to) there are certain things they will hold back, and other things they continue to discuss without any concern.

We are probably all in agreement about any pivotal plot twists being spoilers. But after that it gets messier.

In the case of Bioware games, I normally expect very little from the overarching plot. The first Mass Effect really interested me at first, with the worlds and characters it had created. By by the end it had devolved into sickening patriotism, with humanity as the last hope for the universe. I rapidly went from loving to hating it. My major wish for the series is that we all get bitten in the arse for our arrogance. Which may well happen, but I still don't really trust them to fix the things I have big problems with.

So, I haven't been too concerned about the larger-scale stuff in Mass Effect 2. I am much more interested in the smaller stories and character interactions. Those are also the things my friends have been less guarded about, and after so many conversations I've heard about quite a lot of them. They are spoilers to me, but clearly I have opposite ideas about which topics are most important to avoid.

I've been thinking a lot about spoilers in my writing, and how to handle them. As usual the answer is just to use my best judgement, and keep working on improving my writing. As well as hoping people will forgive me when I do cross a line.