Recently, I finally finished reading through my first visual novel, 999: 9 hours 9 persons 9 doors, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The puzzle sections were just long enough and satisfying to complete, utterly lacking any contrived adventure game logic (excepting one bit involving a roll of toilet paper). The story was one of those stories that really mustn't be spoiled, as so much of the fun is in trying to predict what will happen next and being vindicated or surprised by the events as they unfold.
Eager to nurture this incipient interest in visual novels with puzzles, I thought I'd dip into another known as Phoenix Wright. Intrigued was I, therefore, by an all too timely review of the latest in the series right here on Destructoid (the site that is now ruined forever because no more cocks or fapping). I began to read with interest when my heart sank. In his musings meant to introduce the review, one Jonathan Ross (not the affable, British TV personality) saw fit to reveal an important fact about the end of one installment of the franchise. Some responses to this, as well as a slew of other past experiences, lead me to ask this:
Why do so many people seem to think there's a statute of limitations on spoilers?
Pictured (clockwise from the top): I dunno, some guy, no idea, Phoenix Wright, what's-her-face, small child and Boobs McGee (?).
Do you think this, person reading this blog? If so, allow me to shine some light on a fact you may have forgotten: new people—you know, people who didn't exist when a given piece of art/entertainment was most popular—will always, for the rest of the human species's existence, become interested in older literature, drama, TV shows, movies, comics and video games. These new people are just as likely as you, person reading this, to be desirous of a fresh experience with works you enjoyed unspoiled. These new people may in fact wish to be entirely ignorant of what turns a story takes before delving into it, even if the story is very old! This may sound shocking, but it is true.
Recently, my brother (turning 18 next month oh fuck I am so old) finally started doing something I've been hounding him to do for some time: he started playing the original Thief games. The experience that was, and most importantly STILL IS engrossing and more accurately described as "immersive" than any other I've had (outside of real things that are actually happening) is something I want him to traipse trough on his own, ignorant of what's to come. That's how I experienced it, and I would and should be ashamed were I to rob him of the opportunity to be taken by surprise. I feel the same way about some of my favorite books. It doesn't matter that the Epic of Gilgamesh is thousands of years old, don't go around prattling on about every little plot development while claiming that it's just fine to do so because the story is old. I don't care that The Brothers Karamazov is over a century old, it's a damn good story.
Oh by the way this is the only English translation worth reading so go buy it now.
Some stories are cultural touchstones, and their themes and often their plots are common knowledge by virtue of their being referenced so regularly—Rosebud is the sled, the play's the thing wherein Hamlet catches the conscience of the king and Doctor Faust is claimed by Hell in the end. This is unfortunate, not carte blanche to gleefully spoil the story for anyone who's not had the chance to experience it themselves; it's new to them.
When I was a child, I loved Greek and Norse mythology. The stories were exciting and weird, always surprising me with some new, bizarre development I could never have seen coming. As I grew older, I found that so many of the best twists in these stories are discussed openly, even by people who haven't read them. This is because they aren't stories anymore, they're culture, and that's not something to celebrate.
P.S. don't spoil Battlestar Galactica for me I just started watching it.