How to avoid video game spoilers: tips on preserving the excitement and enjoyment of gaming

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Breath of the Wild remains a treasure trove waiting to be fully explored, and its sequel will likely be the same

As the gaming community eagerly awaits the release of the highly anticipated sequel to Breath of the Wild, releasing this Friday (12 May) on Nintendo Switch, there is an imminent threat lurking on the internet: spoilers.

Last month’s leak of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom via early retail copies has sent shockwaves through the community, leaving fans desperate to protect themselves from having their gaming experience compromised.

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As eager players who managed to get their hands on copies of Tears of the Kingdom make their way through the game, some have chosen to share their gaming journey via live streams, while separately, hackers delve into the game’s files in search of additional clues

A significant amount of information has already surfaced, providing us with a wealth of new insights into the most highly anticipated Switch game of the year. But when it comes to highly anticipated blockbuster video game releases, avoiding spoilers is crucial to preserving the excitement and enjoyment of the gaming experience.

The online gaming community thrives on sharing discoveries, theories and experiences, forming a vibrant ecosystem of discourse and camaraderie. But early leaks and spoilers threaten to disrupt these processes, as they introduce information prematurely, leading to fragmented and potentially divisive discussions and robbing players of the collective joy and surprise that comes from exploring a game together.

By avoiding spoilers, players can embark on their journeys unburdened by preconceived notions, allowing for genuine reactions and the opportunity to contribute to the communal exploration of the game’s world.

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Link will have a number of new abilities to play around with in Tears of the Kingdom (Image: Nintendo)Link will have a number of new abilities to play around with in Tears of the Kingdom (Image: Nintendo)
Link will have a number of new abilities to play around with in Tears of the Kingdom (Image: Nintendo) | Nintendo

Video games are often designed to surprise and captivate players with unexpected twists, plot developments and hidden secrets, and nowhere is that more true than with Nintendo games like Tears of the Kingdom.

Breath of the Wild offered players a vast open world filled with a sense of wonder and exploration. The sense of wonder it instilled was derived from the thrill of venturing into uncharted territory, discovering hidden landscapes, stumbling upon breathtaking vistas and encountering unique creatures and characters.

Players revelled in the joy of exploring every nook and cranny, always anticipating the possibility of uncovering something unexpected. Even years after its release, players continue to make new discoveries and stumble upon hidden secrets within the game.

From hidden shrines and puzzles to rare items and elusive NPCs, the game is a treasure trove waiting to be fully explored, with the sequel likely to introduce its own set of mysteries and surprises, enticing players to engage in a collective journey of discovery.

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Sharing the thrill of uncovering these surprises simultaneously with others amplifies the sense of wonder, and avoiding spoilers preserves that element of surprise while allowing players to experience the game’s narrative as intended by its creators.

Remember that video games, like other forms of art, are meticulously crafted experiences that developers pour their creativity and passion into, and going in “fresh” allows players to honour and respect the artistic vision behind the game.

But how can I avoid spoilers?

To shield yourself from spoilers, it’s essential to create digital boundaries. There are many tools out there that will help you tailor your spoiler-free experience to your needs.

Avid social media users are potentially most at risk at casually stumbling across a major spoiler. but this can be somewhat combated by muting relevant keywords, or utilising tools such as TweetDeck to block any mention of “The Legend of Zelda,” “Tears of the Kingdom,” or other related keywords to maintain a spoiler-free timeline.

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Just as much the internet can be a hotbed of spoiler-spouting trolls determined to ruin your experience, it’s just as easy to seek refuge in online communities dedicated to the game, where like-minded individuals are equally determined to avoid spoilers.

Many fans on official forums or subreddits discussing Tears of the Kingdom will want to engage in discussions about the game without fear of spoilers, and are likely just as committed to preserving the experience as you are.

Another potentially obvious tip is to be wary of comment sections on gaming websites, YouTube videos, or social media posts, as spoilers can often appear there. Scroll past comments quickly (or, if possible, avoid reading them altogether); some browser extensions even have features that hide comment sections for added protection.

But perhaps this critical period leading up to the release of Tears of the Kingdom could even be an opportunity to take things offline? Consider prioritising offline gaming conversations, engaging with friends who share your enthusiasm for the game and plan get-togethers or game nights where you can discuss your excitement and theories without the risk of spoilers!

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