Back in the 80’s and 90’s we had these cool things called magazines. There were all kinds back then. If you go to the grocery store you can sometimes find an isle of these ancient manuscripts on topics ranging from how to properly put on makeup to building a new home for your chickens. Some of these fabled tomes even contained information on video games. Tips, tricks, tutorials and, often times, previews of games to come. I remember, in the days of my youth, flipping through such a book and drooling, slightly, at the information and images on the upcoming Final Fantasy VI. It was glorious, but also a curse! Why? Because I had to wait. Wait to see if the next tome, which appeared monthly, would contain any more information the game, wait for the game to release, wait for it to get to my house from the mail-order game store that carried it. The proceeding issues may not have anything new beyond advertisements, and the wait for the games release and arrival were totally worth it.
Most of you will never understand what I am talking about.
To date I have done well to avoid reading much information about Final Fantasy XV. I have some general knowledge of it, but I have chosen to avoid any of the recent developments or info coming from gaming shows, and for good reason. Sit back, dear reader, and let me recount to you a tale of betrayal and despair.
In the early 90’s I worked for a small company in my town as a data entry clerk. It was a tedious job made less so by the constant playing of game music, which I piped into my head via my earphones all day, every day. It was during my stint at this job that I purchased a Sony PlayStation, and was eagerly awaiting the release of Final Fantasy VII. I had been reading up on it through various game magazines for some time, but I had also been starting to use the internet much more, and so I eventually started looking for info on the game there.
Now, the game was already out in Japan, and us gamers in the states were merely waiting for it to make its way to US shores. This meant, of course, that there was plenty of information floating around online for people to look at, and that meant spoilers.
It started with images, then music (ah, mod file, I knew you well!), and then onto videos of the games cut scenes. Pretty soon I knew the whole game before I even purchased it.
I played the game, but already knew everything that was going to happen. It was an enjoyable play through, but likely not what it could have been had I not cursed myself by reading all about it online first.
I regret it to this day.
I have done my best to avoid FFXV information like the plague, but it is getting more and more difficult. Every day I see my Facebook, Bing and news feeds full of FFXV stuff. Fortunately memories of the preceeding story have made it easy for me to avoid any deep reading, as I do not want to suffer the issues of the past.
In the modern day and age news hits someone’s ears and is online within minutes. Maybe one of the reasons the gaming industry is suffering is because there’s no magic anymore. We know all about games before they even hit the shelves. Developers know this and they pump out all kinds of media in the forms of videos, music releases and tons of images. By the time we get the game, who cares. Its not new anymore. Even the story isn’t new, as we can typically piece together things before we start playing.
If you love games, avoid the internet. And since you cant avoid the internet, do yourself a favor and avoid reading anything about your favorite upcoming releases beyond the actual release date and some general information. You will be doing yourself a great favor, and experiencing something that is slowly dying: surprise.