Abyssal Pixels: Why I Don’t Watch Trailers
Lots of my fellow gamers always express their confusion with regards to me refusing to watch trailers of any game that’s going to be released. I watch reveal trailers, sure, I’m not going to keep myself completely in the dark, but gameplay trailers, CGI trailers and game mechanic trailers I steer completely clear from. Hush, I’m going to give my reasons now. It’s quite simple really: I don’t want a single thing spoiled or shown before I get to play the game myself. Of course, it goes deeper than just that.
This all started a while ago when I still watched various trailers from various games on a regular basis. If it was at all related to the game I was anticipating, I would watch it without question or any sort of restraint. But then something happened. The games where I’ve watched copious amounts of trailers for them weren’t fun at the beginning because I knew exactly what was going to happen. Nothing was a surprise to me any more because I’ve seen everything already that the game has to offer. There was no sort of accidental amusement when I used an awesome power that I haven’t yet seen in other games.
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Watching a lot of trailers can be like reading a synopsis of a book and in that short paragraph it tells you all the major plot points in vague detail. When you eventually read that book you will already know what will happen within the book. Sure, you might not know everything until you read it yourself, but nothing will be a surprise to you. You will always anticipate the next big event within that book and that takes power away from you as the reader. You need to allow yourself to be surprised.
Trailers are all well and good, especially when they are done right, but they can also be as misleading as a Thai strip club. The most prominent example has to be Dead Island. Before its gripping and even emotional first trailer, nobody knew what this game was about and the ones who did didn’t seem to care because it looked like “just another zombie game”. Dead Island’s first trailer threw it into a hype storm because from the trailer alone people thought that the game will be so amazing that their balls would explode. When it released it was met with disappointment because it wasn’t as good as people hoped. Unrealistic expectations everybody; one big reason why I refuse to watch trailers.
I do watch some trailers, however. Those I do watch are almost always about games I have no idea about and need to find out a little bit more. For example I watched a gameplay trailer for Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 that I considered pre-ordering. That’s justified, I believe, because I’m considering putting down money for a game I have almost no knowledge about. But for games that are either established franchises or were widely covered by gaming media, I don’t see the point. I remember one case where a friend of mine was pissed that the events of the live action trailer for Assassin’s Creed III never happened within the game itself.
Trailers are for marketing purposes. Any way you slice it, that’s what they are in the end. They are designed movie clips that will make you want to buy a developer’s game. They are going to big it up. Hell, they are supposed to big it up. That’s why I don’t like them. It’s the same sort of logic behind a fast food burger. It looks amazing in pictures and you will find your mouth watering whenever you see it, but when you actually get it it’s a shrivelled up, inferior version of that picture you have been seeing so much. Keep your expectations low and your disappointment will be low I always say.
I’m not saying that all gamers should just stop watching trailers altogether. Most of you can handle a tiny bit of spoiling, but I for one want a pure gaming experience. I don’t like anything to be spoiled for me before hand. I want to see that huge weapon that fires unicorns while I’m playing the game, not in some two minute internet video.