First I wanted to comment on the Title "The 10th Ally" I am using that as a way to refer to the fan base. But also keep in mind i am not speaking for everyone. Only that I am trying to come at this topic while taking into account as many viewpoints as possible.
Now for the main topic. Spoilers. I want to talk about What are Spoilers and What are degrees of effort someone might go to to avoid spoilers.
What is a Spoiler?
Level 0 - Nothing is a spoiler. These people are happy to know every detail including all ending and will still not feel spoiled. And will play the game.
Level 1 - Just not the ending. Everything is open, just do not reveal the ending.
Level 2 - Anything outside of official announcements is a spoiler.
Level 3 - Trailers and some news is acceptable, but revealing info from interviews and such could be spoiler territory.
Level 4 - Just about everything is a spoiler. Maybe watch 1 teaser trailer. maybe maybe maybe the first full trailer. But even knowing the Premise/plot is a spoiler. Even the events in the first 2-3 hours of the game are spoilers.
Level 5 - Everything except Game title and Release date is a spoiler. Everything!
What degree are you willing to avoid spoilers.
Effort 0 - Will actively seek any and all info on the game, including watching full youtube/twitch playthroughs.
Effort 1 - Will watch all trailers, podcasts, interviews, and some initial gameplay on youtube/twitch.
Effort 2 - Will watch most Trailers, and podcasts, but might avoid interviews and media focused on the game.
Effort 3 - Avoid all trailers except the reveal Maybe the first full trailer. Avoid most other media mentions of the game.
Effort 4 - No trailers. Maybe just the reveal.
Effort 5 - Full Media Blackout.
And some people will passively implement these efforts and others will actively implement them.
For example. Passively effort 4 means I might start a podcast, but stop or skip when they start talking about the game.
Actively means I would probably not listen to the podcast at all if it seemed possible they might talk about the game.. Seeing as spoilers could just slip out.
I tend to fall into the range of Effort 4 for games I am really looking forward to. And I have to make this decision very early on around the announcement of the game.
My default Effort ALL of the time is Effort 3. For everything Game or movie. And then I will decided based on each product if I am going to go Effort 0-2 or Effort 3-5.
I have only done Effort 5 for very very few things. And it is fun.
Now here is the thing. While I might consider Spoilers to always be in the Level 3-4 range. It is up to me to commit a certain level of effort to avoid them. While it would be nice if some people saw eye to eye on what a Spoiler is. I know that that is not always the case.
For example. With the most recent Star Wars Movie coming out I have decided to implement Effort 3. But overall I am not too worried about if some things are spoiled. But my buddy is on FULL blown Effort 5. And so I know to tell him nothing. He does not even know the title. And I respect that and tell him NOTHING at all, except maybe vague warnings if I see spoilers around.
A small example of how avoiding spoilers can lead to amazing twists:
There was 1 time I accidentally avoided all info on a certain movie. Creed. I had almost NO clue what it was. I was not trying to. It was jut coincidence. So one day I am looking through on Demand for movie to watch and I see this movie with a boxer on the cover. I start watching it, assuming it is a biopic on this athlete or some sports movie. 15-20 minutes in there is this MASSIVE TWIST! it is "revealed" This is a Rocky movie!!! OMFG. I had to pause the movie. and I ran around my house geeking the fuck out. Here I am thinking I was watching a generic sports movie... and BAM! One of the biggest and coolest twists in a movie, book, or game I have ever experienced... and it was not meant to be a twist.
That is why some people like to avoid and think almost EVERYTHING is a spoiler. Because of moments like that.
I mean Imagine you want into a Marvel movie now even knowing the title. And little by little you are figuring out which hero it is, and who else is in the movie.
How long is a spoiler a spoiler? Well technically. Forever. Just look at all those reaction videos of people watching Empire strikes back... Yeah. Eve to this day. People who never knew that twist are having their freaking minds blown.
How long is it realistic to treat something as a spoiler? Well that is another discussion for another time. Personally I think 1 month is perfectly reasonable. and if I still want to avoid spoilers after that, then it is up to me.
Anyways. Thank you for reading. I hope that I have explained myself well and also implied the intentions of most people avoiding spoilers.
Please provide any examples you have had of great reasons to avoid spoilers. And vice versa. Stories of average gamers who just take in the news and enjoy the game without going through all thus hub-bub.