Google have been awarded a patent for ‘processing content spoilers’ – in short – they’re promising to stop them from happening.
Those are big words from the Chocolate Factory. Regular readers of Thumbsticks will know that we recently fell out with Kill Screen Daily over an article that contained a massive spoiler they had deemed ‘fair game’ to talk about, because the game in question (Final Fantasy VII) was of a certain age and the spoiler was considered common knowledge. We also ran a piece on how difficult it is to avoid spoilers in the modern age, but how our experiences can be enhanced if we do succeed.
It’s fair to say we’re anti-spoiler here at the good ship Thumbsticks, so Google’s announcement is a very welcome one. The patent application was filed in October 2012 and was granted yesterday. It appears to be a high-level overview – basically a big flowchart – of a mechanism for firstly deciding if something is a spoiler, then when it has decided, filtering it out so that it doesn’t hurt the person viewing it.
What isn’t clear from the patent is what mediums will be covered by this spoiler protection. Here’s hoping they’re not limiting the technology to TV and movies, because the world of gaming could really use a spoiler-busting superhero to team up with Spoiler Shield and do what that does for social feeds at the search-engine level.
(Thanks to The Guardian for the heads up and for nicely illustrating our point that while everyone cares about spoilers for TV and movies, games sadly don’t get a look-in!)