Monday, June 09, 2008

Review: Special Lostpedia Debate Event with DocArzt

This week Lostpedia hosted a very special debate event featuring Jon "DocArzt" Lachonis from The motion was "Spoilers do not diminish the LOST viewing experience." Arguing in favor of spoilers was team A consisting of danhm (super Op at the #lostpedia IRC channel) and IkklGenius (winner of event 1), and arguing against the motion was team B consisting of TheAma1 (super Op at the #lostpedia IRC channel) and manicmonoliths (winner of event 1.)

The transcript of the entire debate can be found here. For more details on previous events and for voting for your favorite team, click here.

In an effort to keep the debate structured and focussed on the key issues, a "compartmentalized" format was used for this week's debate. A total of 6 spoiler-related issues were put forth, and were titled such that they could be equally classified into "pro" and "anti"-spoilers.

The following six sub-topics were discussed:

1. Supply and Demand
The third most visited page (after the main and episodes pages) on Lostpedia is the spoiler page for Season 4 (over 1.1 million views.)

There is a demand for spoilers in the fan community, hence there is a supply.

2. Writers' Right
Releasing spoilers is distributing information about a story without the author's consent.

Both Damon and Carlton have openly voiced their frustrations regarding the leakage of season 3 finale spoilers.

3. Tidbits of information about upcoming episodes add to the excitement and anticipation.
There is a lot more to Lost than simple plot details -- character development, acting, cinematography, etc.

4. Spoilers hurt the online community.

Websites and forums go into lockdown mode, chat rooms prevent anonymous users from participating in LOST discussions. Many fans simply avoid the online community till the episode airs.

5. Release of spoilers cannot be avoided.
Hundreds upon hundreds of people are involved in the making of LOST. It is inevitable that spoilers will be leaked. Deal with it.

6. Once released on fan websites, spoilers are uncontrollable.
Though most spoiler sites are careful not to spoil unsuspecting viewers, the measure of control is limited, and trolls cannot be stopped from vandalizing other websites.

This was followed by a brief Q&A and closing statements by the team leaders. DocArzt's presence elevated the quality of the debate to a whole new level, and we hope to have him participate in more events in the future.

Lostpedia debates are held every alternate week in the #lostpedia IRC channel on the GameSurge server at 2 PM EST.
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