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    Helen Sloan / HBO

    George R. R. Martin's first "A Game of Thrones" book came out 19 years ago. So any spoiler alerts are just revealing decades-old content.

  • George R. R. Martin's first "A Game of Thrones" book...

    Sam Nixon

    George R. R. Martin's first "A Game of Thrones" book came out 19 years ago. So any spoiler alerts are just revealing decades-old content.



So President Obama is slated to give his State of the Union address next week. In the lead-up to the big day, and in a departure from how the address is usually given, the POTUS has been on the road offering little tidbits and snippets from the variety of topics he plans to touch on during the formal delivery on Tuesday. In an amusing showcase of a growing cultural trends related to big reveals in general, Obama’s staff have dubbed this intentional trickle of information “SOTU Spoilers.”

The word “spoiler” and the notion behind it seems to have weasled its way into popular culture at a breakneck speed over the last few years. Spoilers are essentially any description that gives away a plot point or details of a dramatic event, usually pertaining, but not limited to, some form of popular entertainment. Go on any remotely reputable online movie or game forum and it’s guaranteed to have some sort of script built in to shield readers from potential plot giveaways and, naturally, a select few users who do their damndest to forcibly reveal everything.

The proliferation of the topic and the trend of spoilers can create some headache for content creators. When the most recent James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” came out in 2012, like a lot of big-budget fare nowadays, it had an international release before its premiere on American shores. And about two days after this overseas release, a complete and painfully detailed description of the movie’s every nook and cranny was posted on Wikipedia.

With how easy it is to share information and how eager many are to lap it up, myself included, these happenings are pretty unavoidable. I belong very much to the pro-spoilers camp; seeing the term “plot summary” evokes a primal drive to discover and consume the plot points to upcoming superhero movies, or the ending to Sandra Bullock chick-flicks that I don’t have the physical strength to sit through. (But I still must know if she and Keanu stay together!)

For people like me, spoilers — mainly those covering works that have already been released — are just an effective time saver. I mean, there’s literally no way in hell that I’m going to sit down and watch “A Troll in Central Park,” but if I see it mentioned in online conversation, then I’m going to want to know what happened.

Intentionally revealing something just to be a jerk about it is a different animal entirely, but lines can blur when you’re talking about a work that’s being remade or adapted from one medium to another (read: just about everything in popular entertainment nowadays).

The most obvious example is “Game of Thrones.” I mean, come on, the first book came out 19 years ago. I want to have a conversation about the series without accidentally spoiling decades-old content from a series you supposedly love.

It’s interesting to look at how entrenched some people are at avoiding spoilers and how eager others are to seek them out. Regardless, I’m sure some of the reveals Obama has planned in the next few days will raise just as much mouth-frothing anger as some of the best internet trolls, albeit for slightly different reasons.

Sam Nixon’s “Words From a Nerd” runs every Wednesday in the Colorado Daily.