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Content warnings, sometimes called trigger warnings, are a way of improving accessibility in puzzles by giving solvers a warning about puzzle content and topics that may be uncomfortable or unsuitable for some solvers, such as nudity, gore, or offensive language.
Puzzle Application[edit | edit source]
Content warnings function in puzzles similarly to other types of media. Usually, they'll be placed at the beginning of a puzzle (the top, prior to other content), and describe content required for solving the puzzle that may be uncomfortable to some solvers, or inappropriate for young solvers. These topics include harsh/offensive/bigoted language, gore, nudity, common phobias (such as spiders), and general violence. Warnings like these may or not be necessary for a puzzle depending on the context, but applying them is a good way to help solvers enjoy a hunt more than they would otherwise.
These warnings may also apply to things that are physically harmful to particular solvers, such as loud audio, flashing lights (to solvers with epilepsy), or potential allergens in an Edible Puzzle (like peanuts). These warnings are much less optional, as they can safe someone a trip to the hospital when applied correctly.
Examples[edit | edit source]
- Keeping Abreast of the Issues (MITMH 2005) (web) - An early use of content warnings, this puzzle involved nudity (particularly images of Playboy playmates), something that even in 2005 was a rarity within puzzle hunts. As a result of the extensive time needed to piece together a nudity-based jigsaw, a content warning is very fitting.
- Operation (MITMH 2020) (web) - Contained videos of actual operations, marking possibly the most graphic content seen in the MIT Mystery Hunt at this point in time. A content warning was supplied, making special note that the puzzle was 'not for the squeamish;.
- Frankenstein's Music (MITMH 2022) (web) - A relatively tame content warning, this puzzle made sure to tell solvers that, as a music-based puzzle, it contained explicit language (both expletives and sexual references). Regardless, this has become a common warning in music ID puzzles that involve songs like this.