Digital Polyphony

film, games, memories & random thoughts


The Trouble with Fanboys Part 2

Posted on August 25, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Today, across the world, there are more gamers than ever. Since the internet, though, it seems the world of gamers has come together to create a social aspect that wasn’t as prevalent even a decade ago. In Part I, I mentioned the “playground mentality” and the bickering, fickle and arguments over videogames and videogame consoles has multiplied astronomically now that the internet is the new “playground.” What’s worse, though, is that anonymity reigns on the internet. If you allow those kids to hide behind masks, they’lllet loose completely.




As a result, the videogame “fanboy” has become the antithesis of what a “fanboy” is supposed to be. Rather than someone with just a huge amount of knowledge and dedication towards something, maybe even respected in some circles, it has become a title that, as noted in Part I, is more akin to “asshole” or the ever-popular “douchebag.”




To detail the things that a fanboy often will do, let’s take a look at a few symptoms:






Fanboy Symptom #1: A game is only good if its on your system.




A quick and simple example of a videogame fanboy would be if an Xbox owner sees a new game on the Playstation and talks rather critically of it. A few months pass and the game is then revealed to be on the Xbox as well…suddenly their song changes and it’s now the coolest game ever and they can’t wait.




Another example of this, and a recent one, is when Final Fantasy XIII was announced as no longer being on the Playstation 3 and will be released on the Xbox 360as well. While the Xbox fans song changed to it suddenly being great,the Playstation 3 fans went out of their way to label their version of the game as the intended and definitive version and that the Xbox 360probably couldn’t handle it. The fact that reports have the shown theXbox 360 of many cross-platform games running, not just on par, up often better than their Playstation 3 counterparts are strangely ignored. Again, falling into the hype from a company, just as many did with Sega and their “blast processing” shtick really causes people to just look incredibly stupid.





Fanboy Systemtom #2: Ignorance is bliss.




The fact is, many owners of one console know very, very little about the ones they do not know. They’ve never played the games, they’ve never held the controller even, and definitely don’t have as vast of knowledge of upcoming titles, the “killer-apps” that are on the system and have as much of an affection towards it if they simply do not know it. This does not stop the fanboy in criticizing the system they do not know at any given moment. If you dig deep enough, you’re see their critiques are often shallow and superficial, the reason being they simply don’t know a whole lot about the system, the history of games and consoles or even understand that what they are to begin with (a fanboy will never admit to being a fanboy, see #4 for more on this).








FanboySymptom #3: Your console is always the underdog, thus you have to bring down the other systems and can even lead to hatred of them.




This has become a pretty recent symptom, but ask any owner of a particular console and they’ll often believe they aren’t “respected.” Thus, to make a point and gain respect, they do all they can to show how bad the competition is. This will range from insults of the console’s games,the system;s specs and capabilities and, more often than not, the company behind it (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony). When they start criticizing the company for things that have nothing to do with the console (Microsoft’s Windows, Sony’s electronics, Nintendo….well they don’t have anything really outside of their console, but believe me a fanboy will find something, maybe even bringing up the Virtual Boy).It’s a “me against the world” mentality and lashing out without thinking is always the easiest path.




This eventually leads to an utter loathing of the competition, filled with name calling, false accusations and assumptions… especially if a fanboy is ever proven wrong (which they often won’t admit to) which will feed it even more as a reaction. That leads us to…






Fanboy Symptom #4: Constant denial. (Nothing is perfect except the system you own).




Trying to have any semblance of a conversation with a fanboy is nearly impossible. As mentioned, they are often defensive and will regress to insults and immature antics if confronted. The reason for all this is one thing: denial. Denial is the biggest attribute of a fanboy, to admit that their choice of a console (or computer, for that matter) has a fault is to, thus, admit they too have a fault. As mentioned, the system is an extension of themselves; a tangible, inanimate representation of their own desires and wants and preferences.




Fanboys often deny the fact they are a fanboy. Keep in mind, a fanboy is different than a mere “fan.” A fan, usually, has a good head on their shoulders, they merely prefer something else but are mature and intelligent enough to see the attributes of the other side. A fanboy doesn’t care about the other side because they don’t know anything about it and act stupidly. Deep down, they know they are a fanboy but because of the demeaning nature of the title, of which they contribute to no less, they would deny themselves as one instantly. The irony of this is utterly hilarious.








What can be done in terms of fanboys? Sadly, nothing. You can’t wish intelligence and maturity on a group, especially one that is so diverse and so easily hide between avatars and screenames on the internet. It’s simply too late to ask people to “grow up.” Then again, many of them are “grown up” which makes it all the more sad.




Also,they’re pretty difficult to avoid. Remember, they want to let it be known they and their little electronic box are superior (at least until confronted) and they’ll voice their opinion all you want. On the internet it’s nearly impossible without someone chiming in on a blog,message board, chat room or even game article, so ignoring is also not good because, either way, you still see their utter stupidity in some form.




I suppose it has to be up to the various social sites to lay down the rules and be selective on who they allow and don’t allow access. The free-for-all that the internet allows has to be reeled in a bit. Laying a solid foundation by being a good representative of such approach is probably the best first step. Of course, that’s also assuming those that run the sites aren’t “fanboys”themselves, but I’ll leave my critiques of gaming and entertainment websites for another time. Until then….all we can hope is there is a viral outbreak selective to stupidity to help thin the herd.




Signing Off






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Reply frdrizzt (Anthony)
8:52 AM on August 27, 2009 
While I like some ignorance due to my decreased playing time (less money to spend on things), I try to avoid the putting-down of games I haven't played. Even though I may not give a game a fair shake (stopping after an hour or so), if it hasn't caught my attention/interest, it's time for me to move on.

I don't know why video game fanboys are worse than every other type by such a large margin, but it seems like a pointless endeavor to simply justify one's spending of their money on their entertainment. That's what I think it boils down to - they just want to affirm their purchase is the best (or in the case of people who had a parent buy it, that their favorite is also the best).
Reply J.Conrady
9:24 PM on August 27, 2009 
I suppose it's just a result of Capitalism. You get something, spend the money, and the last thing you want is for someone to think badly of it. They get defensive before anyone even opens their mouth.

PS, don't know why I can't do comments right now from my account. Webs and their...badness.
Reply toosmartforbond2
7:59 PM on December 6, 2009 
Rampant Capitalism destroys artistic integrity, and thus no class remains amongst its followers.