Fanboys. I can’t stand them. Narrow-minded people who refuse to even give an ounce of respect to the other camp even if they do something that pushes an industry or structure forward. If you consider yourself a fanboy or heavily one-sided but you still give credit where credit is due, then this is not against you. I’m fine with people who stay loyal to one company like Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft. Loyalty to a company because of your experiences, product durability, features, or history is perfectly fine. Humans tend to congregate towards something they are familiar with.
However, I have some friends who will constantly stand in one corner no matter what. Even when the conversation doesn’t call for an argument. They will scour a conversation until they find something to pick up on and begin ranting and raving. Not only does it kill good conversations or topics but it tends to get these friends upset. Then we start hearing the age old saying, “I’m never right in this group.” We’ve all been through it. We all hate it. Conversation with friends is a core thing and we all tend to talk about things we like. Gaming is a big part of my friends’ activities. We hold LAN parties every Sunday. We play tabletop RPG’s. We’ll even try and fit some Warhammer 40k in there on odd weeknights. So you can imagine gaming comes up plenty and with only three big companies to chat about, Sony is a constant topic.
I want to call up a conversation that got started when we were all watching Sony’s E3 presser. Sony had just shown off the WonderBook for about 10 minutes. Before this we saw the paltry Vita footage and the All-Stars demo. Beyond was shown off and God of War: Ascension was just as bloody as we all wanted. So naturally in between writing up news for the site we were all chatting about what we were witnessing. Most of us were very unhappy with what Sony was showing off. Aside from Beyond, The Last of Us, God of War, more Assassin’s Creed III footage, and All-Stars there wasn’t a reason to be excited about Sony’s presser. However, I’m not here to review that conference. We’ve all heard about it, complaints and defenses. However, it was when we were watching WonderBook when we started saying that Sony is having a bad conference. I had one friend almost jump out of his seat and say, “are you serious? This is great stuff!”
Us: WonderBook, seriously?
Unnamed Friend: Well, it’s for kids so whatever.
Us: They could have shown this off at CES and just used marketing to sell it, which it won’t anyways. This time could be used to show off the not-so-good selling Vita and new games.
Unnamed Friend: The Vita’s fine.
Us: No it really isn’t. Being outsold 10-to-1 by the 3DS is an issue that E3 can cure.
Unnamed Friend: Sony is doing great, you’re all just haters.
Us: How could we hate when Microsoft had Usher?
Unnamed Friend: That’s why Sony is doing great, no Usher.
Us: … Well, you have a point but you have to admit they really haven’t taken advantage of this E3.
Unnamed Friend: Sony is having the best conference at E3 right now. WonderBook aside, everything was awesome and if they didn’t show something then it wasn’t needed. It’s just overkill at that point.
Us: Are you even listening to yourself?
Yeah. The conversations goes very much like that. It’s fanboyism to this tier that I can’t stand. Some of my friends can’t even look at an Xbox 360 exclusive and say, “looks good.” Halo 4? Stupid. Gears of War Judgement? Crap. Forza? Whatever. It doesn’t what it is or what it does, if it’s Microsoft-only, it’s not good. To be fair, I have some friend who are the same way against Sony and the PS-family. That belief is hurting this industry more than anything. Gamers need to keep an open mindset right now. Each console brings something great to the table and all of them are moving the industry forward in some way or form. Disregarding one completely or not commending another for something it is doing because it isn’t on yours is a bad thing. Not only does it make you look like a fool in a conversation but it also helps further the “console wars” which has developed into a total clusterbomb of immaturity and blatant hatred this generation.
With the advent of online gameplay, it is easier for gamers to trash talk and generally hate on others. Gaming isn’t about just having fun anymore. Do you remember when you used to own a Super Nintendo OR Genesis and you would get excited about going to a friend’s who owned the other? The aspect of playing new games or having a different experience was great because it was just more games. Today, it’s all about brands and which side can hate on the other more. Gaming is losing its core values to people who spend most of their time defending their purchase or loyalty.
This dreadful, thriving culture is akin to lying. While a lot of times people will use facts to slam the other consoles down, many others will continue to argue which gets them setup in a web of what to say and how to defend. This results in false information spewing out of people’s mouths or typing fingers and making them look like fools. Then comes the justification of what they said or their “trusted sources” with no names or news articles with no links. Fanboyism in gaming is not something that can be ignored in conversation or forum threads. Mainly because there are perpetrators on all sides but also because it is sitting there like flamebait. It will agitate others and even if you try to respond to it with logic and respect, you’re just adding fuel to the coming fire.
There is no right way to approach fanboyism. It tanks the mood in conversations and threads. It starts fights. It makes people scavenge for any type of defense, real or not, to use.
Right now we’re seeing plenty of fanboyism when it comes to PlayStation All-Stars. Nintendo diehards or hardcore fans of Super Smash Bros. are relentlessly railing against All-Stars as a rip-off. We had Jason at E3 who got to play the game and he came back telling us the complete opposite. The mechanics of the game are very different. Yet, without playing the game or just going head first with their fandom, All-Stars is being punished. Really, who doesn’t want an All-Star or Super Smash-like game for their company? It is the ultimate form of character appreciation and dedication to gaming after years of consoles, exclusives, and general fun. I hope we see something like it for Microsoft. I don’t care if the roster can’t be more than 15 or so characters. Giving your gamers a way to enjoy all of their favorite in one game is a great idea, clone or not. However, it is hard for these diehards to see that point. All they see is Mario fighting Link and they want to hold onto that image as a Nintendo only concept. Even though, we’ve talked about plenty of other Smash-like concept games that have released. The thing for them is that Sony and the word PlayStation are on the game case. One of the “big three” are involved and that is why they attack it.
So why exactly are fanboys hurting this industry more than anything else? Because they are killing the core values that video games were originally created for: fun. It isn’t about who is better or what games can only be played where. It never used to matter and it shouldn’t now. So what if you don’t own a PS3. I don’t either. I just head to my friend’s and play on his. Problem solves. I know that if I ever really wanted to play a PS3 exclusive, I could buy it knowing that he’ll let me use his console. I’d do the same for him with my 360. Hell, I bought Skyward Sword for the Wii and just brought it over a buddy’s to play. Not only did I get to hang out with him for a while, I got to experience a great game.
I truly wish all of my friends were of this thought. A few of them have lost sight of what gaming is really about and way too many others have as well. Gaming is meant to be fun, no matter what you hold in your hands or where you are at. Keyboard/Mouse, 360 controller, Dual Shock, Wiimote. Who cares? Is the game fun? Are you enjoying yourself? Then you’re gaming right. Are you having a less than normal experience because you don’t care for the console you are using? You’re doing it wrong.
Fanboyism needs to die so everyone can go back to their childhood and remember that the only important thing was the games themselves. The experience of the gameplay, story, and interactive worlds are what we need to be focusing on. Who cares if the Ps3 has Blu-Ray support and the 360 doesn’t? You can get a Blu-Ray machine for less than $100 now. Who cares if the Kinect has sold more than the Move? Both of them suck because of game selection. Who gives a hoot if Sony and Microsoft brought out motion AFTER Nintendo? At least the option is there for gamers.
There are both sides of every coin. There are multiple sides to every die. Staying one side in a world where there is so much more only hurts you, your experience, and in the fool/lying aspect I mentioned above, your intelligence. Game for games, guys. Not for brands.