Fanboyism and the Ongoing War
Posted on Saturday, November 17 2007 @ 15:24:43 PST
Why is it that every year, we have the soldiers of the console wars sling mud and abuses at each other in every forum on every website around the world? What causes this fervor of fanaticism for something that is as crazy as loving the game system that your favorite games come from?
I bet that in the past fans, who were by then young boys, said similar things when it was the Atari vs the world before 1984. Trivial things that are probably said too today. Once Nintendo takes over, it became Nintendo vs non-video game players. I once remember back in the 1st grade, when a kid asked me, "Why do you play Nintendo, it's so stupid! It's boring and I hate it and your dumb!"
Those are the exact words of a 6 year old. So even if you didn't play the games back then, you could still insult someone.
It seems like it escalated by the time the Playstation came in. Never mind the Genesis and the SNES, which is the real start of the console wars, because back then, it was not as vicious as it was now. Back then, it was more of a polite jabbing, I guess because the fans who grew up with Nintendo as the sole console they just ignored the emerging Sega contigent. But the Playstation was the real killer.
From 1996-2001, all I hear is "Playstation is awesome" or "Playstation rocks." And coming from a primarily Nintendo fan, it was hurtful to hear people badmouth my system. In retrospect, it was probably kind of stupid to care, but as a boy-teenager it was common ground to make fun of the different system.
And then the media came into it. Forums became battlegrounds that were not for the feint of heart. Words like "stupid" were replaced with "fu*king sucks" and "it's a silly game" became "sh*tty game". The vernacular changed too. We had people using crazy abbreviations and a new internet language was born! Words like "becauz", "ROFL" ,"Roxxors", "graphikly betta", and even "cum on" became staples in the wars. Fresh ways to insult people got you brownie points, and smart comments backed up by evidence made you a general, one not to mess with in the forums.
The fanboyism just became another aspect of playing games. You will always have someone who doesn't agree with your taste in games and the insults will fly inevitably. The problem is, and many forums have caught on by now, is that most of these insults are the shallow, stupid ramblings of pre-teens who think they are being cool by copying the rants of the more sophisticated fanboys.
Some fanboys are also just crazier. at E3, the TGS, Lezipig, and other gaming expos, we have crazy dress-ups, poor character acting, and sometimes they take it too seriously...as seen in the video on this website where Duke interviews Tiberius. These guys take fanboyism to a level that is somewhat unprecedented. It's ok to wear a Zelda t-shirt, but to dress up as Link, thats another story.
The console wars also heat up every time a new system comes in. And even before the system comes out, the fans think that the system walks on water and can do no wrong. Not true. Granted some systems are better than others, but that is based more on the tech specs and the calibur of games or control that comes with it.
Which is what being a fanboy is. You become well versed in a subject so much, that you can have debates in a sophisticated matter that makes the debates more fun to engage in. It is one thing to say something sucks, but what smart fanboys do is prove their point. "The controls are not responsive because of this.."
This new level of fanboyism is actually emerging in todays console wars. Fans of the 360, Wii and PS3 are not just saying the other systems "suck" but they have evidence to prove it. This is what being a fan is in the end, proving your point, and your dominance, over the opposition. Football has great rivalrys, in the video game world, it's between Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. And we are all guily of this as well. Not one of us can say we prefer one system over another for specific reasons. That makes us a fan. True, we can like the opposition, but we still slant towards another camp in the end.
So fanboys are something that will never go away, as long as the console wars continue to soldier troops in the battlefields. We have seen how good, how bad, and how ugly, these troops conduct themselves. It is a part of being a gamer to take the criticisms, in whatever form they may be. In the end though, when the next generation of gaming machines, and fanboys ushers in over the old generation, you are never left in the dust. Your battlefield just changes with the times.