11/27/2013

Quickie #1: Fanboys

Hello guys! For a while now I had a few topics bottled up inside, but I didn't feel they deserve a whole article. Then I realized (yeah, I know - I can be reeeeaaally fast sometimes) that not every post on a blog needs to be a full-blown article. Long story short, I'm starting a new series on the blog - Quickies!


Today's quickie came to me when I was watching the newest episodes of South Park (for the people from the future - 17th season, episodes about Xbox One and PS4 premiere). South Park has really recovered in this season, by the way. None of the episode was straightforward boring or completely forgettable, like most of the episodes from a few last series. Good job, Trey and Matt! Back to the topic though. The episodes are about children forming alliances to buy either PS4 or the new Xbox. Among a lot of dumb arguments about which console is going to be better and other arguments that are just a complete matter of preference, there was one that struck me. It was when one of the Xbox followers said:

If you buy a PS4 you will not be able to play online with us!
Frankly, I never thought about it this way. Back when I was a kid and could only afford one gaming platform, it was really cool to have something nobody else had. I remember how me and the other kids were visiting each other, because one had a NES, one had a PC, the other had a Commodore and another one an Amiga. Then, in another generation, one had a Pentium, another a N64 and some other kids had PlayStations. People played together by visiting each other. Variety of platforms meant a variety of games you could play. You having something nobody else had was a social advantage! Now, in the age of online gaming, kids grow fat on their couches, not interacting with each directly. Sure online multiplayer is great, but I myself miss the days of good old co-op, where we were spending whole days on 8-player battles in Heroes 3. Now it seems that the console you own determines your social circle. Kinda sucks. 


Like the heroes of South Park, the majority of kids have to choose only one gaming platform. For economic reasons mostly. Even as an adult I am reluctant to buy a new console just to play a few games that interest me and are not available on other platforms. These games - exclusives - are in my opinion the very core of the fanboy phenomenon. I mean - most of the platforms are similarly attractive. Arguing which one of the two most popular controllers is better when the biggest difference is where the D-pad is? Seriously, guys - go find yourselves a real problem instead of running around in a wizard hat, forming childish alliances. The only actual difference between platforms are the exclusives. The exclusives from the other gaming platform are something that all the fanboys secretly crave. It is what they are jealous of. It's what makes all the hate boil. If you are a PC gamer and can't play The Last of Us or Gears of War, so you will loudly glorify Starcraft 2 on your way to BlizzCon. Most PS gamers loathe not being able to play Halo, so they boast about the God of War. X-boxers would die to go on a Journey or to play Demon's Souls, but instead they embrace Fable.  And Nintendo fans... Well, they've just been playing Mario and Zelda over and over for the last 30 years :P 

Acting like a fanboy is simply a way of overcompensating for the games you can't play. If you think about it, being a fanboy is psychologically identical to a small wiener syndrome - overcompensating for something you don't have. 



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2 comments:

  1. I've never been into "fanboyism", it's ridiculous. People should start caring about how to make their experience better, not think worry how someone else's experience is worse.

    Kudos for the facebook post advertising this article:
    "This time on fanboys and whether or not a small penis is their only real problem :P"

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    1. My friend has most of the popular game platforms and a son in primary school. The kid just plays on everything without any bigger preference. Is able to use any kind of controler with same fluency and for him, the console, tablet or PC is just a tool for entertainment. And that's exactly how it should be :)

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