In the second entry of my six-week blogging series The State of Gaming, I dig deep into gaming’s worst enemy; the fanboy (or girl). Be warned, a rational discussion of this crazed beast follows. Click here to read last week’s entry.
Video-games attract a lot of different kinds of people from a lot of different life styles. It’s a timeless distraction that allows you to live the life of someone heroic, brave, and courageous. But with so many different games for the Big 3 consoles (Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii/Wii U), many people are forced to pick just one console and stick with it.
While this shouldn’t be a bad thing, it can, and often does, produce s a kind of powerful relationship in consumers with their first or only gaming console. This unfortunately leads to people arguing over which console is better in a vicious battle known as the “Fanboy War”.
Some friendly competition isn’t a bad thing necessarily, as it can encourage consumers to support their favorite publisher or developer, and can even convince others to invest in a great product. However, this is most often not the case.
Instead, we get a never-ending war between owners of PlayStation, Microsoft, and Nintendo hardware. A kind of endless debate over which console has the better graphics, games, etcetera. And it can get pretty pathetic.
Oh, and don’t make me mention Apple vs. Windows, as that’s when things can get really messy.
I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t been involved in a ‘fanboy war’ before, because I have. For the longest time I only owned a PlayStation 3, and since I was the only of all my friends who had one, I was constantly criticized for choosing the ‘lesser’ console.
Obviously my friends were wrong in saying that, as there is no ‘lesser console’, it just all comes down to opinion. However, it is oh so easy to defend what you currently have, and when two people have different preferences, an argument is bound to take place eventually.
Once again, defending what you have isn’t a bad thing, but it gets bad when both sides resort to merely insulting the other in a worthless attempt to convince themselves that they’re right. It all gets very childish, and its unfortunate that this is a problem, as it can put a taint on the gaming crowd.
The psychology of all of this is actually pretty basic. When you spend enough time with something or someone, you form a history, a friendship, in a manner of speaking. So when someone else comes up can makes fun of your friend, you take it personally and feel a need to defend yourself.
As a huge Star Wars fan, I can sometimes take an insult on Star Wars personally, and feel a need to defend myself. By insulting one of my favorite franchises of all time, I feel as if I’m being told my opinion is stupid, and I obviously want to prove that my ‘attacker’ is wrong.
As you can see, it’s a twisted system. The ‘fanboy’ war isn’t confined to gaming either; it’s prevalent in pretty much everything. Want an example? Walk up to a random person in your local gaming store and say that Call of Duty sucks. Chances are, around fifty-percent of people will counter with, “Well, then you suck!” Don’t you just love how original we all are?
The PS3 was my first console, and to this day it remains my preferred console. However, I do own an Xbox 360, (the beautiful Limited Edition Star Wars Edition) and I love it. While I might not play it as much as I do my PlayStation, there’s no denying that it’s an amazing machine that is just as good as the PS3 or Wii U.
It all comes down to personal opinion, and how people often think that their opinion is the only opinion. I just wish it was more universally understood that not everyone has the same opinion, and that that’s a good thing.
So next time you find yourself in one of those situations when your opinion is being attacked, just remember that by not countering their insults with insults, you become the more mature person person. Some people just want a fight, and too often they get it.
Don’t give it to them; instead, shrug it off, show them that you don’t care that their opinion isn’t the same as yours. Maybe then we would all learn something.