Friday, August 15, 2014

The Different Types of Modern Fanboys

There was a time when been a "fanboy" was kind of fun. It was mostly a charade, a make believe as in reality everybody really enjoyed the "other team's" system and even when two (or three) fanboys did get into an argument, they mostly used facts up to the point when both of their arguments cancelled themselves and all was solved with a slice of pizza and a good gaming session. Unfortunately that was the past and now, we have a type of fanboyism that goes more around the toxic side and it has never been more worse than on this current generation. Reasons about why fanboyism turned from a fun mental exercise to a mindless game of empty arguments are plenty, but instead of mentioning reasons alone, we will see some of the types of fanboy that our modern times have spawned. Be aware, some of these may have existed in the past, but they were never so obvious as now.

Tunnel Vision Fanboy
Never argue with one of these, it will never end.
The "Tunnel Vision" Fanboy

This one is pretty stupid, but one of the most noticeable. Every time an exclusive game releases, we are bound to see their countless comments about how the game is "bad" and most of them clearly state that they are fans of the opposite platform. It doesn't even matter if the game goes out to become a big seller and win lots of awards, because based on the tunnel vision fanboy mindset it will always have a flaw that makes them talk trash about it. Sometimes they use nitpicking or other times try to act as if they are making an educated criticism or "sincere" statement, but we all know that it is crock from the moment we see it. We also know that there are people that can legitimately dislike a game for a number of real reasons, but if you read between the lines you can spot the real game critics and those who are throwing dirt on the game just because they are jealous.

Numerically Obsessed Fanboy
These ones make the protagonist of A Beautiful Mind look like the sanest guy on earth.
The Numerically Obsessed Fanboy

Take the word "numbers" here as everything that goes away from the games themselves and is used as a means of criticism. Things like financial numbers, resolution and frame rate values, number of copies sold and even how much time (in years) they spent making the game. The thing about this is that none of the previously mentioned things should matter. A game is all about how much fun we have with it and not how many big numbers it can crunch up. Fanboys should leave that stuff to industry analysts and focus on the things that really matters. Next time you see one of those, ask them to sell their consoles and buy a calculator and maybe some spreadsheet software instead.

Nostradamus Fanboy
If it were up to these people, we wouldn't have games anymore.
The Nostradamus Fanboy

Nostradamus was an apothecary and a seer from the 1500's who is mostly remembered for his apocalyptic predictions and prophecies. Now more than 500 years later this kind of fanboy is trying to continue his job, but from a videogame industry perspective. These are the ones that are constantly predicting doom for gaming companies based on trivial stuff that happens all the time and should be considered normal. Things like if a developer quits the company (OMG they are doomed), if the company closes one of their divisions (Yep, the company is going down), if the company loses some profit (Oh the humanity, bankruptcy is imminent!) and that sort of stuff. Most of the time it sounds as if the Nostradamus fanboy wants the company to fail, which is a pessimistic and screwed up way to think, especially when gaming is all about enjoying our games and not about creating doomsday prophecies or reflecting our own frustrations.

Quick Draw Fanboys
At the time you first read about an important gaming thing, these people already flooded the net.
The Quick Draw Fanboy

This kind of fanboy put Jesse James to shame, as they are some sort of neurotic individuals that like to jump the gun for anything, firing from the hip faster than in a glitched first person shooter. This is really noticeable when an important decision is made by a company and they just go nuts with nonsensical rants on forums and gaming pages, the creation of countless online petitions and stuff like that. This is the fanboy that goes into a temper tantrum that can only be surpassed by the ones thrown by toddlers when their parents refuse to buy them a toy while browsing through a department store. The real bad thing about these picturesque fellows is that they give a bad name to the entire gaming community, making the world believe that we are spoiled, self entitled big babies.

Michael Myers Fan Boy
These ones are the most embarrassing of all...
The Michael Myers Fanboy

For those of you that don't know, Michael Myers is the legendary villain of the slasher horror films called Halloween. He is dedicated to appear out of nowhere and stalk his victims (certain people) until he murders them in gruesome ways. Well, in the case of fanboys (and not necessarily console fanboys) these are the ones that get into the developers personal lives if they don't do what they want. This means stalking them on social networks, forums, gaming articles and everything related to that person. There have been several accounts of intense trolling and even death threats, up to the point that some developers have decided to quit the industry altogether. I am well aware that we should defend our interests as consumers and that is alright, but nothing ever gives us the right to go all personal on somebody because we can't accept the decision they made. Sometimes it isn't even about a game, but a comment or expression made by the person that manages to spark hatred among weak minded people. If this is now, I don't want to imagine what would happen if this behavior continues 20 years into the future. In what thing will it become? Public executions or developer vs developer roman coliseum styled death matches?

Wrapping it up

There you go folks, 5 different types of modern fanboys that completely spoiled what been a fanboy was all about. Competition is always good, and brand loyalty is fine to an extent because everybody has their unique taste for gaming and may feel like home in one platform ecosystem more than in the others. The problem begins when this goes out of control and we lose sight of what the essence of gaming is. We must go back to the gaming attitudes of the past, when gaming was 100% about gaming and even if competition was fierce, nobody was losing their heads over trivialities.

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