Fanboys! Hate ‘em or loathe ‘em but you just can’t ignore them. They’ve been around forever, hiding in the shadows conducting arguments from time to time but it’s only in recent times that they've burst into the foreground with their brainless ideologies and incoherent ramblings. Sure they’re good for a few laughs especially when they get creative with their insults but the bottom line is that fanboys, as a race are giving the video game industry a bad name.For the uninitiated, a fanboy is a creepy little individual who blindly loves a particular product and can take absolutely no criticism levied toward that product. They will blindly defend it till the day they die (or grow a brain) dissing everyone who thinks otherwise. They are always right and you, the stupid mortal with your limited amount of knowledge are always wrong.
There are fanboys in every aspect of mainstream media. You have Comic book fanboys, Apple fanboys, PC fanboys, Star Trek fanboys, Star Wars fanboys and many more but recently Video Game fanboys have emerged as the more dominating and dangerous breed. Every major video game franchise like Halo, Metal Gear Solid, Gears of War, Final Fantasy etc has given birth to thousands of such fanboys who spend every waking minute spewing hate across forum boards the world over.
What’s worse is that a lot of these fanboys have aligned themselves to particular consoles as well. They’re so blinded by their love/hate for Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo, they’re actually willing to forgo AAA titles just because they don’t appear on their beloved console.
According to them Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo are evil corporations hell bent on sucking you dry – financially of course. But guess what? You have an option to not buy their products. It’s that simple. Also every console out there has its share of disadvantages or screw ups. At the end of the day, it’s what you want as an individual. There’s no need to come in and troll on a sensible discussions with remarks like "Xbots are f***gs" or "LOL! You’re such a PSF*g".
Never cross paths with one
Sites like N4g.com today are a breeding ground for such fanboys and the sad part is many web sites actually produce flame bait material to attract these fanboys. They do that of course just so people can visit their site, and have a not-so-healthy discussion thus propelling their page views in the process. It’s a sad state of affairs but at the end of the day, fanboys are the more vocal community out there.
Of course there’s no such thing as constructive criticism from a fanboy. On a rare occasion you may find a few of them actually making sense but in most cases it's just a bunch of banal garbage with plenty of expletives used for good measure. If a game review is positive, it’s accused of being biased while if it’s negative, it’s unreasonable. It’s pretty much black or white for the fanboy; shades of grey be damned.
In fact a while back I had a close run in with quite a few of them. I had worked on an article called PlayStation and Xbox360 Exclusives for 2009. Of course I had mentioned beforehand that these were the exclusives I was looking forward to but very soon I had a rabid hive of fanboys tearing me a new hole, whining about how I didn’t include games like Mass Effect or Splinter Cell Conviction that aren’t exclusive in the first place. I also had people accusing me of being a fanboy since my PS3 list was bigger than the Xbox360 one. Like it’s my fault Microsoft doesn’t have a stellar line-up for the rest of the year.
The sad part is that fanboys are an integral part of this industry whether you like it or not. Without them, people would go back to having sober, civilized discussions and that’s well boring. While I whole heartedly enjoy a good ribbing and a heated discussion, it would be nice if things didn’t get so out of hand most of the times. Don’t condemn the game just because it’s a platform exclusive. More importantly don’t condone a platform just because you don’t own it. Every platform has its share of merits and drawbacks so pick a console on the basis of your needs. Also if someone enjoys playing the Wii, it doesn’t make them a girl. Be more tolerant of your gaming brethren and the world will be a better place. Or so we can hope.