The Curse of Fanboism:
Are we “gamers” or childish zealots?
©2009 Grant Smythe:
One only need run a cursory eye over any forum, bulletin board, comments box or listing on almost any gaming site and there they will be. Fanbois! The curse and plague of the gaming fraternity. The bane of many serious gaming journalists and for the many gamers who simply want to share information or comments in an adult and sensible manner.
It seems that these days, you MUST chose a side . . . and you can not actually support any other platform other than the one you currently use, otherwise you’re really not a real gamer – read ‘Hardcore’ gamer. This of course is the complete opposite to what a real gamer is.
In fact, a ‘real gamer’ is someone who supports gaming for gaming’s sake, not simply a single platform at the exclusion of all others. Here at OXCGN we pride ourselves in not being biased towards any platform.
Oh dear, I can hear it already . . “well you’re on a Xbox 360 site dude, so you’re biased already – failed” . . .
As I was saying before someone rudely interrupted, we pride ourselves in being non-biased, but we do chose to have one platform we ‘prefer’ over the others, simply for personal reasons. Those reasons can be mixed and don’t mean we don’t play or admire games on other platforms. Our reasons can be dictated by family, financial and social circumstances, the games and genre’s we prefer, the games our friends have and share, as well as what we can afford and other various factors.
This is true for any gaming site that is run by ‘serious gamers’ as opposed to those run by Fanbois.
OXCGN will run reviews on the PS3, PC, Apple, and any other major platform we see fit, providing our writers believe the games warrant it. Many have more than one platform, while some have all the 3-4 major ones, and even the odd retro platform to add to their collection.
Now to my eyes, that would make them more a “gamer” than someone who, for whatever reasons, excludes all others platforms and degrade those they do not own “their chosen” platform simply because they believe it to be superior. They often do not listen or enter into civil conversation around the various issues, and fall to the lowest common form of debate – name calling and even to the extent of sending hate mail to those they do not even know, simply because the person does not like or support the platform the fanboi does.
Are these the actions of mature, sensible adults or “gamers” . . . no . . .
They are the actions of irrational, immature (irrespective of age) people proclaiming to be ‘gamers’. They are intolerant, egomanical individuals who find that the Internet gives them the anonymity to do and say as they please.
It’s as if they suffer an insecurity or feel threatened over their choice of gaming platform and must fight for their ‘side’ because if their ‘side’ seems to be losing they may have to dent their pride and admit they made a wrong choice.
Except, there is no right or wrong choice of console: only a personal choice that is never wrong if you are happy with what you chose.
Sadly, legitimate and interesting articles, news items, and editorial pieces are ignored while items that seem to take a side in the ‘war’ end up the hotly read and debated topics.
Many fanbois will not even read past titles, but see a headline or sub-heading and immediately KNOW exactly what the entire article is about and react with an intensity that is savage. Sounds awfully like many other fanatical supporters, doesn’t it?
We could simply remove or delete most of the fanbois comments on OXCGN, but we believe everyone has the right to express their views, so long as they do so within the TOU and COC of the site. Removing them would not allow other regular readers to see just how childish and immature, not to mention irrational many gamers can be over one particular platform.
I have met PC owners, PS3 owners, etc., all of whom have been willing to discuss things in a mature fashion and where by doing so, both parties have come away with a deeper understanding of what the subject is about. I personally have learned many things from these people, and both compare and share similar experiences in life.
We’ve shared information and links, data, news and often support each other with getting news items and information out to the masses and past those that would have this information stopped at all costs, simply because it is from or on another platform, especially one they vehemently hate. And ‘hate’ is an exceptionally strong word, but that is how it comes across to many.
Unfortunately, one of the most seen and supported gaming news ‘portals’ suffers from this plague – - – N4G (News 4 Gamers). It has turned into a huge fan war, where Fanbois rule the news as to what gets through, and what does not. What is classified as newsworthy, and what is not. What games are legitimate, and what games are not.
We’ve had a lot of trouble with the Sony variety of fanboi. That’s not saying that all Sony supporters are like this, but any news item that is not positive about Sony or its exclusives seem to struggle to get passed – and even if they do the rabid comments are astonishing. Look at the reaction to Edge Magazine’s review of Killzone 2!
We’re not debating the review per-se,but the ‘reaction’ to it . . .
One need only look at our entry about GT5. Some visitors to this site, and a huge number on N4G, considered OXCGN to be completely “out of line” because it was reporting on a PS3 title: how dare an Xbox site even place news up about it on their site!
The news wasn’t entirely positive, sure, but they do not notice the article down the page a bit by one of our writers saying he believes the PS3 will surpass the 360 in game graphics in 2009, or the one by another of our writers saying that gamers need both the 360 and the PS3 to survive as competition, or that our highest review score went to MGS4, a PS3 exclusive.
Sure, we are an Xbox supporters site, but if MS Xbox-Div does something stupid, we’ll report on that. If MS Corp does something stupid, we’ll report on that and have our say on the matter. We are first and foremost gamers, and both positive and negative news is still news.
In any case we are a “gaming site” . . . and we do report on anything to do with gaming news, but with closer focus on the Xbox as a platform. That does not, nor should not, prevent us reporting or publishing news about any other platform, be it PS3, PC or Nintendo.
On the other hand, we do get mature Sony supporters writing in saying that they support the site, bookmarking it and joining in on other conversations about many things, irrespective of the platform. This is how “gamers” behave. We may not chose the same platform as our preferred playing device, but we do have one major thing in common . . . gaming.
We would really love to hear from many supporters on both sides of the fence on this. We know there are countless ‘Xbots’ out there as well, and our dislike of their attitudes is equally strong.
Fanbois of any platform do not really do their platform of choice any service. They make gaming look like a childish pursuit, not the adult’s entertainment medium it has become. Mature debate is healthy and interesting but the irrational written rantings of a frothy-mouthed zealot just brings the image of gamers and gaming down.
Sadly – Fanbois are the plague and curse of gaming, however, you and I could make a difference.
Enjoy your gaming, whatever your platform of choice.