The Curse of Fanboism: Are we “gamers” or childish zealots?

The Curse of Fanboism:

Are we “gamers” or childish zealots?

oz-torsoby XboxOz360:

©2009 Grant Smythe:

fanboy-anatomyOne 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.

We used to make light of it, it was even 'comical' - not so any more. It's abusive
We used to make light of it, it was even 'comical' - not so any more. It's abusive

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.

Platform Fanboism at it's most extreme defies belief
Platform Fanboism at it's most extreme defies belief

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.

©2009 Grant Smythe:

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7 thoughts on “The Curse of Fanboism: Are we “gamers” or childish zealots?”

  1. When we (I) put both the Games for 360 an dthe recent 130 odd games for 3670 in 2009 up, you should have seen some of the reactions on N4g especially.

    How dare you put up games that are multiplatform. They aren’t 360 games, there are multiplatform . .

    Scratches head a lot and re-reads the comment/s

    Pardon me .. The list is a list of games appearing on the 360. Can’t get any simpler than that. The list isn’t about exclusives or which one is worth being on the listing – or not. It’s a list. But the flack from those less than wise gamers (and I use that term very losly there) is just about as immature as one can get.

    Now if someone put together a list of games appearing on the PS3 or PC or whatever and placed it up it barley raises a flicker on the radar scope. Which I find intriguing actually. As all lsits are as equally as important as the other.

    It supplies valuable information to those following a platform so they do not have to go hunting all over the web to find it.

    We publish a review on a PS3 game and oh my .. how dare we. Almost as it were sacrilegious to even contemplate the idea, let alone actually do it. We try to attend the various Sony release where possible. Not because we want to report back and bag the evening or game. But because it’s a game, and it probably deserves the attention of all “gamers” . .

    If these so-called supporters actually bothered to discuss things, they might well learn a few things about both platforms. I know we have a great deal of Sony only gamers come in here. Simply for the fact we have never “bagged” the platform and never will.

    We just hope other extend the same courtesy, but sometimes that doesn’t happen unfortunately.

    NB: Thanks to those Sony-only fans that DO come and share, we welcome you just as much as any readers, and want your comments and support. We can’t represent a gaming community if we are not open to hearing from other.

    We simply chose to focus on the 360. Hell, if we tried to dedicate the same effort into the 360, PS3 and Wii, let alone the PC, then the quality would be cut to shreds and the workload quadrupled plus 10.

    So thanks again for coming by . .keep an eye out for our Killzone 2 review, and we may be able to get to the Killzone 2 release night here in Sydney, fingers crossed.


  2. @ D.O.

    Exactly mate. I loved Uncharted because of the type of game it was (my kind!). I loved that in MGS4 (despite the over-indulgence of the cut scenes) you could choose how you played (sneaky or shooter). I think I’ll love Heavy Rain too. I like blu ray.

    But I like the Xbox’s range of games and creative arcade games. I like the Xbox controller WAY more than the PS3 one, especially for shooters. Xbox is my platform of choice for multi-platform games.

    I’m lucky to have both (and less lucky to have the Wii…but the kids and non-gaming friends enjoy it). Not everyone is that lucky and so they can choose to bash the console they didn’t choose (hoping it makes them feel superior) or they can tip their hat to games on the other system that are good (and be a bit envious). It is a good idea for friends to buy different consoles then play each other’s system!

    I feel for Edge magazine right now because they have the right to their opinion. If you read a lot of the top scoring reviews of Killzone 2 right now, they say much the same but still give it a super high score….is that bravery or pandering to the frothing-at-the-mouth masses? The same goes for anyone who does the same with Gears or Halo games.


  3. I agree completely with this article. I have followed the gaming industry for the better part of 20 years. Nothing crawls my skin worse than “Fanboys” bickering about their favorite system. The reality of it is… these so called fanboys are immature kids that have no clue to what they are talking about. They buy one system (or their mommy’s get then one) and as far as they are concerned, there can only be one. Any kind of praise for another console is an abomination.

    I for one love games and love the industry. It’s a shame how much hatred people express to each other on websites, blogs and forums. I for one currently own just one console this generation only because gaming now is more expensive than it has been. (Not nearly as bad as PC gaming but that’s a different story) I own a PS3 now however I do have interest in the 360 because it does have great games however, for me it is a poor investment simply because of the inferior hardware. Now I don’t mean because one console is more power over the other. I would love to go right now and buy a 360 however I’m not investing hundreds in a console that I have to play in fear of breaking. Mark my words, just as soon as Microsoft irons things out and get a reliable console out on the streets, I will get one. But for right now, I’m holding out. I just wish they hurry up.

    But for those reasons, I am not a Sony fanboy like many of these kids think. It’s a smart move investment wise. As far as fanboys are concern, I hate to even hear or read the word. No one wants to be a fanboy but they sure like to label others as one. Just grow up people. If you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say it at all.


  4. Nice article, I have honestly stopped visiting gaming sites because of fanboys. Nothing annoys me more.
    And quite frankly I think N4G is going down the pan quickly.
    I will openly admit now that I do not own a 360, never have wanted to. I have nothing against it, it just that no games I want to play have come out on it. This is changing however and one may soon may appear on my shelf. But this has never stopped me entering discussions about articles on it, and some of the conversation can be very interesting, usually until a fanboy turns up and it all goes to pot. It is true that both Sony and MS are guilty of causing fanboism, and due to that fact it will never go away. Sad for us gamers but they have always been here and always will.


  5. I’m just glad I quit being a fanboy.

    I remember calling this guy an Xbot then he’d call me a Sony Droid but ever since I got to play Crackdown on my friends 360 I enjoyed it a lot and I stopped calling that guy an Xbot.

    Funny thing is he noticed my change of heart and he then told me that he went to a friend to play Uncharted then he loved it and we stopped arguing.

    Now that’s a win-win situation for both of us and two less fanboys in the game industry.


  6. This is a great article, well done. It is the first time I have seen the topic of fanboy’s addressed without it soundsing like it was written by a fanboy.

    However, I think there is one point you left out that is important – MS and Sony are as much to blame for the creation of the fanboy as anyone. The level of one-up-manship they display every year is just as childish as any of the fanboy’s that exist on the internet and if most likely the reason that fanboys exist in the first place. Their drive for product loyalty is insane and mostly pushed by MS as they are the newcomers to the market.

    Maybe a one platform generation would be good for a change – then there really cannot be any arguments about who is better and who is worse….unfortunately with the amount of money available to be collected from gaming at present this possibility grows smaller everyday as the global corps try to cash in.


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