Tuesday, 19 January 2010

This is Jim Sterling's article on Destructoid and I'm going to argue against it.

We've all seen fanboys before. Ranting and raving, upsetting themselves by pretending that other people are trying to upset them, feeling persecuted while happily persecuting others. Wait, did I just describe fanboys or religious fundamentalists? It's so hard to tell the difference sometimes.

No you just described a hypocrite.

In fact, the two groups are similar enough to be considered identical. The more I think about it, the more I feel that "fanboy" is not quite strong enough a word to describe the hardcore insanity of the average Sony obsessive, Microsoft loyalist or Nintendo worshiper. No, these people treat videogame consoles like some sort of twisted religion, and follow that religion with the blind devotion of a cultist.

The attitudes and act of the followers are similar but unlike religion the beliefs are not based on what is a mystery, there is no living person who around in the time of Jesus, there are many people who were around when Microsoft was founded.
Saying that a person treats video games like a religion is something that can be said for most past times, for example some people treat (for example) Liverpool football club as if it was of a greater importance, kinda like a *cough* religion.
There are also people who play games like Dungeons & Dragons religiously.

I hereby decree that console fanboyism should be considered a religion in and of itself, and those who subscribe to it? Why, they're religious fandamentalists. Read on as I explain why this decision should be written into American history. Oh, if you're the type of person who gets upset over religious criticism, no matter how tongue-in-cheek, I'll warn you now that you should just skip this article entirely.

All it's all well and good if you are an American.
I suppose that Microsoft are mormans, Nintendo are Orthodox Catholic and so on.
Console fanboyism is as much a religion as the Jedi kights, on wait.

There is no such thing as a belief, opinion or theory for a fanboy. Everything is black and white, where statements are either completely true or completely false. In very much the same way as a hardcore Christian or Muslim would pass off their belief system as unwavering truth, so too will PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 fanboys claim that their console is undeniably the greatest.

I'll give you that.

The burden of proof is not on these people, and that's mostly because there is no evidence to ever back up their claims. Their reason for believing is merely "because I decided this is real," and that apparently makes it real somehow. Rather than try to prove these facts of theirs, they will simply shout very loudly in the hopes that you'll be distracted or irritated enough to not press the issue and actually demand some evidence.

Again there is a difference, gaming history is still fairly recent we know the facts.
Religious history goes back serval years, we can not know all the facts nor can we prove the excistance of a god and so on.

There is no real reason for console fanboys to choose one inane concept of superiority over another. It's simply a case of "this is the system I bought first, therefore it's the best," in very much the same way as someone might say, "I was born a Catholic, therefore Catholicism is totally correct."

That's personal preferance at the end of the day, I still believe that the Game Cube was better than the xbox and PS2.

If you fall in love with somebody you've never met or interacted with in any way, most people would call you a crazy stalker and lock you up. However, if the somebody in question is called God, it magically isn't creepy anymore and you're allowed to continue having an imagined relationship with somebody whom you haven't even spoken to on Gtalk. This is, of course, very similar to people who have a demented fetish for consoles.

The guy is wrong here, unlike these people you never met the consoles give you enjoyment, people fall in love with gaming for a number of different reasons, calling it a weird fetish is like saying loving a sports team is a weird fetish.

Fanboys are clearly in love with their system of choice. They respond to criticism in the same way a man would respond to an attack on his girlfriend. The amount of time they spend talking about their preferred system, it's very clear that they have fallen in love and they want everybody to love it the same way they do. They jump to its defence in a heartbeat, regardless of the fact that it would never do the same thing for them. Same with a corporation like Sony or Microsoft, a company that doesn't give two poo poos about them, yet the fandamentalists will happily do PR work for them as if they somehow owe them such fealty.

If a man was to respond to an attack on his girlfriend he wouldn't use words.
An inanimate object wouldn't jump to defend a living being, neither would a plant.
The same sort of thing can be said about most brands, artists and/or musicians.

Being in love with an inanimate object is vaguely terrifying, and a clear sign of fandamentalism.

Talking to ones self is a sign of insanity yet I find myself doing it often.

Have you ever seen a religious debate with a fanatic? It's not pretty, let me assure you. Religious fundies don't like criticism, and since it's always far easier to attack than to defend one's belief system (mostly because, again, there's no evidence in existence to defend with), they will go on the warpath, wielding straw men like swords in an attempt to deflect any and all critique and turn it into an attack on the belief system of the critic.

You will find that most people respond to critism in the same way, and again I must stress that with gamong there is fact where with religion there is mystery.

Just look what happened when I merely suggested that Sony wasn't doing everything perfectly with the PlayStation Network. (Reference to article where Sterling made the point that Sony should sort out cheating on their servers and fanboys went mental in the comments section.) You'll notice that barely anybody who takes umbrage at my suggestion defends Sony's decision properly. Instead, the fandamentalists use personal attacks and insults in a pathetic attempt to get their point across. It's this unrelenting, absolutely unyielding refusal to accept any kind of criticism, however light, that is truly worrying. In very much the same way as religious extremists, fanboys are so insecure in their beliefs that they'll lash out at anything that threatens their fragile sense of righteousness.

The case you (the writer) decribed is putting the opinion of one person against the opinion of others, people may not agree what you have said (and there proberbly was some truth to it) but that doesn't meamn that they can't voice their opinion too, even if the opinion is ignorant, wrong or illogical.

It's my personal theory that anybody so willing to lash out at the slightest, most polite criticism is insecure in their faith. If you can't accept or at least tolerate a bit of critique, then your beliefs can't be as strong as you think they are. It's that "what if I am wrong? NO I CAN'T BE" mentality that fanboys subscribe to. They are terrified of being incorrect, and that terror is what drives them to bite and snarl like cornered dogs.

As I at the start the people you describe are not all fanboys many are idiots, there are many who react like this to any kind of criticism.

It's amusing to think that some Christians, by far the most numerous demographic in the most powerful nation on Earth, feel victimised. Just look at Bill O'Reilly, who claims that there is an "attack" on the wholesome Christian festival of Christmas just because some people say "Happy Holidays." Just look at groups like God Hates Fags, who love to say outrageously evil things about homosexuals yet somehow act like they're the ones being bullied. Take the Christians who have told me personally that they're sick of being the victims all the time, even though atheists are the minority group and American surveys claim that atheists are the least trusted people in the country.

irrelevant. Again there are many people who feel victimized, it doesn't have to be down to religion. Many people who were born in britian feel that they are the victims because they can't get a job wheres people from overseas can (though I am not saying they are the victims because not every person is the same, some deserve to work, others don't).

As I explained in my "PS3 fanboys are the worst" article, there is a similar persecution complex among fanboys. Although it is indeed worse among PS3 Fandamentalists, it can apply to other console cults as well. This is most evident by the use of the word "bias," a term that has almost lost all meaning thanks to the people who have overused it to the point of irrelevance. Whenever a writer criticizes a console, an exclusive game, or a company, they are accused of "bias." Fandamentalists live in a twisted fantasy realm where everybody who is not them is an enemy with a compulsive desire to victimise them and destroy their way of life.

Now you're being bias to the PS3 Fanboys by singling them out as the worse. As far as this gaming gen goes the PS3 could easily come out being the best console by the end of it, the last two gens show that hence why the PS3 fans are so convinced that their console is the best.

Continued in part 2.

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