Fanboys: More Than Just "Ignorance" - Anticitizen-One Blog -
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Fanboys: More Than Just "Ignorance"

After years of being a passionate gamer, starting entering on to gaming websites was the inevitable next step, and all gamers eventually find one, that person who enjoys the benefits of anonymity, the one who is known as a Fanboy. Yeah I will talk about that. May the Lord have Mercy upon me.


-I think this will provoke some people but in our gaming culture and in this topic,  I believe this speaks for itself.

What makes fanboys what they are? Why do so many defend their videogame console to the death? Why, even though the biggest games are multiplatform titles, fanboys develop a strong passion to their preferred console while rejecting equally the other one? I think this goes beyong our own human psychology.

After reading and looking endlessly on the internet and psychology articles, I found this phenomenon that occurs on all of us, this phenomenon consists in that an object or ideal can become part of our own identity, if someone is really into gaming, his console of choice may become part of their own identity, this behaviour did not start with videogames, this has been around since life's initial stages, the cavemen argued over which type of spear would be the best to use to take down an animal, this would lead to the community to "separate" and form distinct groups defending their choice.

Now this means there aren't only videogame fanboys, there can be fanboys from simple things like books to fully realized sports, actually I believe the first recorded type of "fanboy" was from 1919, and it was related to boxing; you would be called a boxing "fanboy" if you were passionate about it and knew everything about it's universe. 

Now don't get me wrong, people can't be a "fanboy" of everything, you'll never see people starting flame wars over which soda is better: Coke vs Pepsi? Never, because those products are low-term involvement and are relatively cheap to buy and also doesn't involve an ideal to fight over which soda is better for your life, People getting up in arms over religion? That's completely understandable, people's faith comes first than just their identity, but linking this behaviour over plastic machines? That's where it gets tricky.

How can a piece of plastic affect us in the same way as someone arguing over religion or politics?

Like I mentioned before, this has to do with the phenomenon in all of us where we become attached to an object to the point where it becomes part of our identity and when you bundle with a group who has a similar "identity" altogether, we create another type of group entirely, where we share our ideals and we feel a member of our own unique community, and this sense of belonging can be seen in religion like Catholics vs Protestants or in our case PS3 vs Xbox 360, and the more we share and interact with the community itself, the harder it becomes to quit.

And above everything else of why we get attached to this machines is that:

Electronics engage us emotionally.

No one can deny having felt at least one time any sort of feeling besides fun, I'm talking about sadness or anger, in our medium videogames tells us a story and this story in which we take part engage us for it's interactiveness, to date technology blurs even more the line between something that is alive and something that isn't; and I can tell you my perfect example of how videogames can engage us in such ways:

My beloved Red Dead Redemption tells the story of John Marston and family, to it's core it's basically a father-son story and a story of redemption, how we can save ourselves by changing our actions at the last moment. Throughout the game Rockstar did an incredible job of presenting you one of the most believable characters in history and emotionally engage you with him through his journey in the game, ***SPOILER ALERT*** so much that at the end they pulled the most tragic and most unforgettable things Rockstar could have done to such a beloved character, they kill him in the end, and while the title of the game already teases you how it's going to end, the way the government in-game kill him is unforgivable and was meritorious of taking a few tears from me, since that day I knew how videogames could emotionally affect us just as any book or movie, and even more because how we feel over an inanimate virtual object.

So will this ever end one day? unfortunately, the answer is NO.

No matter how much we want to get rid of this fanatism we just can't, no matter how much we want to end seeing all those "fanboys" taking pleasure of the benefits of anonymity and of their own ignorance we just can't, it's all part of our own human behaviour and psychology, while we can do our best to diminish it by trying to understand it in one way, it's something we will have to stand for the rest of our lives, and so does the game industry.


After a serious talk, I thought it would be great to finish the article with some humor, thanks for reading!