If there’s one thing that’s constantly been on my mind since E3, it’s the people who sell themselves out to one company or the other. In gaming, we call these companies the “Big Three,” or better yet: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. These gamers or better yet, aficionados have one company that they will buy everything they produce and if the games/systems aren’t particularly good, they will defend it to the death. This is where the term “fanboy” came into play a few years back, as these gamers can be a bit ridiculous to try and reason with.
Let’s use a Sony fanboy as an example here. If you was to, let say, tell them that the repetitive climbing sequences that are crammed into the Uncharted games as “filler” material (adding to the game’s overall length), you’ll likely get told that these segments are used to build to each upcoming event, or add to the game’s tension, etc. Truth is they’re boring and overly repetitious, and even worse, so easy that a small child could breeze through many of them. It’s one of the many problems that these fanboys refuse to see in the games – which are fantastic as a whole, by the way.
This example can be pulled over to the other companies as well. Make mention of Nintendo’s refusal to try new things with some of their staple franchises, or Microsoft’s overuse of their Halo and Gears of War series, and not only will you get a strong defence, you’re likely to be cursed quite harshly, as well. While I do understand that Nintendo purist don’t care for the more adult themes found in the other consoles, many of them will tell you straight up that there’s “nothing for them on those systems,” when indeed there actually is, if they’d allow themselves to see it.
This has become a problem in our industry. Anywhere users can comment this is what’s found in them the majority of times. Big arguments over nothing, because a handful of idiots spout out some biased mess (e.g. “Halo is the worst FPS ever made,” or “There’s not one PS Move game that actually works.”). These dumbfounded statements are nearly always brought on by people who associate themselves with other fanboys, who altogether build up a mountain pile of crap (lies) based on what they want to believe (not played) – because in their minds, nothing anyone else does can be better than their preferred company’s products. It’s utter rubbish, and websites have to pay moderators to weed out the filth, so actual conversations about the company/games can bloom. While this goes back to my thoughts on people lacking respect, and cowardly hiding behind and avatar, I don’t want to get into that today.
So where am I going with this? Well, what I don’t understand is how these people can so blindly turn their eyes away from some of the best games on the market, because of their blind loyalties. While I don’t care much for most of the Big Three’s first party titles, each system holds its own set of unique games that come from all sorts of indie/third party developers. Games like Limbo, Bastion, Nier, Journey, Velocity, Wisorb, Super Meat Boy, etc. all fall into what I’m trying to get at. Games that do something special and make you feel emotions. Games that make you stop and think: “man, this is why I play games.” For us older hardcore gamers, these games help remind us why we like to play games in the first place. But if you try to bring that excitement to a fanboy, well, you probably guessed it, you’ll be instantly shot down by their blindness. Even when you know, way deep down inside of you that if they dropped their guard and played these games they’d love them, but they simply refuse to do so. This is the reason I just can’t understand/reason with a fanboy/loyalist.
I’m a gamer who loves to play games as a pastime hobby. I don’t care where/how I play them, I just enjoy playing games. I enjoy when a game challenges me emotionally, or captivates me so deeply that I literally forget that I exist in the world outside of the game. The art, the music, the stories that are being told, this is why I play games, not some blind loyalty to some company who doesn’t personally care about me, but instead my money inside my pocketbook.