Why Do Fanboys Care So Much About Numbers?


Note: [All opinions expressed herein are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of GamerXChange]

Every console generation has them, the dreaded fanboy. I’ve actually always gotten a pretty good laugh at what some of these types of people have to say, I think this console generation has been particularly bad where fanboys are concerned. These arguments have gotten so bad I now tell people, there is a third thing you shouldn’t talk about with friends, we all know politics and religion are off limits and now it seems only fitting to add which gaming console you prefer to that list.

I’ve been gaming since the 1980’s and fanboyism is always something that has existed in one way or another, if I had a NES and my friend had a Sega Master System then there were always little arguments here and there. As I got older things got a little worse, I think the Sega Genesis versus the Super Nintendo rift was one of the biggest battles until this current console generation. It was around this time that I developed a taste to own all the consoles that were out at the time. I still own many of these now retro consoles to this day, my defensive stance to fanboys is “There are no games exclusive to me”. I think we all tend to have preferences for one reason or another, but that definitely shouldn’t hinder us from enjoying games on other consoles. With this extended console generation and at the current prices it’s difficult for me to imagine very many people who couldn’t own more than one console by now. I do realize price can be a factor, but I always come across deals that allow me to buy games and consoles cheaper and thus allows me to keep my goal of there being no games that are exclusive to me.

One of the most baffling arguments this generation is the numbers war, at this point in the console cycle you cant say any of the current consoles were a failure, certainly Nintendo has done an amazing job with the Wii and it’s got a substantial lead in numbers but Sony and Microsoft have over fifty million consoles sold, which is very impressive in and of itself. Once again this console generation I own all three and enjoy all three, though like I said we all have preferences. You would think that by the way people quote NPD, or world wide sales that they personally work for the company they back. I don’t see how anyone could take pleasure or joy when something goes wrong. When the Red Ring Of Death hit the Xbox 360, I was never more sickened to be a gamer that visited sites and forums. Why would gamer’s be happy that other gamer’s consoles were defective? Conversely I was ashamed once again when PSN went down this past year and people were coming out of the woodwork with jokes and hate. We are all gamer’s, we should try to enhance the overall gaming communities we use, we should actually be playing these games, not commenting and poking fun at other gamer’s misfortunes.

Would we really want to live in a world with no competition when it comes to the gaming market? we’ve seen what it does to things like WWE wrestling, which has only grown more stagnant since they bought out WCE and ECW. We’ve seen something similar with Madden football, which hit an all time low a couple of years ago. If any of the current console makers were to ever close up shop, we would all be the ones that suffered. We would lose innovation and our fellow gamer’s around the world. I think it would be a terrible thing, just look at how competition helps us in the long run. When one company lowers the price, the others usually follow suit. This is beneficial to gamer’s everywhere. So why wish for a company you may not prefer to fail? Think about the long-term repercussions next time you want to start a console war.

There are fanboys with more than just video games, but gamer’s seem to take things to a whole new level. It has a way to turn even the most mature person into a child. Every argument has a counterpoint and every counterpoint has a counterpoint, it really never gets anywhere and in the end it just turns gamer’s against each other. Gamer’s actually have some common enemies, the media being one of them, but gamer’s are generally preoccupied with hating on fellow gamer’s to even notice. You might see a few people comment on an article where the media is blasting gaming, but your sure to see hundreds of comments in articles where they have numbers of consoles sold or screen shot comparisons for a multiplatform game. Honestly, who cares if there is one more particle of dust in a version of a game? Is that going to make the game more enjoyable for you or less enjoyable for them?

Now we’ve taken these types of arguments to new levels, where we try to create buzz words like “hardcore” or “casual” when it comes to gaming. People seem to use these words only when it suits their own personal arguments, which really makes them hypocrites. The biggest example I’ve seen with this is when people try to compare console numbers and someone brings up the Wii, the first response is usually how it’s a casual gaming machine. In all honesty, there is nothing more casual about the Wii than any of the other consoles. There is also nothing hardcore about the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360, last I checked all the consoles played video games, which is strictly a form of entertainment. We use these consoles to have fun, so as long as your accomplishing that goal, it shouldn’t require a buzz word of any kind and most definitely shouldn’t require you to defend your preferred console.

Believe it or not, the console you prefer to game on isn’t a damsel in distress, it doesn’t need you to come to its rescue and certainly doesn’t need you to post “Day one buy” on every new game or add-on developed by your preferred company. I guess there is always going to be trolls and a certain level of dislike between gamer’s if they like different consoles, but I’d like to see gamer’s unite a little more. I love it when I go to a midnight release for a game or peripheral, because I get to meet fellow gamer’s. I don’t care what they like to game on, it’s just fun to meet people who are fellow gamer’s and who like to enjoy these consoles for the reason they were intended.

In closing I’d like to say I think we can get back to a point where we can all pretty much get along, it will take restraint and a certain level of maturity but I think we’ll all be better off for it in the long run. Anytime you can promote gaming, no matter the format is a great thing. Just because the console companies are in competition, doesn’t mean we have to be.


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