Vagabond Gaming – Interlude: Fanboyism and weighty precipitation

Somehow I have gotten myself into a corner. Online i roll with some of the most informed and interesting people in the MMO blogsphere. Some are previously established, others are new (From what I can ascertain) like myself in finding a new outlet, or connection with the exsisting community. One thing though which has developed over time is the emergence of an us vs them mindset. For the longest time there was an overwhelming neutrality over each others personal tastes in MMO’s. Someone can play WoW without cries of Fisher Price MMO or play Age of Conan without a word said about some people’s ill will toward Funcom.

In fact MMO’s are one thing everyone is pretty tolerant about. The one divide which has crept in from the rest of the internet is the Console versus PC debate. Albeit subtley it has risen it’s head and said ‘Hello’.

 

Potentially the most divisive issue over internet gaming communities is the place of our own favorite platform. Whether PC, 350 or PS3. (I don’t mention Wii because no one  thinks the Wii is a serious gaming machine [If you aren’t paying attention, that was Satire]) What are the limitations of each, the strengths of each why do I use one instead of the other. Immediately on the release of a somewhat aggresive podcast (Vagabond Gaming Episode 3, available on iTunes, download it now) Alik Steel (who’s opinion and comments I respect and appreciate immensly) was quick to point out I was a fanboy and consoles were crap, only for the occasional party game with friends. Luckily at that particular point in time I was not trying to sell anyone a PS3. Ah, I still fondly remember my time as a manager of a Gaming section though when i would make a game of converting 360 buyers who were on the fence to switch to a PS3. Is that Lawful Evil to do that?

Anyway the post got me thinking about fanboyism and fangirlism. The condition, much like Vampirism is not gender specific and can strike at anytime. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Uncontrolled Excitement over a release date
  • Anger over finishing a game with no sequal confirmed
  • Overlaying Game mechanics into real life. (i.e. pulling salesman aggro when in a shop while you are just browsing and thinking of it in those terms)
  • Talking about it when no one else cares (i.e most of my posts)
  • Lack of sleep around launch day or the inability to stop playing when close to the finish
  • The Shakes
  • Double Vision

This is stage one of the tranformation and is fairly ambivalent at the point. Here you can still see the merits in other games in the same genre and understand when other say they can’t stand it or have no wish to play it.

It is possible for Fanboyisam to dengenerate though and approach dangerous levels encoarching on Asshat territory. You begin to deride anything resembling your favorite IP as inferior and seek out places to deliver your final judgement. these more serious symptoms can include

  • Uncontrolled Salivating
  • Similar games are Never Good enough. they are bollock in fact and no one should play them
  • People are Idiots if they don;t like the game in your opinion
  • You payed £110 for the God of War III Pandora’s Box edition
  • You go one the forums of other games to expressly communicate the all saving grace of your game and how if you give it your life it will save you
  • IBS

Now, obviously one is harmless and indulgent, the other breeds trolls and flamers. however for those who are not fanboys or fangirls should also learn to spot the difference. This can save some misunderstandings of communication and also maybe help you maintain an open mind to why something is successfull, even if uit wasn’t for you

My name is Sam and I used to hate WoW and the people who thought it was a good game.

FFXI was so much better. You had to group, it was hard and rewarding and required effort to achieve something grand and worthwhile. you met people and they were kind and polite because there was a symbiotic need there rather then the WoW model of if you don’t help me I can skip this content to get to end game anyway. WoW is rubbish no matter how many subscribe. in fact it’s 11 million subs just prove it is the lowest common denominator and base.

That is the bad kind of Fanboyism and how I used to think. now I have changed my tune and so far my Rogue is almost Level 30 and almost able to wear my Feline Leggings with mad +agi. now the above statement is tempered by

FFXI has it’s own charm and appeal to it’s gameplay which I will always enjoy and reccomend to anyone with the patience and determination to devote time to it will be rewarded. Oh and I am on shiva if you want to roll there and get some help through the tough early levels. WoW looks good, I might try that too.

I have evolved as a Gamer and because of that I am having a blast playing a game which stubborness could have kept me from.

in fact my whole gaming career on PC stems from consoles. Final Fantasy XI was the first PC game I played plenty of. (Apart from Duke Nukem at a freinds House. hail to the King baby) FFXI got because of Final Fantasy 7 through to 9. From there I have gone on to all the other PC games which I play predominately today.

Fanboyism is just my way of expressing excitement over what i love and as long as that doesn;t deride anything outside the scope of what I love then I hope anyone who reads my blogs can take away that at the very least there is something good in there even if it isn’t for you. A little of a lot I find is better then a lot of a little. I’d rather play a little of all games then a lot of one or two.

If you are an anti-fanboy or anti-fangirl of a game or platform I would challenge you to spend one gaming section trying out something new in that vein. Play a console game, play a PC game (Though I would wager most of you who read this are PC supporters anyway) Play the Age of Conan trial if you hate Funcom, try Star Wars galaxies post NGE if that burned you. Play a console AAA title and get to grips with the controller for an hour or so before you give up (If I can get through Unchaterd 2 a Third Person Shooter on Normal with a controller then it isn;t that hard) It also helps if you don’t compare it to mouse movement. Remember the game was designed with a controller in mind so even if you could blast through it easy with a mouse and wasd, the designers knew your movement is that of a controller.

I don’t like FPS or RTS games because I am pretty bad at them as twitch gameplay in FPS doesn;t suit me, neither does the management required to optimise output in RTS games so if someone takes me up on this I would ask you to do a review and prepare something for a segment on my Podcast. it would be a fascinating experiment and a lot of fun. So if you want to make me play a game and are will ing to review a game, genre or platform you have decided is worthless let me know. I am aware that no one will get this far in the post so it is largely in vain. You never know though. Only rules are it must be of AAA quality (So no Hello kitty or shovelware to be decided by general opinion) and I would ask at least three hours of gameplay to ensure a decent review. of course this should be achieved in your own time and not in one session nessisarily.

Anyway as I said no one reads my large posts anyway so I’ll end it there and if you want to take me up on that challenge, let me know.

[See you again!]

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