That’s What She Said: In Defence of Fanboys
So I’ve been reading a lot of whiny posts recently. Not that I’ve been trawling the internet searching for gaming posts with a fair dose of whinge but there seems to be an ailment afflicting lots of gaming journalists lately. Gaming journalism fatigue, or maybe gaming disillusionment. Lots of posts about how some journalists don’t understand the meaning of the word “journalism”, they have no ethics and drive agendas without trying to mask it with objectivity etc. On the other side, there has been whining about how toxic the gaming community is, that you can’t criticise Destiny or Sony or No Man’s Land without being trolled to the depths of hell etc. All in all, there are a lot of gaming journalists out there who are feeling very sorry for themselves and the community they are writing for.
Here’s the thing. I’m an attorney. Now, despite popular opinion, lawyers are born and not taught. But from a very young age I have been groomed to train my mind that above all things it will be rational. I had to read newspapers when I was little and my dad would always have SAfm on the radio in the car. My point is, in terms of people and rationality levels, I’m pretty much at the top. When it comes to emotions versus rational thought, I am basically a robot.
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Guess what. I get into fights on the internet. I write nasty inflammatory comments aimed at the writer and not at the article, sometimes I say things which serve zero constructive purpose and a lot of the time, when I read an article I think is rubbish, I read trolling comments with some measure of glee and sometimes even upvote those comments.
Ah, getting into fights on the internet. I know it serves no purpose and that I am feeding a really big ugly trolling monster that makes the lives of the majority of gamers worse, but I do it anyway. And if I, with all my rational brain training, can sometimes throw kerosene to all of that and engage in truly atrocious behaviour, I’m not surprised that a lot of gamers succumb to this.
As far as fanboys and fangirls go, I have no shame in happily admitting that I am a Sony fangirl. I’m sure that most people who know me, know this. I have owned playstations, since the PS1. I bought a PS3 at launch date despite the entire internet rejoicing in the Xbox 360 at that time. At E3 last year, I gloriously relished in all the hate that Microsoft attracted and that Sony was the internet’s darling. It made me visibly ecstatic.
I generally have very little nice to say about Microsoft. When they reversed their DRM policies, I didn’t glory in them finally coming to their senses, I trolled them more. I rarely say nice things about Xbox in my columns, and I usually personify those consoles into something insipid, boring and devoid of value. Am I happy about everything that Sony does? Honestly no, but it doesn’t bother me, detract from my factionalism or cause any adverse impact on my adoration? Absolutely not. Do I abhor absolutely everything that Microsoft does? Generally no because I actually don’t care that much but my rational mind (which doesn’t come out much to play when it comes to gaming) can accept that they are doing some great things with the Xbox One. I’m probably not going to buy Destiny unless it turns out to be something completely different at launch which actually interested me. I would buy Sunset Overdrive at launch if it was for PS4. I am iffy that almost a year later there are still no proper next gen games for the PS4 and all that seems to be happening is lots of indie games and remastered versions getting released.
But I think that. And if you write about it, I probably won’t go to the extreme of cursing all your houses but I still won’t like you for it. I will dislike you. However, rational brain who is still in there somewhere is also reading that article and probably absorbing it in the same way it absorbs law reports. And, when fangirl me is not raging around like a psychopath, rational brain is there having accepted some merit in those articles and that they maybe have a point.
Getting to the point where I have admitted that I really want to play Sunset Overdrive and can’t, or that the Rise of the Tomb Raider had little to do with Microsoft and more to do with Square Enix being [insert really offensive word here] are, although they may seem like small things, really big steps for me in being able to see value in the XBox. Which is a massive thing for someone who used to get into proper verbal fights in real life about the controller design for the PS3 versus the Xbox 360.
Am I ever going to be able to be objective about the Xbox, or god forbid, say something nice about it? Probably not. But maybe in about ten year’s time rational brain will play more of a role in a gaming life and I just maybe, maybe might be able to make an objective comment which criticises something Sony does. But let’s be honest, god plays playstation, so that’s never going to happen.