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Fanboy : the final insult in most online arguments

Everyone has a preference. Whether you like Coke or Pepsi, Honda or Ford, Golden State or Cleveland, Xbox or Playstation - preference is unavoidable. Now in online arguments, for many years now it's a free-for-all, no holds barred debate about one thing or another.

I'd focus just on console preferences for now. Things have been heating up in online discussions because Microsoft is about to release its newest console, the Xbox One X. 

This is bothering a lot of people who have invested a lot of money in their preferred platforms. In particular, Sony fans have been very upset. In the local gaming community that I visit, users who prefer Sony would come in and do one thing or another:

- argue the point that Playstation has more exclusive games
- argue the point that discussions are not being fair/neutral
- outright attack other gamers by sending them hate-filled private messages

Honestly, Xbox fans have had to deal with a lot of negativity for their preferred platform, so the reaction from Xbox fans is understandable. Here you are being told that your platform is the 'worst' for multiplatform games, even if the difference in graphics is so small that most players can't really see the difference. 

But Sony fans have been this way all the time. For one reason or another, their zeal to keep Sony on top, or get rid of Xbox entirely, is unprecedented. They are the only community that promotes this sort of behavior, and I've seen them invade Xbox community discussions to do just that. They literally go in there to a community discussion for Xbox and try to sway everyone to leave the platform. 

I have this nasty opinion of Sony fans because I've always observed that most Xbox users own all the consoles, they own PCs, and generally they're more 'hardcore' into gaming than Sony players. Sony players, on the other hand, are usually just in it for the single player games, and they only own one platform. This might explain why they hate the Xbox - they don't want to have to buy another console just to play the games that aren't on their system. So the solution that they see is that, if they could get rid of Microsoft's Xbox from the console gaming world, their ultimate conclusion is that Xbox's games would come to Playstation, and they would 'win' in that sense.

They believe this because they've done it before - to Sega Enterprises.

Sega was locked in a heated battle with both Sony and Nintendo back in the late nineties. Due to the failure of Sega's second-to-the-last console - the Saturn, Sega released a new console called the Dreamcast. It had amazing first party games and some third party support, but compared to Sony, it lagged behind in specific third party titles. Eventually Sega went under, and became a multiplatform developer.

Before THAT happened, there was not much internet discussions yet but basically it was the gaming magazines which would constantly downplay Dreamcast and its lack of a DVD drive. The Playstation 2 was pushed heavily because of the DVD drive even to non-gamers, because it was the cheapest DVD player at the time. The constant negativity from the media, fed into gamers and they just bought it, hook line and sinker. Online discussions weren't much of a thing back then, so basically you just bought what the magazines said as gospel truth.

This really hurt Sega and basically destroyed them - since the fans perceived them as the loser, they eventually became the loser. Players didn't give Sega a chance because the media would constantly attack them. 

Fast forward to today. Xbox is under attack from the games press. They have been for a very long time now. Even back during the original Xbox days, the Xbox 360 days - Microsoft has always been held to a higher standard by the media, and it feeds back into the player base. Some players are just 'sheep' and they just agree with the media. You have podcast personalities like Parris from Gamertag Radio who never wants to dismiss the negativity of the press - but he's only that way because he's a PC gamer. Effectively, his preference makes him negative to the Xbox, and that influences a lot of players. 

You have guys like Ryan McCaffrey from IGN who has a podcast for Xbox but never says anything positive about the platform at all. He would ask 'who is the Xbox One X for?', on a show whose fanbase is supposed to be Xbox players - the ones who want to upgrade to an Xbox One X because of all the negativity about the lower resolution games. 

Of course you have to add in Digital Foundry, who have just 'created' this need to upgrade your console. When they analyze a game, they literally pause and zoom in to individual frames and count pixels and jagged edges. While I agree that that helps you evaluate quality, that sort of analysis is better suited to PC games, because you're always upgrading your PC and the idea is that that market is rich enough to afford upgrading all the time. For console games, for some reason Digital Foundry thinks that we do the same thing they do - pause, and zoom and count frames, and that we're all annoyed by 30 FPS games. The truth is, not everyone is bothered by that and Digital Foundry just created that need which isn't really necessary to enjoy gaming. 

So all that negativity adds up and even if it isn't right, it just makes the Xbox brand seem inferior to the Playstation. This is even if the same platform can run the same games as the Playstation, and generally the games run well, but all that negativity creates this idea that the Xbox is a weaker console. 

Now, Microsoft has probably paid a billion dollars to create a new console to counter that negativity - the Xbox One X. Their goal was probably to stop the negativity - which is interesting because they didn't just opt to drop out of the race entirely.

Now with all the articles coming out that the Xbox One X is getting stronger versions of games, Sony fans are getting frustrated and upset. Xbox obviously isn't leaving the race for the long term, and Sony is not going to be the only player for mature, hardcore games. 

All that negativity that Sony fans spew towards Xbox fans is coming to a head now. They're just as negative and zealous as ever about their platform, and they just attack people personally for preferring Xbox over what they like.

What I don't understand is when people start pulling the 'fanboy' insult.

Let's be honest, everybody - we're all fanboys. Even me. Even you, reading this right now (and I know you are a console player and you have one preference over another).

When people pull out the 'fanboy' insult they act like they're neutral and they don't prefer a platform --- but they do. They act like they're being fair and balanced - but they aren't. 

So what if one person prefers Xbox or Playstation or the Cavaliers or Golden State or Honda or Ford or Marvel or DC? It's their free choice to like one thing over another.

What I don't agree with is with the attitude of people who like one thing over another, then begin attacking other people who like what they don't like. I don't like how that culture of hate is promoted by the Sony fans. They just can't accept that Xbox is here to stay and that Microsoft is willing to spend the money they have to, to stay in the game -- that's what the Xbox One X represents. They're frustrated that Microsoft or Xbox is not going to end up like the Dreamcast, and that they're not going to get all the games.

So what if one set of fans' opinions are one way and not another? So what if they don't agree with how you see the world? Do you have to resort to personal attacks? What does that say about you, when you can't respect what another person thinks about things?

And this is just video games. It's just a hobby and it shouldn't really be taken that seriously. But Sony fans take it to a whole new level. They just think "you're not as smart as me because you picked that platform". And that's a really sad way of looking at the world. It's just a limited way of looking at things.

If you can't accept that some people "like what they like", then there's something wrong with you. Not everyone can like what you like. It's that simple. If they see things the way they do, let them be. Respect how they see the world, and you should never push how you see the world towards them. 

Honestly, I wish Sony fans would not be so negative towards Xbox fans. But that's just the way it is. It's only going to get worse as the Xbox One X approaches launch. My only advice is this - like what you like. Remember that the people you interact with online - you don't know them and you don't have to respect them. If you think that guy online that you're arguing with is being an asshole, then he probably is. Just block them and don't discuss with them. Don't waste your time with losers who have a terrible world view probably shaped by a terrible upbringing or an equally stupid set of friends. There's a reason why you pick your friends in real-life. Apply that same logic even with online conversations. There's no need to interact with losers or read the 'opposite' view to supposedly be 'neutral'. There's no neutral in anything -- that's impossible. 

Just like what you like, and live how you want to live, fanboy. 

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