21 January 2009

'Fanboy' This, 'Fanboy' That: Gaming's New Apartheid.

It's not 'fanboys' themselves that I despise, but rather the use of the term in the first place. Every time I see *that word*, I shudder. It irks me, like fingernails running down a blackboard, or watching custard move. 

The reasons I hate the term 'fanboy':

When did this ridiculous title first pop up?
When people got sick of calling other people 'biased'? Honestly, it feels like I just woke up one morning a year or two ago, hopped on the interwebs, and all of a sudden every gamer and his dog started calling other gamers 'fanboys' as a derogatory term.

• This in turn annoys me because it hails back to the times of apartheid,
where one would call their adult, male slave 'boy' to denote their apparent inferiority and standing in society. It also reminds me of the French, who address their waiters as garcon [translation: boy] when ordering a meal.

It also annoys me that the word has an inherent gender,
suggesting that females can't be ardent fans of a particular console or console manufacturer (which I gather is what 'fanboy' ultimately means).

The word is redundant.
Either you mean someone's a fan (derived from 'fanatic', duh!) of a particular console or console manufacturer, or you mean that they are biased towards a particular console or console manufacturer, and therefore their viewpoint on a particular game or gaming-related topic cannot be taken without a grain of salt.

In what other arena of entertainment is being a fan considered a bad thing?
I can't think of any. The last time I remember being a fan of anything being a bad thing was when that Pantera fan killed 'Dimebag' Darrell or when that Beatles fan killed John Lennon. Okay, sometimes being a fan can be a bad thing, but there's nothing wrong with enjoying or admiring something. Perhaps it's only a bad thing when someone's admiration of something equates to an unreasonable hatred of another thing, say a side project or a solo career. In any case, it has to be pointed out that neither of these killers was called a 'fanboy', even though their love for their respective favourite bands led to the death of those bands' members. If they can get away with it, then that guy who said that Halo 3 was the best game of all time should get away with it too. He didn't kill anyone from Bungie (well, he might have killed Masterchief a few times, what with being a 'n00b' and all).

It just plain sounds dumb, and it makes the people who use the word sound dumb as well.
It's like when people make that face (you know, that face) when they call someone a 'spastic' or a 'retard'. Didn't you used to think it made them look like a complete wanker, or at the very least, retarded (though I guess that was the point)? Well, that's what you sound like when you call someone a 'fanboy'. Take that!

But I'm not finished yet! The term 'hardcore gamer' is also a load of subjugating codswallop. It's a ridiculous elitist term coined by gamers to elevate themselves above the 'casual gamers', 'fanboys' and the 'n00bs'. It would be like a movie buff calling themselves a 'hardcore movie buff' to separate themselves from movie buffs that clearly don't watch enough movies [not 'buff enuff']. People who see movies once in a blue moon don't call themselves 'casual movie buffs' now, do they? Then why the hell would someone who plays a videogame here and there call themselves a 'casual gamer'?! Chances are, if you're reading this blog, then you are a gamer.

Now that we've established that *the word* actually means 'fan', and that 'hardcore gamer' actually means 'gamer', we can all stop using them. Right?

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