Don’t Be That Guy: Fixing Fanboys Part 1

Webster’s dictionary defines a fan (n.) as a person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular sport, art, entertainment form, or famous person. Webster’s dictionary does not define fanboy (the next level in the blanket term fandom) but I’m enough of a wordsmith to create a respectable definition on my own”

Fanboy (n.) a person whose adoration for a particular item, brand sport, art, entertainment form or famous person blinds them to its fallibility, thus reducing them to a state of hysterical aggressiveness at the first sign of actual or perceived criticism towards aforementioned item ex. Jim was such a huge Resident Evil fanboy that he denied any fault with the piss poor control scheme.

Resident Evil

No, there isn't an excuse for tank controls after the year 2000.

Now, this could be an article about how annoying video game fanboys or fangirls can be, but that’s been done many times over. As much as I like reading comments, attacking that type of fanboy outright may bring the fanboys of fanboyism to the site in droves and I don’t think the infrastructure of Horrible Night could handle it. Besides, I learned a long time ago that there is a time for complaining and a time for seeking a solution and after pondering this subject for a week, I’m made the decision to pursue the latter.

I’m writing this series under the assumption that there are a few of you out there that realize the term fanboy/girl can be applied to you and based on that, you want some help. That’s the first and most courageous step, but your journey out of the land of rabid adoration doesn’t end there. Reality has to  hit hard which is why I’ve put together a listing of hard truths for you to consider before the process can even begin.

1. Count to 10 anytime your Game of Fanboyism (GOF) is brought up. This will prevent you from misinterpreting or overreacting to conversation that references your GOF.

2. A comments section is for commenting about the content of an article, not ranting about your GOF.

3. Injecting your GOF into conversations that have nothing to do with your GOF is inappropriate.

4. You weren’t the first to discover, play or master your particular GOF unless you created it. Should this be the case, there is a difference between being passionate about your work and being egotistical enough to have a GOF that is your own creation.

5. You probably aren’t your GOF’s biggest fan.

6. Seeking out and attacking your GOF’s biggest fan is not a productive use of your time nor does it fall under any sort of crime of passion law.

Fanboy

There is a time and a place for fighting as long as the reason for doing so is something one can defend without seeming off kilter

7. You are not responsible for your GOF’s success no matter how many times you commented on articles/ forum threads about your excitement for your GOF before your GOF was released.

8. Having a GOF that has yet to be released is really sad.

9. Your GOF isn’t perfect and defending its imperfections is actually bad for it and your reputation as a gaming enthusiast.

10. Your GOF did not make as much of an impact on the gaming community/industry as you think it did. In the off chance that it did, comparing your GOF to things like penicillin and the telephone makes you sound slightly out of touch.

11. Not every successful IP stole from or copied your GOF.

12. The studio that produced your GOF may produce future products that aren’t that great. Don’t feel obliged to defend them.

OJ

Number 12 is also true with celebrity fanboyism

13. People are allowed to not like your GOF as much as you or at all. In fact, people may hate your GOF outright. This does not bestow upon them the label of eternal enemy or future murder victim.

14. Someone not having experienced your GOF does not correlate to them being noobs/ morons/ buttfaces. There are many many other games out there that more than likely kept their attention away from your GOF.

15. Introducing someone to your GOF does not leave them forever in your debt. They may enjoy your GOF, but probably not as much as you think. They’re more than likely being nice because you scare them.

16. Liking your GOF is not an exclusive club that only certain people can be a part of. Studio 54 your GOF is not.

17. No one has to earn the privilege of speaking to you about or joining you in a session with your GOF.

18. Your particular GOF does not have to satisfy you eternally through consistent DLC or sequels.

19. Substantial changes to your GOF do not equate to a direct attack on you from the GOF’s studio.

20. Being in charge of your GOF’s fanpage does not mean that you are part of the GOF’s production team in any sort of way.

21. Feeling that you are your GOF’s only defense against noobs, a more casual fanbase or wider appeal is actually counter productive to the success of your GOF. This is similar to threatening the potential suitors of or kidnapping someone who you have a crush on.

22. Writing fan fiction for your GOF is never worth bringing up on a date or at holiday themed meals. Additionally, studio heads are not at all interested in reading it.

23. Relationships based solely on your GOF will more than likely fail.

WoW

WoW is an understatement

24. Naming your child after characters from your GOF will get them harassed to the point that they’ll hate you and eventually wear suits constructed out of human skin or feces. They will also decapitate you and/or keep your corpse is their rooms (tastefully preserved of course).

25. Keeping your enthusiasm for your GOF to yourself is ok and does not mean that you like it any less.

This list may have made you angry or may have made you cry but if it made you think in the least then I’ve accomplished my mission and you’ve taken that first step towards success. In part 2, we’ll deal with breaking down the walls created by self brainwashing and begin seeing our GOFs for what they actually are.

Don’t Be That Guy – Seriously, no one likes a stereotype and video games are full of them. In the best interest of taking gaming culture out of the shadows, we think it’s best that we leave some of these characters behind.

Sources

Giant Bomb
Awkward Family Photos
Slant Magazine