Fanboyism: What is it?

Posted by Christian "Wolfkill-Shepard" Spring on Friday Jul 22, 2011.


     They tirelessly wait on message boards for an opposing topic to surface like a zebra at a watering hole and once that zebra starts to sip its long awaited drink of water they pounce like a Nile crocodile, assaulting with all kinds of threats, insults, and open-ended points and arguments. When a response is made by the other party they plug their ears and chant endlessly "YOU ARE WRONG! YOU ARE WRONG!" until they're opposition submits to their ignorance and refuses to take the discussion any further.


–They are fanboys.

     But what does it really mean to be a fanboy? Is being a fanboy good or bad for the gaming industry as a whole? Fanboys have created this reputation by others as ignorant and arrogant people who refuse to see the points of others and have a tendency to have trouble supporting their ideas. A fanboy is created when one finds an overwhelming passion for one or a small group of this and with that strong love for those things the fanboy believes that nothing is better or can even compare. Fanboys find comfort with others who have the same beliefs as them–




     –"Whenever you bundle a group of people with similar beliefs and ideals together, it becomes harder for them to leave individually, If they stop, they lose the respect of the other members of the community. They feel like a member of a community there and nowhere else, and this exaggerated sense of belonging is the same as the communities that battle over Democrats vs. Republicans or Mac vs. PC. It's the same case with any kind of zealotry."


-Hanlon, who has worked with Bungie on Halo's advertising campaigns.


This is a very true point in most cases, who doesn't enjoy the company of others with the same beliefs?


     Some argue that fanboyism is good for the industry saying that it incites competition. If capitalism has taught us anything its that competition gives us access to better product because companies have to try to beat their competition in order to make more money. I could not find a case where fanboyism has hurt a game in fact I think it has the opposite effect. When there is controversy about a topic a lot of attention placed on the issue and a lot of people say there is no such thing as bad attention, Duke Nukem is a great example of this. Almost everyone believes that Duke was a horrible game but it was it got so much advertising and attention that it actually sold more copies than predicted.


     Fanboyism is more than a social issue but its also a psychological issue. Fanboyism can be linked to narcissism with one expressing his beliefs and believing that everyone is wrong but himself, but this is a very extreme example. There are many studies on the topic of Fanboyism as early as the 1950s (Brehm, J. W.'s (1956). Postdecision changes in the desirability of alternatives. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology).


(Females were asked to rate each of eight articles on desirability, choose between two of them and rate each of the articles again. In addition, some were exposed to a mixture of good and bad information about the choice alternatives after the choice was made. The results support a prediction that choosing between alternatives would create dissonance and attempts to reduce it by making the chosen alternative more desirable and the unchosen alternative less desirable.)


     The results of the study made it clear that no matter the significance of the alternative the majority of the times the subject chose their initial decision, do you know what this means? No matter who we are we all are at least a little bit fanboys! So the morale of the story is you are entitled to your own opinions but don't let your first opinion be your last! Keep exploring all avenues and trying new things, you never know what you will find.


-Christian "G+" Spring

Posted in the categories: Fun Stuff, Gaming Industry, Market Trends, Opinion


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