Gaming Lives: Fanboys

you might have already read this yesterday on gaming lives but if you didn’t here you go.

Fanboy ‘noun’
Pronunciation: fan-boi
Definition: see below

My research into the term “fanboy” hasn’t yielded much in the way of reliable information. I know that its first use could have been as early as 1919 but I have no idea as to what context. At a guess I would have gone with comic books but the comic book format was first seen in 1934 so it’s not the “Batman’s better than Superman” thing. The treaty of Versailles had been signed that year so the best I can think is that a Serbian kid was poking fun at an Austrian kid about how his hoop and stick was better than the other kid’s hoop and stick but I can’t find it written down anywhere.

The word “fanboy” doesn’t have an actually have an entry in the dictionary; I know it’s a word. I called my mate in the Sony Centre it yesterday, although to be honest I always found the instructions for a dictionary confusing and it’s completely possible that I just can’t find it so I’ll turn to the hitch hiker’s guide that is Wikipedia. It describes a fanboy a few different ways but this is the one that applies to us.

“Fanboy is a term originating in the United States, used to describe a male who is highly devoted and biased in opinion towards a single subject or hobby within a given field.”

Well that’s my Serbian/Austrian kid theory killed off, however my favourite definition comes from the second entry on urban dictionary:

“1. A person who is completely loyal to a game or company regardless of if they suck or not.
2. A pathetic insult often used by fanboys themselves to try and put down people who don’t like whatever it is they like.
3. See fool or SEGA.”

I don’t know what SEGA have to do with anything, maybe that kid had a SNES when he was growing up and is still in denial about the Mega Drive being the better console. If anything that last sentence I wrote sums up the whole fanboy thing better than the previous two; I know at least one of you agreed with me and the rest of you just went “wha?? Shut up” then went into a whole internal monologue about how wrong I am. Sorry guys but it’s true – the Mega Drive was better.

There are a few different types of fanboy:

Fanboy Prime
Fanboy Primes, although having the coolest sounding title, are widely regarded as the worst kind of fanboy and normally arseholes to boot [note to editor: can I say arsehole?]. It’s straight cut with them; it’s pure “I’m right and your wrong”, no middle ground, no reasoning and more often than not they are misinformed.

Fanboy Arbiter
These are the fanboys that often get in the middle of when other fanboys fight. They would never claim to be fanboys and love everything – DC & Marvel, Xbox & Playstation, there isn’t a difference to them. This just winds up all the other fanboy groups. Arbiters will try to resolve disputes with reasoning and will often try to take the moral high ground with statements like “the consoles are the same it’s the games that are more important” and “why can’t we just live in a world were both consoles are accepted for what they are, brilliant.”

Fanboy Heretic
The traitors of the fanboy world. They will be incredibly passionate about their beliefs in much the same way as Primes are; they call others that don’t agree with them everything under the sun only for them to cave and go out and buy a Wii when they think nobody’s looking.

Fanboy Collector
The friendlier of the bunch. The collectors tend to go through phases and prefer gaming universes and different IPs than things like hardware .They’ll read up on back stories, they’ll buy the games, the shirts, the hats, the comics and collect everything they can before they get bored and move on to the next. Occasionally they won’t tire of a particular IP, continue collecting with a passion and won’t care much what anybody else thinks, neither are they afraid to try new things.

Fanboy Corps
The hardest of hardcore fanboys, these are the ones that have made their own MJOLNIR battle armour. Under no circumstances should you mock a man dressed as the Master Chief, no matter how polite or jittery they may be outside the suit, when he has that armour on as far as he’s concerned he’s the chief and he will punch you in the face. I got beat up by stormtroopers once at the NEC, should you ever meet Kenny Baker, ask him about it.

I sit quite firmly in the “collector” group of fanboys. I’ve picked up all sorts of crap over the years and those which haven’t got the George Lucas seal of approval, are very much gaming related. Most of it seems to be from Halo and I don’t have a problem with being labelled a Halo Fanboy. It seems to be common knowledge that the anti Halo is the Modern Warfare franchise, I hate to break it to you COD heads (hehe COD heads, I just made that up) but it’s a casual game that has done nothing new for gaming other than get dads online… ohhhhh I feel your rage building youngling, but before you even manage to start spitting words of fire at me might I point you in the direction of Counterstrike? Oh yes that’s right, it’s been done before. Eleven years ago and it was done better. Now if this was an actual fanboy fight you could come back at me with things like “err yeah but the graphics” and “yeah and the story” but this isn’t a fanboy fight it’s me writing so we’ll leave it at “I’m right and your wrong”.

I know I normally do that thing when I’m writing where I have a punch line that somehow ties into the start of the post, its normally by pure accident to be honest. I don’t have one this time round but I will say this. Batman would kick Superman’s arse. Let me know below what type of fanboy you think you are, and if you want have a flame war.

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