It's been a peaceful few years, hasn't it? As the current generation of consoles got cheaper, more and more people were able to buy more than one of them. They could play, and enjoy, games across different systems. And as a result, stopping being so emotionally invested in the one system they did own, to the detriment of others.
In other words: people stopped being fanboys. And it was wonderful.
Now, though, the pot is being stirred. There's a new console out, the first in six years, and whether they're coming in from the woods or losing the fight against old habits, fanboys are out in force with it.
Over the next 12 months, we can probably expect the Wii U to be joined by at least one, if not two competing consoles from Microsoft and Sony.
So now is the time to dig our heels in and put up our guard. If you're reading this, chances are you're someone who at least likes to observe, if not actively participate in online discussions about video games. You'll also know, then, that fanboy crap is able to swiftly and decisively derail almost any discussion. It doesn't matter if they're defending their console/company of choice or attacking a "competitor", the result is the same: madness.
My mother always told me never to argue down. That's what it's like dealing with a "fanboy". It's like discussing the finer points of racial tolerance with the Ku Klux Klan. They're zealots, fanatics, and what's worse they're not even being blinded by something remotely important like race, or politics, or religion. They're attacking other human beings over... entertainment companies.
If you see one—and over the past week, they've been hard to miss—leave them well alone! Don't reply to them. Don't think you can reason with them. They're like a hornet's nest. Walk on by.
If you find yourself fighting fanboy urges, take a step back and think about what you're saying. Every platform, genre and game has its ups and downs. People will criticise them, people will laud them, sometimes even in the same article.
That's life! Instead of feeling as though you need to somehow defend the actions of studios or corporations, you could try considering something that gets me through these tough times. To quote the words of a Mr. Tom Araya, "I hate everyone equally". These platform holders and publishers don't love you. They don't cherish your fervour. Their methods might differ, but the end result is the same: make as much money out of you as is humanly possible.
So instead of saddling up to them as though they're a football team or political party, take them for what they are, not what your nostalgia or personal investment in a purchasing decision might fool you into thinking they are.
These are businesses. So give them your business. Not your passion.
(top image courtesy of Meat Bun)