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    Fanning the Flames - Do Fanboys Have a Place?
    Sunday, 7 September 2008

    As each company carves their own direction this generation, we take a look at the fans that helped put the companies where they are and whether there is a place for them in the current gaming climate.

    This is perhaps my most personal Fanning the Flames yet. I have now written three pieces and covered various topics. Two in particular would be very easy to read and awesome I am a fanboy of either company X or company Y, I have even been accused of such in the comments. It seems that by praising any one company in a manner which others don't agree with means you must be a fanboy simply for presenting something in a light that either is disagreed with or not a common view.

    The most hardcore fanboy will defend their chosen company to the death almost. Throwing insults at each other on forums without a thought towards each others feelings. Whilst most dismiss this as idle banter it can very messy very quickly, just look at the case studies of Denis Dyack and Luc Bernard. They all think their consoles are the best, have the best games and deserving of that much coveted worldwide majority share.

    It could be argued that fanboy's of each of the big three have reasons to secretly feel aggrieved. Sony fans will definitely feel that the depth and diversity they have become accustomed to is currently absent. Nintendo fans will deride the casual direction of the company when their last console the Gamecube was clearly a game machine for them, none of this paradigm shifting, if anything Microsoft fans must be the most relaxed. They get the most exclusives, biggest library, best online service but even some of them may skeptical at the companies desperation to capture the market.

    So does the average fanboy have a place in today's climate? Surely if you want to witness all the delights this generation has to offer you cannot afford to be so fiercely loyal to one side? Can you really afford to deride each other for the decisions made by companies just out to make money. Whilst they do prey on this loyalty (look at Nintendo's exploitation of their fans by slowly iterating on their franchises) They do also reward fans patience by eventually giving them what they want, Nintendo with Smash Brothers, Microsoft can always be relied on to provide more Halo games and Sony are slowly bringing their popular franchises to PS3. So it's not all bad there are some rewards.

    However can these rewards be off set by the advantages of looking at the industry with an open mind? This isn't something that would fit well with most, changing loyalties to platform holder for many would be akin to changing which football team you have. However viewing the industry with no bias can be a great feeling and a refreshing change. If you ever find your loyalty tested you should perhaps try it out.

    So back to why this is personal, its worth mentioning that I am a long time Nintendo fanboy who feels he is not getting what he used to from his childhood heroes. What is Miyamoto playing at? He is the man whose ever word I lingered on and now he's stood up on stage playing his pretend saxophone. I now find myself having bought a Playstation 3 whilst previously I wouldn't touch a Dualshock controller and I am now actually considering picking up a 360. Where does this leave my Wii, with an inch thick layer of dust on it that is only going to get thicker as the winter nights draw in.

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    posted by flameboy @ 15:01  
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