We’ve all seen them, we’ve all read their posts, we’ve all developed unforgiving contempt for them from time to time, we’ve all perhaps even been one of them: Fanboys.

What does it take to be a Fanboy?

   I mean of course, video game fanboys, specifically those so energetically committed to the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3. I, myself, own a PS3 but no Xbox 360, I like my PS3, and it’s game library, but the 360 has much to offer, and despite the Xbox being more popular on the market, I’m glad I chose my PS3 over the 360. I’m glad because I like the games available for the PS3.

   To many people on the internet, this would make me a Playstation 3 Fanboy, or a Sony Fanboy, or just a douchebag. The problem with that is I like the Xbox 360, but I can tell that for some reason, deep down inside, I still have a feeling of resent for it. It’s as if any game that is exclusive to the 360, I just brush off, if not get a little upset over. I can’t deny that I like many 360 exclusives, neither can I deny that I dislike Halo and talk of how Halo is awesome. But if Halo were originally a Playstation exclusive, there’s a high chance that I’d like it, I’d buy it, and I’d be part of the hype for it whenever there’s some new installment in the series. The same hype that I admittedly resent.

   The thing is, I’d buy a 360 if I had the money, especially with Mass Effect 2 coming soon.

Does that make me a Fanboy?

   Yes, apparently, it does.

   If I were to post that exact paragraph on any website, someone, somewhere, would label me a Fanboy because I just expressed a larger affiliation for one video game console than for the other. Now, I’ve been put in the same mosh pit as many others, a mosh pit full of bias, hate, and most times, blatant ignorance. One may find this an exaggeration, but “Fanboy” has become a near racial term now, as if being a Fanboy (one who expresses more affection for one product over said product’s opponent) means being less than a person, and something like an obsessed cultist. Because that’s what “Fanboy” has come to mean, obsessed cultist (more or less), or someone emotionally attached–EMOTIONALLY attached–to an inanimate object. When you call someone a Fanboy, you’re calling them the equivalent of a mindless slave to something they worship and have a legitimate, unnatural addiction to. But it’s easy to call someone a Fanboy, is it not? They like something, dislike something else, and you resent them for it. Now, I’m not against that, because some people do deserve to be resented for being true “Fanboys” since it takes alot of effort to constantly have selective exposure to anything that might challenge his/her belief that the Xbox or the Playstation is the ultimate means of electronic entertainment. After all, there are people like that, and seeing as how I’m happy when PS3 sales beat Xbox 360s’, I can see why.

However, people need to realize their own affiliations, and the extremes to which only a few of us go to in terms of Fanboyism. Because it’s easy to like something over the other, and since the whole PS3 and 360 debate has nearly become a part of gaming culture, it’s very easy to buy into the idea that owning one console and not the other means resenting the one you don’t have, and at times, the people that own it. Yes, there are jerks all over the internet that just want to bag on the PS3 or the 360 with stupid statistics, and whatnot, but we need to learn to just ignore them all, keep our opinions to a reasonable extreme, leave the statistics to the actual competing companies, and most importantly, call Fanboys when there is one, and not when its just another pre-teen casual gamer who wants to express some opinions. Because if anything, I know I’m a fan of the PS3, but I’m also a fan of the 360, and proud of it.

But I’m not a Fanboy, I don’t HATE the 360, and I certainly don’t worship the PS3. We all know that more than half the Fanboys out there aren’t actually Fanboys, so why is it so easy to consider them so? One can think it is due to their bias. Why then is it so easy to develop some sort of bias over the two consoles? And most importantly, why is it even easier to call people out for having even such minor biases?

Feel free to call me a Fanboy, but ask yourself, Bitmob, are you a Fanboy? And why?