You (should) know what fanboys are…
Jared and Kirk always have the same argument. Jared likes the 49’ers and Kirk worships the Raiders… There can’t be a discussion about football in their general vicinity without one or both chiming in about their favorite team. Inevitably, they’ll start citing win-loss and player statistics, talking about which stadium is better, who has the best QB, and even who has the coolest jersey. Everyone else tries to avoid talking about football around them because they know that Jared and Kirk will monopolize the conversation and belittle anyone that disagrees with them…
I bet that sounds familiar to most of you. If it isn’t football, it’s something else. In the gaming world, people like Jared and Kirk are called “fanboys” (or fangirls). What differentiates them from regular fans is not only the extreme fevor they exhibit for their flavor of game or console, but also the attitude they hold for people that disagree with them.
The thing is that there’s nothing wrong with having a preference in anything, but how you talk about it matters. Some people just don’t know how to do it.
What Constitutes A Fanboy?
I’ve jokingly called myself a Microsoft fanboy before, because I am a huge fan of their platform and will likely continue to one. I haven’t gone so far as to attempt to shut out other’s opinions about my platform of choice however. Like me, most people just have their preferences. There are the select few that seem to be out and about just to get on other people’s nerves though.
I used the above example because it’s the closest that I could get to adequately describing a fanboy mentality in a form other than what you find on gaming websites and such. There are a few ways that you can identify a fanboy.
They’re foolproof too, I might add…
- They believe that they are an expert on the thing they’re talking about.
- Anyone that disagrees with them is an idiot and/or wrong.
- They will take any opportunity to attempt to force their view onto others.
There really isn’t any other way to put it. A fanboy thinks that they are the most qualified expert on the thing they are passionate about. Like the people that take the “PC Master Race” term seriously.
To be clear, it’s perfectly alright to have a preference for a platform, game, genre, or whatever. What isn’t alright is to attempt to shut out everyone else with the internet equivalent of screaming in their face that they’re wrong and they should be ashamed of their opinions.
Being A True Fanboy Isn’t A Good Thing
There are a number of reasons why being a fanboy isn’t good, the first of which is that they shut out any actual discussion.
Think about it.
Have you ever had someone shove their opinion or religion in your face? Does it change your mind about the subject? Probably not, Right? It’s because most people are entrenched in their opinions, and arguing with people who already hold an opinion on a subject usually have their mind made up already. The result of a fanboy arguing with someone is that the conversation usually just devolves into personal attacks, with nothing being taken from the argument on either side.
Nobody enjoys conversations with a fanboy either, except the people that agree with them. I’ve been trying to find examples of this sort of thing for the past few hours, but it has been pretty futile. I know my own personal experiences with people like this, and you’ll likely experience the same annoyance at some point… More likely is that you’ve already had run-ins with those types.
The sad thing about dealing with people like that is that fanboyism has become such a fixture of the gaming community, and fanboys have been emboldened by the anonymity of the internet. They make having actual discussions more difficult to carry out, because the fervor behind their opinions overpowers any reasoning or logic. Once they are convinced that their stance is the correct one, that’s the end of any debate.
So Here’s How You Deal With Fanboys
I’ve dealt with this at my own workplace even. I live in Oklahoma, about an hour away from Oklahoma City. My workplace has a majority of employees that are OU football fans, and let me tell you, NCAA football fans can be the worst when it comes to being insufferably rude towards people who like other teams.
To give you an idea, I wore an OSU shirt to work one day (a gift from my sister that attended the school). I couldn’t even walk past a coworker without hearing someone make a rude remark towards me or someone mocking me. So I stopped wearing that shirt.
There’s unfortunately only one way to deal with fanboys. You do your best to ignore them. Just like you ignore trolls. The key is that you’ll never change a fanboy’s mind, and they’ll never concede an argument. The only course of action that you have at your disposal is to move on.
And you can just cross your fingers, hoping that they eventually break the Code of Conduct for the forum your in…
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