On fanboys

Not quite as evocative of the archetype, accurate as it may be.

Yahtzee wrote a similar piece in Extra Punctuation recently: “To Hell with Comments”

A user’s particular attachment to and emotional investment in a cliche doesn’t really validate the continued use of one at everyone else’s expense.

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If there’s one thing the “fake geek” phenomena has taught us, delegitimizing fangirls’ rights to be viewed as JUST AS ANNOYING as the menfolk is unfair, no matter how much I love the fedora-wearing utilikilted neckbeard Comic Book Guy stereotype.

Which is more abusive to the general readership of a given forum?

Those who brusquely call other posters fanboys in a terse attempt to dismiss/derail them?

Or the fanboys whose utterances are often abusive, ill-tempered, irrrational, and not intended so much to foster conversation as to browbeat and silence those who disagree with them in a respectful, substantive manner?

Surely the latter, I think.

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Oh, the former means nothing to the latter, surely. I suppose I’m not arguing with you from this clarification, it seemed like you were arguing with my other point. I was disappointed with the overgendered stereotype, not the existence of idiots that turn every discussion into a trainwreck.

There, fixed that for you.

Sincerely,
a honest Apple user.

Zealot?
Cultist?

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Fanboyism is a real phenomenon, as anybody who has ever been to a gamer forum can attest. What is a tired cliche is that everyone who criticizes a particular game is a “hater” when in fact most such people are genuine fans who just want to report flaws in the game in the hope of getting them fixed.

I’ve generally found it is the fanboys who respond to disagreements by launching into personal insults, calling people liars and denying well-documented problems that even the developers admit to (see Guild Wars 2 forums). Very few people will attack you for saying something positive about a game, unless it is an outright lie or obvious PR hype.

The willingness of people to lie and attack people on behalf of corporations that could give a fuck about them has always amazed me, but it fits in with Bob Altemeyer’s concept of the right-wing authoritarian personality. When you look into the behavior clusters that typify this personality type, the cliquish fanaticism and extreme hostility towards dissenters of the fanboy begins to make sense:

Authoritarian submission — a high degree of submissiveness to the authorities who are perceived to be established and legitimate in the society in which one lives.
Authoritarian aggression — a general aggressiveness directed against deviants, outgroups, and other people that are perceived to be targets according to established authorities.
Conventionalism — a high degree of adherence to the traditions and social norms that are perceived to be endorsed by society and its established authorities, and a belief that others in one’s society should also be required to adhere to these norms

Right-wing authoritarianism

It is is also interesting to note that fanboys often use right-wing memes of the type you see on Fox News, such as accusing critics of being entitled, lazy, and not willing to work for anything within games, as if a video game is some kind of massive welfare program being delivered to users for free.

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the crap popping in all over the place stopped me

Turn off JavaScript. I browse with scripting turned off by default, and whitelist the sites I trust. The article looked great.

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Whilst this looks like snark, it’s not…

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