‘Fanboys’ – Why Do Some People Love To Hate?

I’ve written a fair few articles about both the Xbox One and the PS4. As an Xbox One owner, I’ve discussed the great aspects of the console, the games that I wish I could play on the PS4, and even the flaws of my console and, in the process, I’ve been labelled both a “PlayStation fanboy” and an “Xbox fanboy”. Ironically, I’ve been called a PlayStation fanboy far more, and it’s ironic because I don’t own a PS4. Obviously, I’ve played on one and it would be stupid to argue that it’s anything other than a brilliant games console. But the Xbox One is just as good. But that’s still beside the point. Xbox One owner or PS4 owner, why do some people use the term ‘fanboy’ for anyone who says something negative towards their preferred console, and why are people so inclined to hate?

Pretty much since the rise of the first games consoles, people have fallen on one side or another. That divide might not have been as ferocious as it is now, but there was still a definite split between those who would play SEGA games, and those who preferred Nintendo’s. Though, I think the biggest rivalry began with the PS2 and Xbox generation. That’s when I really started to notice a divide. Obviously, I’m not saying that the divide wasn’t already there – the difference is that the divide was made more prominent by the internet, the ultimate medium for spreading both love and hate.

If you really think about it, why does there need to be a divide? Why does it matter if one person plays on an Xbox One and the other person plays on a PS4? If both of them enjoy playing their consoles, why should there be an issue? Even if one console was ‘better’ than the other, if the person playing the lesser console is happy, it really shouldn’t be a problem. I love the Xbox One because it’s the console that I chose to buy and play. Why did I choose the Xbox One? I guess I was comfortable with the identity that I had crafted through my 360 – and I absolutely love my 360, so I was happy to stick with what I knew. Other than that, though, there wasn’t anything that swayed me to either console. Ryse really appealed to me, but so did inFamous – so my console choice could have gone either way.

But, despite what anyone might say, telling me that the PS4 is better than the Xbox One isn’t going to make me enjoy my Xbox One any less. Just as telling someone that they’re stupid for buying the PS4 won’t encourage them to go out and buy the Xbox One. If the only reason that you’re hating on a console is because you think the other person is missing out on playing the console that you love, hating isn’t going to convince them to switch. If you want someone to play the Xbox One instead of the PS4, don’t tell them that they’re stupid for playing the PS4, tell them about what makes the Xbox One so special. And it’s the same when the shoe is on the other foot. Encouraging people to see the good in something is far more productive than inspiring them to dislike you by being a dick. In my eyes, you have to be a bit dim not to realise that your chosen console has flaws. Nothing is perfect, after all. I know that my Xbox One has issues, and I’ve definitely been on the end of a few malfunctions over the past few months. But, instead of focusing on the flaws, I like to concentrate on what I love about the Xbox One. But, at the same time, I’m happy to admit the console’s flaws – how else will they get fixed? Pretending that something is perfect just to prove a point is entirely counter productive.

When it comes to video-games, variety really is the spice of life. In a perfect world, I’d own the Xbox One and the PS4. I’d also be able to afford a WiiU, 3DS, PS Vita, and a top end gaming PC. But, in the real world, I’m a poor graduate currently studying a part-time MA whilst working in a museum in the charity sector. Basically, I have very little money… in fact ‘very little’ is almost an understatement. Maybe when I win the lottery I’ll be able to buy them all, but until that day I’ll have to stick with what I can afford to own – and I’m sure that there are plenty of others out there just like me.

I’m not really sure why some people love to hate. Maybe they’re insecure about their own choice of console? Maybe the manufactures have centred their campaigns around making the ‘right’ choice, the choice that shows what sort of gamer you truly are, and in doing so they’ve created some sort of ‘them and us’ culture. Or maybe they just enjoy confrontation. You know, some people just like to watch the world burn. Me, I couldn’t care less if somebody likes something that I’m not a fan of. Hell, the world would be pretty boring if everyone liked the same things. At the end of the day, in the words of Eric Cartman, “why can’t we all just… get along?”. The real “fanboys” are the people who struggle to be objective, and try to belittle anything that they deem as negative. So, if you like the PS4, tell me why! If you like the Xbox One, do the same. If you have issues with the One or the PS4, discuss them, but don’t just go pointing out flaws in an attempt to belittle your ‘opponent’ – being respectful of their opinions is a much better way of getting your own opinions heard.

  • Kamille

    we are in 2015 and people still talk about fanboys like if it were are anomaly, a mystery of life or something.

    • I do agree. But, at the same time, I’d say that ‘fanboys’ in the gaming community have become even more prominent with the growing internet culture of hating on one and another. It’s given them a larger platform to spout their lunacy – but then that’s the same for any ‘fanboy’ be it gamers, gear heads or crazy celebrity fans.

  • Kamille

    we are in 2015 and people still talk about fanboys like if it were are anomaly, a mystery of life or something.

    • I do agree. But, at the same time, I’d say that ‘fanboys’ in the gaming community have become even more prominent with the growing internet culture of hating on one and another. It’s given them a larger platform to spout their lunacy – but then that’s the same for any ‘fanboy’ be it gamers, gear heads or crazy celebrity fans.

  • phony samestation

    I bought myself an Xbox One because the exclusives in its library of games and upcoming ones for this year. From Sunset Overdrive, D4 to Quantum Break and Rise of the Tomb are going to be excellent. But I will buy PS4 when its price reduces to at least $250 and if they make a new Twisted Metal. But I will continue enjoying my Xbox One and PS3 for a while.

    And I don’t hate PlayStation. I just like Phony Samestation it sounds funny.

    • Phony Samestation does sound kind of funny. XBone One wasn’t too shabby, either.

      I completely agree – I’ll definitely be getting a PS4 when it drops in price (or when I have more money). I do love my Xbox One, but at the same time I know that the console isn’t perfect. It’s about accepting those imperfections and enjoying what makes the console so unique – same goes for the PS4.

      • phony samestation

        I was thinking about the WiiU but I heard from several articles that Nintendo is developing a new console that supposedly will arrive around 2017. So already have a Xbox One then I’m going to wait until the holiday months of 2016 maybe then PS4 will introduce more bundles and reduction of their pricing for the console and please Sony a new Twisted Metal. I’m curious about Nintendo 2017.

        • Nintendo have started to bring some relatively decent titles to the WiiU – like Bayonetta 2 for example. A new console in 2017 could be pretty sweet – they have their niche market down pretty well but it would be cool to see them branch out a little.

  • phony samestation

    I bought myself an Xbox One because the exclusives in its library of games and upcoming ones for this year. From Sunset Overdrive, D4 to Quantum Break and Rise of the Tomb are going to be excellent. But I will buy PS4 when its price reduces to at least $250 and if they make a new Twisted Metal. But I will continue enjoying my Xbox One and PS3 for a while.

    And I don’t hate PlayStation. I just like Phony Samestation it sounds funny.

    • Phony Samestation does sound kind of funny. XBone One wasn’t too shabby, either.

      I completely agree – I’ll definitely be getting a PS4 when it drops in price (or when I have more money). I do love my Xbox One, but at the same time I know that the console isn’t perfect. It’s about accepting those imperfections and enjoying what makes the console so unique – same goes for the PS4.

      • phony samestation

        I was thinking about the WiiU but I heard from several articles that Nintendo is developing a new console that supposedly will arrive around 2017. So already have a Xbox One then I’m going to wait until the holiday months of 2016 maybe then PS4 will introduce more bundles and reduction of their pricing for the console and please Sony a new Twisted Metal. I’m curious about Nintendo 2017.

        • Nintendo have started to bring some relatively decent titles to the WiiU – like Bayonetta 2 for example. A new console in 2017 could be pretty sweet – they have their niche market down pretty well but it would be cool to see them branch out a little.

  • jb227

    Great article here, I totally agree on all fronts. Its nice to see the bit of your personal story included as well, too many sites rely on regurgitating bullet points meant to incite the kind of war you & most level headed gamers see no point in instead of reporting on gaming and its significance & impact on you personally. I’d rather know & come to understand (to a degree) the people reporting & their tastes than read yet another article that could’ve been spit out of the “Gaming Article Generator 2.0”.

    In regards to the whole fanboy idea, I think there are legitimately plenty of people out there not only unwilling to admit to the potential flaws of their favored console & software, but actively trying to tear down other people’s preference…those are the only ones that can earn that fanboy label, but even those people are just a single small choice or change of heart away from broadening their horizons & changing their tune. I think it really speaks more to the potential inner turmoil in certain people than any kind of reflection on the quality of the systems. I’ve struggled w/ depression myself & sometimes that could result in negativity on anonymous forums like these, but over time you find that this tool of connection & interactivity is much better served championing the things you love & conversing w/ likeminded individuals than spent having another argument that results in nothing other than added negativity. I think even the most ardent of fanboys will eventually come around to celebrating the differences in humanity instead of chastising others for a simple different set of circumstances.

    • Thank you very much. We’re all about the personal touches at IM PLAYIN, it seems to be lacking nowadays.

      Thanks for sharing as well. I guess I never really thought about that angle, but it’s something I’ll be more considerate about in the future when replying to negative comments. I guess you can never really know how somebody is feeling when they type something, so it’s always worth bearing in mind that they could be in a bad place.

      I do hope that this culture of negativity starts to fade away a little online. It seems as though too many people are using the keyboard as a mask, and are saying things that they would never usually say to someone’s face. That being said, the internet is a wonderful place for constructive argument and having an objective discussion about things. That’s what we try to do here, at least. We always welcome people creating discussions around the topics that we write about, because we want to get as many voices heard as possible – provided they’re willing to be constructive and relatively polite, of course!

      • jb227

        I really do agree w/ you about the culture of negativity online. It’s one thing to get it in the comments section from the usual suspects but there’s this backhanded criticism that is becoming commonplace even amongst the writers of the articles themselves at times, like it’s being encouraged w/ a wink & a nod.

        I’ve always dug your site, easily one of the handful of sites that legitimately seem to put celebrating a hobby & its community above page clicks & advertising revenue. I always like to support people w/ that kind of honesty & integrity, & hopefully the rest of gaming culture will do the same & turn some of this situation you’ve illustrated in your article around a bit.

        • I think we all go through hard times now and then, and whilst some people might find it a little odd, it’s comforting to find solace and structure in pastimes and hobbies. Video-games especially, because it gives you the opportunity to mentally escape from your problems for a bit. I know how important these sorts of things are to people, which is why I think that it’s important to be respectful of the things that other people enjoy too – even if you don’t necessarily understand it.

          Again, thank you for your positive feedback about the site – it’s for people like you that we created IM PLAYIN, as a forum for us and other people to share and talk about their passion for video-games!

  • jb227

    Great article here, I totally agree on all fronts. Its nice to see the bit of your personal story included as well, too many sites rely on regurgitating bullet points meant to incite the kind of war you & most level headed gamers see no point in instead of reporting on gaming and its significance & impact on you personally. I’d rather know & come to understand (to a degree) the people reporting & their tastes than read yet another article that could’ve been spit out of the “Gaming Article Generator 2.0”.

    In regards to the whole fanboy idea, I think there are legitimately plenty of people out there not only unwilling to admit to the potential flaws of their favored console & software, but actively trying to tear down other people’s preference…those are the only ones that can earn that fanboy label, but even those people are just a single small choice or change of heart away from broadening their horizons & changing their tune. I think it really speaks more to the potential inner turmoil in certain people than any kind of reflection on the quality of the systems. I’ve struggled w/ depression myself & sometimes that could result in negativity on anonymous forums like these, but over time you find that this tool of connection & interactivity is much better served championing the things you love & conversing w/ likeminded individuals than spent having another argument that results in nothing other than added negativity. I think even the most ardent of fanboys will eventually come around to celebrating the differences in humanity instead of chastising others for a simple different set of circumstances.

    • Thank you very much. We’re all about the personal touches at IM PLAYIN, it seems to be lacking nowadays.

      Thanks for sharing as well. I guess I never really thought about that angle, but it’s something I’ll be more considerate about in the future when replying to negative comments. I guess you can never really know how somebody is feeling when they type something, so it’s always worth bearing in mind that they could be in a bad place.

      I do hope that this culture of negativity starts to fade away a little online. It seems as though too many people are using the keyboard as a mask, and are saying things that they would never usually say to someone’s face. That being said, the internet is a wonderful place for constructive argument and having an objective discussion about things. That’s what we try to do here, at least. We always welcome people creating discussions around the topics that we write about, because we want to get as many voices heard as possible – provided they’re willing to be constructive and relatively polite, of course!

      • jb227

        I really do agree w/ you about the culture of negativity online. It’s one thing to get it in the comments section from the usual suspects but there’s this backhanded criticism that is becoming commonplace even amongst the writers of the articles themselves at times, like it’s being encouraged w/ a wink & a nod.

        I’ve always dug your site, easily one of the handful of sites that legitimately seem to put celebrating a hobby & its community above page clicks & advertising revenue. I always like to support people w/ that kind of honesty & integrity, & hopefully the rest of gaming culture will do the same & turn some of this situation you’ve illustrated in your article around a bit.

        • I think we all go through hard times now and then, and whilst some people might find it a little odd, it’s comforting to find solace and structure in pastimes and hobbies. Video-games especially, because it gives you the opportunity to mentally escape from your problems for a bit. I know how important these sorts of things are to people, which is why I think that it’s important to be respectful of the things that other people enjoy too – even if you don’t necessarily understand it.

          Again, thank you for your positive feedback about the site – it’s for people like you that we created IM PLAYIN, as a forum for us and other people to share and talk about their passion for video-games!

  • Truthhurts24

    Xbox 1 to me is the best console out right now with great exclusives but it is sadly receiving a lot of unnecessary hate from Ps fans who act like Sony is their savior. Now I agree that Microsoft put themselves in this position with that terrible E3 2013 and their fan base took a hit but they have come back strong with Phil as head of Xbox and in my opinion Microsoft is already ahead of Sony far as overall quality game experiences are concerned. I enjoyed the article and agree the fan boy disease needs to be cured from all sides of console gamers because there is no reason to be obsessed over companies who want your money.

    • Jordan

      I think with Phil leading Xbox now, theres going to definetly be a turn around for the console.

      • Truthhurts24

        I agree big time

  • Truthhurts24

    Xbox 1 to me is the best console out right now with great exclusives but it is sadly receiving a lot of unnecessary hate from Ps fans who act like Sony is their savior. Now I agree that Microsoft put themselves in this position with that terrible E3 2013 and their fan base took a hit but they have come back strong with Phil as head of Xbox and in my opinion Microsoft is already ahead of Sony far as overall quality game experiences are concerned. I enjoyed the article and agree the fan boy disease needs to be cured from all sides of console gamers because there is no reason to be obsessed over companies who want your money.

    • Jordan

      I think with Phil leading Xbox now, theres going to definetly be a turn around for the console.

      • Truthhurts24

        I agree big time

  • SEGA_FAN_KAIN

    A better question is, why do the worst fanboys, (Sony fanboys) have so much hate for the other brands. Nintendo and Xbox fanboys will defend their platforms until the end of time, but Sony fanboys don’t just love their plastic box, they truly hate the others. They act like MS killed their mother and Nintendo ran off with their wife.

  • SEGA_FAN_KAIN

    A better question is, why do the worst fanboys, (Sony fanboys) have so much hate for the other brands. Nintendo and Xbox fanboys will defend their platforms until the end of time, but Sony fanboys don’t just love their plastic box, they truly hate the others. They act like MS killed their mother and Nintendo ran off with their wife.