Thursday, January 29, 2009

You stupid fanboy!

Admittedly, sometimes I have to surpress my utter contempt for the unwashed masses because, well, it's just bad business not to. Nobody has any backbone anymore in an environment where the consumer is carefully controlled by pandering corporates to believe they are "king."

Fortunately my latest peeve is one married to an interesting observation of culture.

"Fanboy" is irrevocably attached to the world of comic books, where, at least in the modern age, it is believed to have stemmed. In it's origins, the contemptuous tones gamers associate with the phrase, denoting obsessive qualities, might very well have been there, but the vernacular did not end where it began.

In an industry divided between the two major companies and everything else, it's hardly surprising that a culture of obsessive loyalty to one brand, over the other, has been deeply ingrained in the psyche.
It's this type of mindless appreciation for one brand's content, and the converse disapproval and beratment of all other options, that seems to define the gamers "fanboy."

We have other names in comics, however. Ones that don't interrupt or disturb a sense of friendly fire and/or affection about the term, "fanboy." Particularly for the well adjusted among us, comics fanboys are brothers in arms. Chums with a taste for four-colour culture and all the positives that come with it.
Those other people. The ones who've bought X-Men for thirty years uninterrupted? Those are typically referred to as zombies, or any alternate insults that might come to mind. Wii owners, perhaps? (Haw!)

Comics fans can be as volatile and downright stupid as any other fanbase.
(Anyone coping with the indulgent superheroics of Final Crisis knows all too well about the latter!)
I wonder, however, why it is that the use of the term has diverged so specifically amongst gamers.

I suppose it's (de)evolution into an outright insult could simply be a product of the inherent competitive streak that exists vitally within any gamer. Comics fans butt heads, but probably aren't as specifically trained to be in competition with each other, the afforementioned collector zombies, not withstanding.

Next time you're about to baselessly accuse someone of having a blind bias for one brand, perhaps you might pause to consider the bigger picture. Video games and comics are all part of a rich pop culture tapestry, which, presumably, made the migration of the word so simple. So! Consider the possibility that we're all - each and every one of us, and you yourself - part of the fanboy melting pot.

That, and you might be the raving lunatic with the blindspot.
Because it's our word! Stupid fanboys!!! Yell

- Mike Haseloff
Fanboy of minimal celebrity

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wipeout: Style and Substance

WipeoutHD is the final refuge of attractive people interested in playing a game without entering into an online bidding war with middle-aged women under the illusion the Wiimote is a magic wand that will help them shed enough pounds to have tracksuit pants camel toe because they want it. It's a relic of the PSX age, when gaming was sexy, modern, and full of style. It's an echo of a future past.

Sci-fi racer?! Hah!
This isn't Tron! You don't approach Wipeout like your "shooters" or your postitute killing trucking games!
It's about midnight in an apartment full of pale wood and silver, standing next to the TV in a puffy orange vest with spikey frosted hair.
It's about the fashion accessory. The soundtrack, the palette, the design, the brand name.

You don't play Wipeout!
You shift your weight to one side and cock the opposite eyebrow, cutting a graceful curve in the game as if by sheer coincidence.

It's a wave of style and substance...

... and consequently, probably not for Americans. Haw!

Explaining Wipeout; re: LTTP: Wipeout

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Blog: Boy meets 1up, boy loses 1up...

What a strange turn of events, it has been!

If you've happened upon this page previously, you probably know me as a comic book fan, and aren't really all that interested in anything I have to say regarding the UGO buy-out. Quite rightly, too.
Only in my own headspace have been a regular at 1up, cheering along or grumbling quietly to myself in disagreement, while tapping at a keyboard, or engaging in some other inane task.

Having militantly listened to 1up podcasts for well over a year, I finally felt it reasonable enough to sign-up, when 1upFM was having download issues (a little over a month ago). It didn't hurt that I'd also come across someone else with similar interests, in the form of fellow Street Fighter fanatic, "BigMex". (Who almost certainly didn't find me via an embarrassing, yet common, Google search Tongue out).

I left my heart with the PSX (Playstation), but I've been "gaming" for the better part of twenty years, and fell instantly in love with the first Street Fighter II in arcades.

With that in mind, the shockwave that really hit me, was the fact that EGM is gone.
It seems in an age of digital media, user-generated content, and financial crisis, the sanctity of print materials is constantly under threat. This trend has only enhanced the prestige of brands that have existed for as long as EGM.

The Street Fighter fan in me obviously instantly thinks of "Sheng Long," but as a gamer who spent most of his reading time loitering around Sega and Sony magazines, there aren't many general publications I can name. EGM is one of them.

I'm inclined to consider the twenty-year legacy of a publication bigger than the people that contributed to it, but that's just me. While I haven't been swept up in the community and personal associations, I have come to know and enjoy the voices of the podcasts.
In this respect, it's undeniable that UGO has jettisoned one of the most enjoyable aspects of the site, if not the most profitable. I don't know how receptive some of these folks will be to belated friend requests, but I intend to do my best to follow some of them to their future endeavours. Though very different to me, I have enjoyed the spirit the 1up and EGM staff have conveyed through these meaty slices of audio discussion.

Some of the staff have already made a bloody admirable effort to carry this tradition on!
Like many of you, I've already downloaded the first "Rebel FM" podcast, and have been thoroughly impressed. As much as I enjoyed 1upFM, the first instalment of this spin-off offered a greater diversity of interests, opinions, and discussion that was greatly appreciated.
I'm sure you don't need my endorsement or encouragement, but if you haven't already, you might like to sprint, jog, or saunter, over to Eat. Sleep. Game. where many of the lost, have been found.

I agree, the hierarchy of events is a little conspicuous, but the podcast is fantastic.
Particularly appreciated, a moment of in depth discussion about fighting games (RE: Street Fighter), which, I would selfishly say, was sorely absent from 1upFM and 1up Yours. But I'm not to be trusted.

I'm sure there are more informative or passionate articles around the 1up Blogosphere, but I felt it was about damn time I posted some original content, and maybe made an effort to introduce myself.

We now return you to article teasers from my better known comics blog.
I hope you will buy something. Please.

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