The term fanboy has been around for a long time. Long before this gen of video game consoles and in more areas of entertainment than just the game industry as well. We can argue all day about what the true definition of fanboy is, but for this blog we will use the definition of a person who has an extraordinarily abnormal love or fixation upon something.
We've seen fanboys of all 3 consoles and all types of game genres popping up all over this site.
"My console is better than yours because it has cross game chat"
"My game is better than yours because it's only on one disc"
"Link iz teh pwn"
These are just some small examples of the kinds of statements you may have come across here. But now, I'm going to add another.
"Hackers are fighting for OUR rights"
As piracy grew thanks to the evolution of consoles into being more PC oriented in design, it opened up ways for people to try and break their way into every aspect of a console or game. Hackers have been around forever, but never more prevalent in gaming than this gen. They are public and they are proud.
These are individuals who believe they have the right to alter software to do anything they see fit. What gives them this right? They believe it's the fact they spent money on a thing.
Let's be clear about that. Hackers, and hacker fanboys, claim that because they bought a product, they should be free to do whatever they want with it. And they will use any loophole they can find to try and work their way around any copyright laws that exist.
But what is it they actually own? Let's take the PS3 for example. Hackers and hacker fanboys are very vocal that they should be able to have Linux and whatever other kind of program they want on the PS3 because they bought the PS3. They will also argue against the removal of Linux from the PS3 as the removal of an "advertised feature" but yet can't find any ads to support this. It's important to remember that argument because I'll come back to it later.
Now then, they are correct that they own their PS3. They paid for a piece of hardware made up of various plastics, metals, and silicon whose design is put in such a way that it allows it to play video games, music, and videos. They can freely turn said hardware into a grill, a toaster, hell even some kind of ventriloquist dummy if they could (that'd be cool to see). They did in fact pay for that hardware.
When you bought your PS3, you paid for the hardware; AND A LICENSE TO USE THE OS SOFTWARE!! You DID NOT BUY the PS3's OS. You bought the right to USE the software. If you had actually BOUGHT the software, then there would be no need for a End User License Agreement, now would there?
Now we come back to the advertised features argument. There is the unproven claim that Linux was an advertised feature, but you know what WASN'T an advertised feature of the PS3? Piracy. Surely any sane person would agree then that since piracy wasn't an advertised feature, the removal of anything that can promote piracy on the PS3 cannot be illegal or immoral yes? Why argue about the removal of something you DIDN'T pay for? But that's what hackers and hacker fanboys do. Constantly change the terms of their arguments to fit the fact that they are doing something illegal.
So we come to the hacker fanboys. These are individuals who state "You can't group all hackers together" and "You have to work with hackers, not against them" and "Hackers shouldn't be called hackers, they should be called modders or tinkerers."
They justify hacking as a means of somehow improving a product, yet conveniently try to push under the rug every security circumvention, every theft, and any other illegal transgression hackers commit. They will fight for the "right to do what we want with what we bought" ignoring the laws set in place that define exactly what you own. And when we get something like the PSN outage, CAUSED BY HACKERS, the hacker fanboys blame Sony for taking a harsh stance against the illegal modifications and circumventions of their recognized original work. They state that it's Sony's fault for protecting their investment, that hackers should be free to do what they please. The problem is that when you give so much freedom, people will always take it too far.
And the idea that you can't judge all hackers the same due to the malicious acts of some of them is partially correct, partially incorrect. As long as you justify any part of what is used to steal or circumvent securities, as long as you don't denounce the acts of those who are trying to give your community a bad name, as long as you do nothing to help prevent real problems occurring because of hackers, you are part of the problem and responsible for the reputation hackers have.
A person who wishes to modify something for their own use should have no problem doing so legally. And if it's known to be illegal, why publicly distribute it and then complain when you're sued? The FACT remains that none of us own the OS's of our respective consoles. We do not have the legal right to tamper with what we do not own. No one had the right to hack into PSN, and it's not Sony's fault that it happened. It's all about choices. But hacker fanboys would have everyone believe that everything created should belong to everyone, and that the original creator(s) shouldn't have complete control of their own works.
Do you want to live in a world where you can't decide what is done with what you created?