Playing PS4, working on next album...


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Keeping up with the Joneses: Can we be a fan without being a fanboy?

I ponder this question quite often when I read forums for any type of electronics or video game systems. People always trying to justify the money they spend on anything, overhyping its features as if their job and life depended on it. When in reality, they are just things that we enjoy. So why can't we enjoy them without preaching our preferences to others? Is it built into human existence and emotion? A part of our DNA that forces us to justify our likes to others?

Keeping up with and bettering ourselves over our neighbors seems to be what modern society does to justify their existence. Where others likes and desires cannot coexist with our own. Almost robot-like in intention: you must like what I like, if you don't... you're wrong.

Maybe it was me looking through the eyes of the child I once was, but I don't remember this being so prominent until the 2000s. When technology took over human existence and became a part of the blood that flows through our veins. Lately, I've tried to step away from technology and just enjoy life through the eyes of those who lived before it's existence. Step back into the 17 and 1800s, when lincoln logs and wood carved trucks and trains were the rave. Having to make up your own backstory, using your imagination, as to what you were doing with your toys at the time. Not that I have totally turned my back on technology, but I'm trying to step away from it so I can enjoy the simple things in life and prove that I can live without it.

You see, it wasn't that long ago where I caught myself online 8 to 10 hours a day or more. Technology had turned from a hobby to an addiction. I spent most of my time either thinking about technology or using it in one form or the other. Whether I was at home, on a bus or simply walking down a nature trail. Attached to me like a parasite, sucking the life from my bloodlines. Then I started opening my eyes and seeing those around me, doing the exact same thing, except worse. A girl on a roller coaster at Universal Studios in Florida beside me, texting while we are riding a high-speed roller coaster before, during and after departure.

It was at that point I realized just how much it had taken over my life and what I needed to do to step away from it, so as not to have it be such an integral part of my day. Then opened up my eyes to those who will argue till they're blue in the face to try to get people to see things their way on these very forums. Xbox versus PlayStation versus Wii. And the PC guys have to ring in to show their technological superiority over the human race. Acting as if you don't own a PC, you don't own a gaming system. Trying to preach to anyone who will listen, to justify the thousands of dollars they have spent to play the exact same games that console owners play in nothing more than a higher resolution and maybe a higher frame rate. Condemning those who don't think the exact same way.

Why does it matter so much what other people think, if you are enjoying what you are enjoying without them? Does it matter how many bytes are used or pixels are on screen, if you are having fun? There was a great article just the other day of a man who watched his children play games and point out the positive aspects of what they were seeing, while all he could do was point out the negative aspects of what he wasn't. It was the difference between the child gamer and the adult gamer. The adult gamer seems to be spoiled and expect developers to develop games around their wants and needs, child gamers enjoy what they are playing and don't care what developers implement, just as long as they are having fun.

What changes when we get older? Is it because we now have our own money to spend and feel entitled to perfection? Or does it come back with keeping up with the Joneses, and it isn't the games we are enjoying, as much as bragging about the systems we are playing them on? Arguing with others who don't share our opinions. It always makes me happiest when those around me are enjoying what they're doing. I like to ramp up excitement, to share in and spread that excitement to others. Especially when it comes to games and systems.

I will admit, I generally am a one console person per generation. For one reason or the other I will choose one companies console over the other, with no real loyalty to brand, just playing better games... But will always look at peoples choices to choose a different brand over mine and see the positives in that. I frown on those who try to bring others excitement level down for their system of choice. Wondering why it matters so much to someone else. So much so, that they would make another human being mad or sad over it. Aren't the systems put on this earth for our enjoyment? So why does it matter so much which one each person chooses, as long as they are enjoying themselves? Or does it really affect another human being that deeply that someone would choose something different then their brand?

As human beings we have a choice to be nice to each other, or not. When it comes to gaming, we all have a common denominator that we enjoy, so much so that we will talk to total strangers about it online. A hobby that has a passion like no other. So I'm begging of those who read this article, be a fan of your system without being a fanboy. We are all in this gaming thing together. No matter what brand we choose, it should be all about the games and the enjoyment we get from them. Instead of keeping up with the Joneses, why don't we befriend them and all enjoy this hobby together...

AKR3437d ago (Edited 3437d ago )

For someone to actually step out on a site like N4G of all places and discuss something like this is rare; but my friend, you make an awesome point.

I've tried to talk about this before - but that didn't get much attention.

Regardless though; I wish people would step back and see the bigger picture. In my eyes, it's just the fact that humans today are spoiled. They're being showered with all different kinds of wonders - wonders that most grandparents could tell you was nothing more than an insane dream when they were young. For that matter, when they get their hands on one of these wonders, they hold on to it as if it were some kind of precious jewel - and naturally - they don't want anyone around them to have something that outclasses their jewel, so they go up in arms and defend their treasure.

I don't understand why that mentality has taken suit - but all I can do is simply ignore the deranged and try and carry on sensible conversations with the logical and reasonable.

I'm also a one-brand owner. I just bought my first console three years ago (the Wii) and moved onto the Wii U in 2012. I had played the PS3 and 360 beforehand and they are awesome systems, no doubt - but the majority of their games didn't suit my criteria. So after extensive use of the Wii; I ultimately bought it. I bought the Wii U as a result of my fascination with it's predecessor, and I'm happy with my purchase.

I'm not gonna down-play anyone who buys a PS4 or even an XBOX One. That's their choice and their choice alone. Buy what you want and enjoy it. That's it's purpose, after all.

Not even the personals in these companies what most of these fan-boys defend with their lives have a even a fraction of the animosity we see on forums like these. They probably have tea-parties in their garages for all we know. (Just kidding).

But honestly; well written blog post. Please, build a website or blog if you haven't done so already and create more of these articles.

theXtReMe13436d ago

I appreciate the reply and support. You brought up a great point with wonders. When I was a child, I could stare at a tree and be in total awe. Now, it seems technology has taught us to stare at pictures of trees and say, yea... Its a tree.

A good friend of mine that recently passed away, who was a multi millionaire, used to love playing the touchscreen Megatouch games at bars and wherever else he saw them. His eyes would light up like a child everytime he saw one and he put his quarter in. One day I asked him: You have all of the money in the world... These machines are only $2000, why dont you just buy one and put it in your house? His reply: because it wouldn't be as special when I played, I would take it for granted and get bored.

That was his life philosophy... And I never saw anyone in my life who was as happy. There was never a time when I didnt see him with a smile on his face. He would hand people on the street hundreds of dollars, for simply smiling at him. The world lost a true saint when he passed. His name was Mitch Scott and he owned Great Scott broadcasting company.

Lukejrl3437d ago

Awesome points, more people should be reasonable like yourself.

I really enjoyed the part with article you referenced about the man watching the kids play. They simply enjoyed themselves, and all he could see was faults. Kinda points to the cynicism of adults and the innocence of children, and that we should all be a little more like children.

I agree that we should enjoy life (and by extension video games) by what we merit. not on the backs of others faults or different opinions.

And the girl really texted the entire time she was on a rollercoaster? I never though it would say this but "what is this world coming to?"

theXtReMe13436d ago

Yeah, she did, that was an awakening day for me. It had opened up my eyes to my own addiction to technology. That was the day I stepped back and started my quest to welcome back that child I once was. It is hard, in this day and age, to step out of technologies shadow and just enjoy life without it. It seems the scales always tend to tip in favor of those devices we've become so attached to, but all it takes is a walk in the park... Leaving the phone and tablet at home, to make you realize that the technology that is supposedly making our lives easier, can quickly take over and overshadow the little miracles that dont cost a dime to experience.

I love videogames, I have since I was a child. They allow me to escape to other worlds and do things I could never imagine, in real life. Though sometimes, when I see these forum brawls over system wars and overblown opinions, it makes me embarrassed to call myself a gamer. As it seems more and more people have chosen immortality(trying to leave a legacy of hurt and ignorance, in permanent digital form) over morality.

Website and forum owners choosing page hits over decency, by allowing these monsters to continue their tirades on a daily basis. Ruining the very reason people join these forums: to talk about what they love with other like minded individuals.

Perhaps its just my undying hope that people can just get along and make this a better world to live. That one thing we have in common with each other has opened up an avenue of dialog around the world, with total strangers. It makes you wonder why world leaders cant do the same and share in one common denominator... World Peace.

Ashby_JC3436d ago

I think some don't even really know why they do what they do.

I was honest with myself recently and determined that I was strongly attached to one console over the other. Not to the extreme though. I would never bash another person's preference ever.

I have my reasons...and they have there's. The problem I always have is...why does one party feel it's there life's goal to berate others who didn't purchase what you did.

Look at the articles with the highest heat. What do they have in common???

It's rare to get a comment section that doesn't eventually crumble into a back and forth pissing contest.

BillytheBarbarian3436d ago

Humans enjoy debates. Politics, sports, videogames, religion.


Everyone feels that they have the right idea/thing and get frustrated if someone challenges them with opinion.

theXtReMe13436d ago

Agreed, though opinions are just that. The problem arises when one tries to spread their opinion as truth and try to force others to believe as they do. Belittling those who oppose. Which is the issue on many forums. It is OK to believe in your opinion, so long as you dont try to force it on others and make them feel lesser for thinking differently than you.

There is no reason why everyone cant coexist and enjoy life the way they want. Without being harassed by those who feel the need for everyone to conform to one opinion... theirs.

memots3433d ago (Edited 3433d ago )

We all have different opinion,
What i think is sad is when some people feel threatened by someone else enjoyment and are actually enjoying seeing other/something fail.

I have been called a fanboy many time and yet i pretty owned every single console since my vic20 back in 1980.
I make jokes i poke fun and also have an opinion but for god sake i am far from a fanboy lol


Thanks for your blog i really hope a lot of people will read it.