'With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another' - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Notebook L, Aphorisms
Mr Georg Christoph Lichtenberg is absolutely spot on you know. If we are so vehemently opposed to one thing, it is because we are normally fiercely loyal to another. Or to put it into modern Internet parlance, if you 'flame' one thing it's because you're a 'fanboi' of another thing altogether. Stands to reason if you ask me. So then, I have to ask myself a very serious and soul searching question, am I a fanboi? My gut reaction is to scream no! I'm a rational being who comes to all my conclusions based on careful considered thought and a keen analytical eye. But is that not blind belief in my own critical judgement and my ability to judge things fairly and even handily? Ultimately dear readers, I fear I might just be a bit of a fanboi when it comes to the games I enjoy. True, I don't think I'm as rabidly loyal as some people are to their respective game systems, but nevertheless, loyal I am.
|Hell Dorado is dark with some cool mini's, that's why I've stuck by it!|
But is it an issue? Should I be concerned that my love for some games blinds me to their faults, or specifically enables me to mentally 'overcome' them? Or that it might cloud my judgement of others products? That is a far more difficult question to answer. It also cuts to the credibility in some respects of me as a reviewer or as a critic. Indeed, it cuts to the credibility of all reviewers. Because as objective as most of us will try to be, our subjectivity is always on display and can never be fully expunged from our deliberations. And neither should it be, after all it's our opinions you are reading so should not our subjectivity come through too? Yes, but I think not at the expense of some rational and objective critique. It's a balance dear readers on a very narrow tightrope, and I can assure you it's a very difficult one to tread. I agonise over the language I use in my reviews and the words and phraseology as well. I try to keep my descriptive words the same throughout all my reviews, so people know what to expect when I use a word, because as long as I'm consistent in my language and my beliefs on certain things, at least I'll remain a useful benchmark against which to judge your own likely experience with a product.
|Look in my humble opinion Angry Elves rock, as do giant steam powered robots!|
It goes deeper though than the language I use to be honest with you. I re-read all my articles to make sure I'm not overly gushing or scathing. Unless I feel it is appropriate to be. I try to look at things as rationally as I can, and to give the reader as much actual concrete information about whatever product it is, so they can make decisions for themselves. Because ultimately it's you who has to make the decision as to whether or not a purchase is worth making, or a game worth playing. But is a bit of rampant fanboism a bad thing? Is it such a bad thing I enjoy Infinity, Freebooters Fate or Dystopian Wars so much? What about my love of all things anime and big robots? Does that colour what I think about Anima Tactics and Heavy Gear Blitz? The answers to those questions in that order are, 1) nope, 2) it's part of who I am and finally 3) of course it does, see the answer to the previous question. As long as we're honest with ourselves and others about being 'fans' of something at least we all know the position we're all coming from and specifically where I stand. For instance if I continually express love for things you hate, we can assume that I'm rght and you're wro... kidding, I'm just kidding, settle down and buy a sense of humour! Nope that we like very different things, and that's cool because at least I'm now a reference point for your own tastes.
|Look Freebooter's Fate IS that good a game... and it has pirates!!!|
Reality is I can't take who I am or my own experiences out of my judgements or opinions, because without who I am and what I've experienced it's just passionless meaningless words. So yeah, I'm pinning my colours to the mast... I'm a fanboi and I'm proud of it! I don't see anything wrong with enjoying certain aspects of the hobby and loving certain games or products. It's not like I exclude all other games either is it? I mean I play a lot of things, it's how I know the things I like are the right games for me. I'm still willing to give any product a go, much to the dismay of some of you as your bank balances look far less healthy after I do, sorry about that by the way. I'm not totally blind to the faults of the games I like / love either. It's just that because I enjoy them so very, very much, I find them less irksome. So what the hell is this Sunday Sermon Blog all about then? Why have I decided to admit I'm a fanboi? Well it's for three reasons mainly:
- I pretty much like everything to a certain degree, and even those games I'm not madly in love with I still talk about passionately. So why not be honest about it?
- I'm fed up of people holding back on how they really feel about games. I wrote another Sunday Sermon a while back about our hobby needing evangelists, and if you're going to evangelise you need to admit you're a fan and express a bit of passion for something.
- Last Sunday's Sermon about turning readers into followers got a load of responses, and more importantly many of them said they loved my Blog because of how openly passionate I was about the games I love. Many also informed me that my passion had encouraged them and they wanted to thank me.
So to all of you out there who seem afraid to pin your colours to whatever mast it is you love. Or to admit you're passionate about a game, and try to convince others there is a sound empirical rationality behind you decisions... give it up, you're not going to fool anyone. It might be part of your internal logic, and it might even have some validity to it, but it's passion and enthusiasm that will get others hooked. So is it such a terrible thing to be a fanboi? Peace out!