Friday, March 30, 2007

Three (3)

There are three gaming communities built around three companies, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. It is interesting how there are distinct similarities yet striking differences between the ways these communities form and interact with itself and others.

The Nintendo communities I have seen are, as a matter of fact, populated by kids, mostly below the age of sixteen. I know I'll be copping some negative flack for this but this is how it seems to be in the majority of cases. Consequently I could say that the Nintendo communities is the most immature, ironically it extends beyond just members of a public web forum and can cause problems in higher levels of said forum, such as moderators and admins not knowing how to deal with such persistent issues of immaturity. With the young age there was also a nice side effect - over optimism, Nintendo fanboys are the most bloody optimistic bunch of all three fanboy groups, this optimism did on occasions become too optimistic to digest, 'HD for Wii!11!11!1!!!!!1'.

For instance on one forum that was pretending to be even across all three consoles had a very heavy Nintendo bias, very heavy. The demographic consisted of mostly below sixteen year olds, Sony bashing was extremely rife to the point (above sixteen year old) moderators had given up trying to quell the Sony bashing, I am almost convinced the mods actually like it but never took part in the behavior the younger members did. Either that or they are incompetent.

This didn't extend to all web communities centering around Nintendo, however the general 'feel' of a Nintendo biased community was very much exaggerated on the aforementioned forum. Granted there were a few adult Nintendo fanboys and these adults were far more mature than most fanboys from Sony and Microsoft they were few in far in between, mostly they were people brought up as Nintendo fanboys from a young age. These older people also tended to own multiple systems, Wii60 being the most popular combination of all but I did find the occasional Playstation 3/Wii combination.

Point By Point, Nintendo Fanboy Communities:
  • Are the most immature, most of the core fanboys are below 16 and have the maturity of kids half their age (wouldn't be surprised if they get bullied in the real world)
  • Have the most flaming/trolling
  • Have some of the most mature members but are few and far inbetween, these members also tend to own multiple systems
  • Can sometimes admit to faults in their systems

Arrogance is something that extends beyond Sony's PR and goes all the way to the communities, I literally laughed out loud when a Sony fanboy repeated Kaz Hirai like some lapdog on how Blu-Ray would give developers more 'freedom' despite the extra cost (and the fact most developers might not want the extra 'freedom'). Other wonderful comments these fanboys like to spout out include 'Blu-Ray is the future' and 'CELL is the future'. Justifying the heavy price of the Playstation 3 is something these folks have nailed down to a science, 'it has a built in Blu-Ray player on its own hence it's worth it and CELL will guarantee it has a future beyond 2 years and Killzone 2 will be the Halo killer and OMGWTF!? SIXAXIS ROX!' was the general consensus. Everything bad about the Playstation 3 and Sony in general was spun to make it look good, everything good about the Playstation 3 was used as an argumentative point against the competition (i.e. Microsoft and Nintendo).

Justification is key in the Sony forums, unlike other fanboy communities they justify everything, including what cannot be justified about the Playstation 3, from SIXAXIS to Blu-Ray, if you say anything slightly, remotely negative about the Playstation 3 you'll be beat down for it for blasphemy, even something simple like 'I'd prefer the Wii-Mote to SIXAXIS' was enough to really start the fires.

This arrogance they hold seems to precede everything else, even games themselves, seems like they don't care how they play their games or watch their movies so long as they do it on the Playstation 3, when the GTA 4 trailer was finally released one of the first topics on note was how the trailer was 'obviously' running on the Playstation 3 and the game would also (rather 'obviously') look like crap on the Xbox 360.

The difference between Sony fanboys and Microsoft fanboys is arrogance, literally. I'm sure not all Sony fanboys can be described as above but by god most of them can be, Sony fanboys just love to spin the negatives of the Playstation 3 and bash the competition with the cool features the Playstation 3 has, it's like the only reason they want the Playstation 3 to do well is so they can rub it in other (non-Sony fanboy) peoples faces.

It's a pity that Sony fanboys can't keep to themselves, I've seen them troll like crazy on Nintendo and Microsoft biased forums. On Nintendo forums the reaction was often anger and flaming that lead to more flamewars while on the Microsoft forums things were a lot cooler.

Point By Point, Sony Fanboy Communities:
  • Are by and far the most arrogant
  • Is the only community that will not at all ever admit to any fault in the Playstation 3 or PSP at all and would rather justify said faults and spin them as best they can
  • Have the highest rate of trolling and flaming
  • Care more about owning a Playstation 3 for the sake of a Playstation 3, games, services and all that take second place
  • Love to bash other systems and seem to only own a Playstation 3 for the sake of bashing other 'inferior' systems. Truly if the Playstation 3 had no games five million fanboys would buy it to bash its competition

Surprisingly (or perhaps not so surprisingly) the Microsoft biased community was overwhelmingly the most mature and level headed. I never would have thought I'd see the day were a moderator on an Xbox 360 fanboy site would openly scorn Xbox fanboys from bashing Sony for no real reason, or even Nintendo for that matter (granted anti-Nintendo tripe was far less common).

I guess what Microsoft fanboys want most is to see their console improve, they don't justify failings of the 360 or try to spin it (unlike Sony fanboys), for instance since the announcement of the Elite 360 there has been a massive uproar for severel reasons, including price, lack of built in HD-DVD drive and HDMI 1.2 amongst other things. I'm not saying all those complaints are justified but I for one am bloody well surprised of all three communities the Microsoft one happened to be the most open and self critical of all.

When the GTA 4 trailer was released the Sony biased forums I visited were in uproar about how cool it was and how the trailer must be running on a Playstation 3 and not an Xbox 360 because obviously only the Playstation 3 can make graphics like that. I was shocked that all three Sony biased forums had this general push behind them, of all things, they were excited about the trailer not because it was GTA 4 but because they had convinced themselves it was running on the Playstation 3 and that it would look worse on the 360, at least that was their main driving point. None of the Microsoft biased communities had such a reaction, all of them were happy about the trailer and excited about the game, discussing what they saw in the trailer, the closest they came to touching the ps3 VS 360 flamewar was looking at the graphics and debating whether or not they were good without really bringing either console into the discussion.

Point By Point, Microsoft Fanboy Communities:
  • Are the most level headed
  • Have the least amount of flaming and trolling
  • Are the only ones who were open about every failing of their beloved console, be it justified or not
  • Don't hate the competition with a passion

Just for kicks I played Mr. Troll on Microsoft biased and Sony biased forums intending on receiving a large reception of come backs to see just how the communities differed.

On the Sony biased forum I put up a post about how much better Gears of War looked than Resistance: Fall of Man. The response was mostly flaming with the funniest comment of all 'you're a Nintendo fanboy, you don't know what good graphics are' (sic). He probably was right but what seemed to be getting most of them pissed off was the fact the Playstation 3 could have inferior hardware to the 360, that was what was making them most angry and thats why I was being flamed with the typical 'you don't know shit'. I even went out of my way to emphasize that just because Gears of War looks better doesn't mean the Playstation 3 has weaker hardware, but that didn't really help, once on a roll I guess...

I decided to put up a post on the Microsoft biased board about how Forza 2 was a graphical disappointment and how GT: HD looked really good and was light years ahead of Forza 2. I also compared Motorstorm to DiRT reasoning that DiRT looked better and was a multiplatform title.

Damn, was I in for a shock, unlike the Sony boards were I was flamed here I recieved a rational response for my first comparison, something along the lines of GT: HD just being a tech demo with only one car on a race track at anytime, and that the race tracks were static. Basically I got this response that I shouldn't compare the two because GT: HD wasn't really a game so much so it was a tech demo, I disagreed with that but no one cared to respond. The comparisons for Motorstorm and DiRT got an interesting response, just like comparing Forza 2 and GT: HD, that I shouldn't compare them because they are different types of games and despite a few similarities are still too different to do so, this despite my comparison favoring DiRT.

In conclusion Wii60 owners are probably the luckiest buggers in terms of finding a nice online community and having the best gaming experience, outside the core gaming at least.