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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    My gaming machine isn’t better than yours

    Fewer things evoke more irrational arguments than technology. Surely you’ve had the “”Mac vs. PC”” argument, where one person stubbornly insists that Apple has no idea how to do computers “”right.”” No amount of arguing will convince them that Macs are truly easier to use, and that’s that. The same goes for the Blu-ray elitist in your physics class who won’t shut up about his 1080p high-definition display of “”Transformers.”” His technology always trumps yours, no matter what.

    Ditto for the guy who thinks playing the recently released “”Dante’s Inferno”” on his Xbox 360 counts as a history lesson due to its “”accuracy.”” It doesn’t matter whether you’ve read the original text in Italian. He knows more than you, because a paper copy of the story can’t possibly match up to his interactive battle with Satan in the final stage.

    A very specific type of this idiocy exists in the video game console realm in the form of the “”fanboy.”” These types have been around for more than a decade, as most date back to the Dreamcast-Nintendo 64-Playstation days. Most gamers define a fanboy as one who defends the console they own with petty ignorance, usually in public conversation or online forums. If you’ve escaped them thus far, consider yourself lucky. They are everywhere, just waiting to be slighted.

    You’ve probably seen them before, trolling online forums and proudly spouting quips like “”‘Mass Effect 2′ is so much better than ‘Uncharted 2: Among Thieves,'”” or “”PS3 SUCKSSSSSS!!!”” without justifying how or why. The nature of those who lurk online for these opportunities can’t be understood; they’re a special breed the likes of which you can’t find in zoos or exhibits.

    It’s difficult to argue with the fact that anyone can be an idiot online. It’s easy to be ignorant and speak without thinking. Six-year-old children do it. There comes a time when everyone needs to grow up, though. Some people understandably say ignorant things just to get a rise out of others for the sake of humor, but there comes a time when it stops being funny and starts being grating.

    I’m a former Xbox 360 owner who made the switch to the PS3 after my 360 died on me for the third time. I understand what it’s like to think you are missing out on some sort of party; it’s easy to be jealous of the newest critically acclaimed release you can’t play on your system. It sometimes causes you to defend titles that don’t need defending and often makes you say things you don’t mean or feel, especially online.

    I am definitely a fan of the Playstation 3. When I make judgments on Xbox 360 games, I can be harsh at times, but I do so with hands-on experience with both consoles. I rate accordingly and fairly and in doing so, I avoid being ignorant. I feel it makes me a more informed reviewer and writer, and in turn, I feel better about what I choose to say. Knowing that much of the criticism thrown at you carries no validity makes it easier to speak out against it. Some democracies are formed from this idea. Ask the colonists who started our great country what they said when they were told they weren’t allowed to have representation in government. They’ll tell you how it feels to know you’re in the right.

    It befits everyone to do the same. Though most of us can’t afford two or more consoles, we can definitely afford to keep our common sense in discussing them. Remember: For every smart argument there are 10 ignorant ones. This is an exception in which you shouldn’t endeavor to be part of the crowd. Be fair with your criticisms and, especially in the public sphere, keep a cool head.

    — Joe Dusbabek is a sophomore majoring in French. He can be reached

    at arts @ wildcat.arizona.edu

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