It’s Okay to be Fanatical…

April 14th, 2008

phoenix wright fanatical

I’m not too sure of the direction of this post. You see I am in essence pushing an agenda and trying to use my experiences as the example in point. As mentioned before I have strong feelings about this whole fan culture that has been breed throughout our industry. To summarise my feelings I think that it is okay to be a fan, just not fanatical. When your fanaticism blurs fair minded perception then there is without a doubt a problem, one in which I always try to avoid.

It seems like in this instance though, the rug has been pulled from beneath my feet. Allow me elaborate;

One morning in the middle of last week, on the train to Uni, my brother, a friend and I were discussing games. My brother and I were reminiscing over what can be called the “old” LucasArts and their witty, intellectually humorous properties. A gap in the conversation opened up and I thought that I would use the floor to share some recent Metal Gear Solid 4 updates. Now between my game playing friends and I (and undoubtedly you readers too) it is no secret that I am literally breaking my balls over this game. That I am, in essence, a fan.

Perhaps it was a result of a work focused, sleep neglected night prior to the exchange but I was aggressively sharing my opinions on the Metal Gear series and with an unempathetic passion, pulling no punches. It was within my raging banter that my brother and friend began pulling my strings, when my brother slyfully labbelled me as ‘fanatical’.

Its quite a claim, isn’t it? So I pursued onwards and what followed was a series of verbal jousting matches between the three of us. I felt outraged and insulted by their very comments. I mean how dare these two non-believers, these two people whom have never played a Metal Gear title possibly understand how I felt and what this means to me?

It was then, as my brother and friend were indulging in their pot stiring that I stopped and asked the question; “Am I fanatical over MGS4?”.

metal gear rex metal gear solid 4

I pondered over this question considerably in the days that followed and as of writing I am still yet to draw my conclusion. I decided to brainstorm a list of habits that I regularly par take with relation to Metal Gear.

Straight away I felt a great sense of guilt. I thought back to spending tens of hours processing and managing the Metal Gear saga in my head. Carefully reading over Wikipedia pages for a hope of inspiration. Attempting to make logical ties within the franchises’ extensive story. I thought of how I regularly ensure that I watch the MGS4 trailers and other video that I have captured from the games at least once every 3 days. And how I often mimic the voices within such video segments. From here on out the list just unraveled before me.

Am I starkingly mad? I hope not and in my hope I have been searching for ties to justification to free myself of hypocrisy. Fortunately I have found it, unfortunately it is subjective.

Despite my high interest in this title, I don’t think that it is damaging. My love for this series is justified. I am a fan of this genre of game, of this genre of action (be it games or film). In difference to what my friends may think I believe that I have fairly realistic expectations for this game. I am more than aware that this game will have a few short comings, I know that the other games definitely did. My Twin Snakes bashing article proves this. I do think that the gameplay in MGS2 is not as refined as it should be and even though MGS3 reinvents this it is still dexteritally painful. I know that MGS4, according to various sources should streamline and clear away these issues but the game will still not be perfect.

So, onto subjectivity, do you readers think that I am fanatical over this game or just another interested fan. In anycase being this interested in a game is healthy in my mind. If we just approach all games with a cynical snark then what is the point? Excitement is natural, welcomed and healthy for us. Its what makes this whole charade so interesting. So am I crazy and what about you? What games are you totally bonkers over?

  • I think your admiration for MGS4 is only natural. Doesn’t your brother have a particular game/genre/franchise that he professes his undying love for?

    If he claims that he doesn’t, then he’s probably lying. 😉

  • I thought back to spending tens of hours processing and managing the Metal Gear saga in my head. Carefully reading over Wikipedia pages for a hope of inspiration. Attempting to make logical ties within the franchises’ extensive story. I thought of how I regularly ensure that I watch the MGS4 trailers and other video that I have captured from the games at least once every 3 days. And how I often mimic the voices within such video segments. From here on out the list just unraveled before me.

    Yes. Yes, you are most definitely fanatical

    And no, it’s not a bad thing. 🙂

    2 exceptions where it could be bad
    a) If you start foisting it upon others who are really not interested and tell you in so many words
    b) let it interfere with your “RL” – i.e. playing MSG instead of working.

    You have time to blog, so I think you’re in the clear 😉

  • I’ve been through fanatical phases (most notably Final Fantasy 7), but currently I don’t have any series or game I feel that strongly about 🙁

  • senseibaka

    “I think your admiration for MGS4 is only natural. Doesn’t your brother have a particular game/genre/franchise that he professes his undying love for?”
    His brother professes lots of love for Nintendo whenever we speak about games; and also the FF series.

    As for Dan, well, I think it’s good to have some game that you regularly check up on and are excited about; it makes time pass a little faster, which means that *other* games will also release quicker!(:D)
    Although, this doesn’t work so great for me:

    I was obsessed with Bioshock, was all hyped up etc. and I suppose I was a little disappointed after I had completed the game.

    just beware Dan, your constant checking up on MGS4 could make you slightly disappointed with the game when it comes out.

  • Weefz, I think that this whole drama started because I completed point #1. Ah, thats terrible.

    senseibaka, you know, I think Chris is very level headed, if not too much so. He’s definetly not very fanatical. His problem though is that he is too brand loyal, not like a fanboy though. If a game wins over his respect then he will be a very loyal consumer for that brand. It takes a consistent brand to maintain his interest too. Getting to that stage though takes a while and as such he is often resistant to try new games. This is quite disheartening as I think that he neglects quite a few unique, niche titles.

    Even though he is a Nintendo enthusiest and enjoys the Final Fantasy games he is still very realistic about these games and isn’t your typical fanboy. I think that he is like me a cluely consumer, he just needs to branch out a bit more.

    I don’t think that it makes the time goes faster at all. Seriously I can’t handle the time pressure.

    I am trying to maintain a realistic expectation of this game. I think that I have grasped an accurate idea of what to expect. I also never do enough to ruin the game details for me, I only read the news and watch the trailers. No developer podcasts where they share the more indepth details.