Everyone would like to pretend that they don't have a preference for game consoles or companies, starting off each console generation by looking at all the options and giving each one a fair shake. And while that isn't exactly a poor goal to strive for, the fact is that we all have some sort of personal attachment to a particular company; proclaiming that you don't have any preference at all is just silliness. I'll be the first to admit that I am a huge Nintendo fan, and I worship regularly at the temple that Link and Mario built. But being a fan is not necessarily a bad thing, and it can actually make you appreciate the games you love (and those you might not) that much more. Here are five reasons why you should be a fan.
"Fan" is not a Dirty Word
Let's get one thing out of the way first—you do not need to be ashamed of being a fan. Though there are some ridiculous super-fans out there that give us all a bad name, most fans are rational human beings who just have a deep appreciation for a singular franchise or brand. You might be the world's biggest Gears fan, but I'll bet you also really like Resistance or Killzone too. Having a deep affinity for one franchise doesn't exclude you from liking something else. I'm a huge Mario fan, but if you put Rayman: Origins in front of me, you can bet I won't be complaining.
You Might Appreciate Other Games More
Though it sounds a little bit strange, it's actually true that being a huge fan of one franchise can actually make you appreciate other games more. Take a franchise like The Elder Scrolls. There is a seriously devoted fan base for that franchise, and many of those fans have also taken to other RPG series like Fallout and Mass Effect. Though all these games fall under the RPG umbrella, they are all supported by those that have grown to know and love the genre though their affinity for Elder Scrolls.
Fans Make Franchises
Look, without fans, there wouldn't be four numbered Halos, three Uncharteds, or countless Marios. Though we all balk at movie sequels, video game sequels generally improve upon their predecessors and provide even better experiences. And without fans giving game developers feedback or showing their support through purchases or the creation of online communities, there would be no sequels. Fan reactions can also improve the quality of games. You might be surprised by how many game sequels were vastly improved by developers addressing fan concerns from a previous title.
You Can Become Part of a Community
Being a fan all by yourself is no fun. Sure, you can solo Dark Souls until your fingers fall off, but part of the joy of playing the game is finding a community where you can share your feelings, opinions, and strategies. And when a community gets big enough, official and unofficial fan-based conventions start cropping up, providing even deeper experiences for fans. BlizzCon immediately comes to mind, and franchises like Call of Duty and Pokémon also have official and unofficial conventions in North America for fans to partake in.
You’ll Enjoy the Game That Much More
At the end of the day, being a fan isn't a paying job; it's just done out of love for a franchise. So what exactly does a fan get for their labor? It's simple: a deeper enjoyment of the franchise they have lavished that much affection on. For example, to celebrate the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Nintendo of America held a special event in Times Square where fans were encouraged to dress up and tell stories about their fondest memories of Link. Why would anyone do this on a cold November day in New York City? Because it is this shared love of the Zelda franchise that makes it that much more special to them.
When you say you are a fan to people, a lot of times they'll thumb their nose at you and assume you're that crazy person on Xbox LIVE yelling "Call of Duty suxors!" However, true fans propel their love of a franchise into a much bigger love of the gaming industry as a whole and appreciate the hard work that goes into making video games. So go ahead, be a fan and wear it on your sleeve. I know I do.
By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*