Being a fan is fun. In fact, in the past I've detailed why you should be a fanboy (or girl). But we've all met those people who take fandom to the extreme: people who are excited for the next entry in a series after something as small as a logo is debuted. These people are such big fans that they let their own feelings for their favorite games cloud their judgment. Here are five reasons why you should abstain from blind fandom.
You Become "That Guy"
Nobody wants to be "that guy." You know, the one who can't wait for the next Halo game, can't stop talking about the next Halo game, and has five bazillion copies of every Legendary, Collector's, and Limited Edition ever made. We all know "that guy" and he's not a very pleasant person to be around. And if you follow a franchise blindly, you may very well be "that guy" already. That might explain all those downward glances and quiet shuffles away from you at social gatherings.
No Other Franchises Measure Up
When all you love is one franchise, the great tragedy is that you might miss some seriously good games. I consider myself a huge Mario fan, but if I refused to play something as great as LittleBigPlanet or Rayman: Origins because of that, I would be truly missing out on some incredible platforming fun. We all have our own favorite franchises, but if you try other games once in a while, you might be surprised by what else is out there.
Problems Become "Features"
I can't tell you how many times a problem in a game has been turned into a feature by a super-fan. Linear games become "more focused," games with crappy stories are "action-oriented," and titles with bad graphics are "trying to portray an old school feel." When something is just straight-up lame, you should be able to admit it and get on with your life. I consider myself a huge Assassin's Creed fan, but I can still admit that the new RTS-ish game mode in Revelations was just lame. I'm not so deluded that I think that a glaring flaw somehow makes a game better. If you follow a game franchise blindly, though, you probably find yourself engaging in this sort of ridiculousness.
You Will Inevitably Feel the Burn
No matter how much you try to spin bad things into good ones, inevitably something will happen to your franchise that will burn you. Look at the Sonic franchise. I'm not too proud to say that I remember the old Mario vs. Sonic arguments and how intense fans on either side got about their favorite platforming hero. But if you look at the state of the Sonic franchise this generation, with its Black Knight and Werehog foolishness, you know that those who were blinded by their unconditional love for the Blue Blur definitely got burned, even if they might not feel comfortable admitting it out loud.
Your Fandom Doesn't Accomplish Anything
One of the best things about being a fan is that you can give game creators feedback through forums and fan events. However, if all you see about your favorite franchise is how great it is, you aren't helping to make it any better. The most productive type of fan is the type that can see all the great things about a series, but can turn a critical eye towards things that their favorite game series can do better. Even game creators say that they love it when fans tell them how they can improve, so just gushing about how great the endless narrow hallways in Final Fantasy XIII were probably won't win you any friends at Square Enix.
Following a franchise blindly is an easy trap to fall into, especially when there are some truly great ones out there. However, you have to resist the temptation and approach all games, no matter whether you're a dedicated fan or not, with a critical eye. A true fan can appreciate both the good and bad aspects of their favorite games, and that's the kind of fan we should all strive to be.
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.*