“Fandom, Tribalism, and how I made my Neighbor my Enemy”


“Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man.”
-Thomas Carlyle



Good day, NPCs.

Such a great descriptor: NPC. I am happy to have come across that little moniker for anyone reading this. It wasn’t my idea (I believe the Black Humor Mage suggested it, but I could be mistaken) though I’ve come to enjoy using it. Calling someone a non-playable character isn’t an insult of any kind. Nothing derogatory. It’s a non-qualitative term simply used to describe someone who reads TWRM and isn’t on our writing staff.

So if you’re a contributor and you’re reading this… uhh…

Anyway, calling our readers NPCs allows me to escape having to make relational or value-statement associations for our readers. Of course I value you and I’m thankful for you taking the time to read our work, but in this way I don’t have to be trapped into calling individuals “friends” who are evidently not “my friends”, in the context of fandoms.

See what I’ve come to realize is that there’s an actual barrier to establishing a friendship with someone based on the franchises, the movie universes, the characters, and the video game publishers that they like and the consoles they play. Is that such a revelation? Not really, but “fanboyism” demands a set of suppositions which prescribe what I must enjoy and what I must hate; not to be left out, there’s “fangirlism” too, though “fangirling” seems to be used more frequently to describe freakouts whereas being called a fanboy seems to be used more frequently to dismiss someone’s assertions. I’m sorry, this is just the way it is. We are all imprisoned by the brandings and logos we consume, incapable of associating with “the other”.

Of course if I enjoy DC comics then I must hate Marvel comics. Certainly if I play PlayStation then I must despise Xbox. Obviously if I like Coke I can’t drink Pepsi (in actuality I hate Coke, who on Earth would drink that?!). This trickles down to the individuals on the other “side”. Fandoms automatically draw lines and borders across which wars must be fought to establish which region is better. Fandom involves fighting, ah but not “in-fighting”. Fans in a single fandom debate but fans across fandoms hate.

I am reminded of the opening scenes in Kubrick’s unparalleled 2001: a Space Odyssey, wherein prehistoric man fought tooth and nail, tribe against tribe, over a muddy waterhole full of mosquito larva and tapir feces. You may remember how one group of apes chased away the other and I always wondered this: what did those tribes talk about that night? Undoubtedly they spent their time concocting elaborate conspiracy theories about how the other tribe wanted to destroy ape-country. Surely they assured themselves of their impending victory or eased the sting of their defeat by convincing themselves of their moral and intellectual superiority.

If those dull grunts and growls could be translated, perhaps they might’ve said “that other tribe doesn’t appreciate deep puddles like we do. We like them deep. That other tribe is into all that shallow stuff. They suck for liking tapir meat. Bison is much better. They don’t know squat.” Millennia later, how much has changed? This kind of infectious tribalism has corrupted all discourse in our critical thinking, in our political landscape, even in our discussion of video games and movies, things which are meant to bring us joy. It is all too easy and tempting to ridicule someone based on their likes.

We are trained to pick sides and stick with them. Somebody else must be wrong and our side must be God.

The catalyst for this post was a noisy falling out with someone who formerly wrote on TWRM. Unfortunately, the discussion turned debate turned character assassination turned ugly and it occurred in our group chat so it wasn’t private, but even more sadly, I severed an association. Not with a “friend” by the standards of fanboyism but with a human being. This isn’t about naming someone and throwing them under the bus, wielding whatever audience this post may have to elicit sympathy for my “tribe” and hostility toward the “other”. This is about what went wrong.

I wanted The Well-Red Mage to be a place founded on mutual respect where discussion can freely take place and to my shame I contributed to an argument that ran afoul of that dream. It was, hilariously and pointlessly, a debate on whether games are an art form or not.

It’s not enough to say “well only trolls out there in the void say inflammatory and deliberately provocative stuff like that”, because then I’m just creating another “other”, yet another tribe to align myself against. This recent event is on me and now it’s my responsibility to try to bring the group back to positivity, if I can. To whatever extent the group was harmed, that’s on me. I don’t know what I can do in the future but I only have the power to change myself. I know what I need to work on. Not pretentiously steamrolling over people in an argument is one of them.

This isn’t a “why can’t we all just get along?” kind of post. That’s too simple.

But is it possible…? Can there exist mutual respect between two “opposing parties”, if indeed they can see themselves as more than that? Can respect still be worked toward even if a rogue agent in the mix is personally against it?

Maybe things don’t have to be this way. Maybe I can have a conversation with someone who disagrees with me. Maybe I can talk to somebody who likes something I don’t like. Maybe I can convince someone to like what I like and see my side of the picture, or maybe I can’t… but either way that doesn’t change the fact that they’re a human being, nor does it change the ancient admonition to love my neighbor as myself.

In your service, my friends,

-The Well-Red Mage


56 thoughts on ““Fandom, Tribalism, and how I made my Neighbor my Enemy”

  1. You don’t like Coke?! How dare you!! 😉 Sorry to hear you had a falling out with someone, that’s sad 😦 I have my own opinions and preferences just like everyone else, but I always welcome other people’s thoughts! I figure there is something to learn from everyone, so I keep an open mind! And as far as someone being a “fanboy” over something, I’m all for it- if it makes them that happy, why not let them just enjoy it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gasp! I know right?

      Yeah liking things that make you happy is great! I think fandom is great too, and it’s when it combines with tribalism that it turns into wars and such, group identities vying for … well whatever it is fandoms fight over. Primalcy?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh! I meant to mention the fanboy vs fangirl thing, too o.O I have noticed that difference. Fanboys tend to argue obsessively over things, and there’s a definite tribalism, “my side is better” mentality there (like people are fight over Star Wars vs. Star Trek and people who realize that you can like both), but fangirls mostly flail hehe. I’ve noticed fangirls are the ones who generally do the fanfiction writing of the two whereas fanboys seem to be angrier. Obviously the definition can change, but I don’t really consider any of my blogger friends “fanboys” possibly because I think that term is a bit limiting and has a certain connotation. “Gamer geeks” is more accurate to me. K going away now for good!

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    1. I’ve never written about the fangirl vs. fanboy thing but I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Fanboys do seem more aggressive and ready to fight over nothing whereas fangirls seem to be more… well flailing is a hilariously spot on term to use. More “geeking out” like some people say (I actually detest the term geek but only in the sense of using it to identify myself; I don’t care if someone else uses it). Like I can’t pretend that it’s geeky (in the social reject/niche interest sense) to like Star Wars anymore. Who doesn’t watch/like Star Wars at this point?

      I think the difference between fanboy and fangirl comes down to fundamental differences in the genders (exceptions permitted, of course). Boys are stereotypically more aggressive and girls are stereotypically more impassioned, likely because those behaviors actually exhibit themselves in those associations frequently. Our society is super concerned with terms and ID and what not, but I’m glad we can see there’s flexibility in these, they can change, and there are certainly obvious exceptions. I use neither fanboy nor fangirl to describe myself (again I don’t really like these terms) but when I think of fanboyism I do think of things like console wars and when I think of fangirling I think of gushing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think boys and girls are socialized differently, which is the factor that mostly accounts for perceived gender differences. We (as in girls/women) are taught to NOT be aggressive, less we (heavens forbid!) be seen as bitchy or bossy. Behavior that’s encouraged in boys is frowned upon in girls, which is a shame.

        Star Wars is now so main stream that it really isn’t geeky anymore, since that term really refers to things on the fringe that are “uncool.” At this point, it’s cool to be geeky, nerdy, dorky, etc. so the definition needs to evolve, which it has in a way; “geeks” are now considered to be people who are passionate about a particular thing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Personally, I’ve encountered that explanation before and since you’re identifying as a SJW I expected that to be your take. It’s something I’ve considered, especially after reading Lord of the Flies recently haha! One thing that I’m thinking about is whether culture is enough to explain all “perceived” gender differences, since there are people who believe that now raising children who still show the same traits. Raising two boys now, it’s not like I teach them to be aggressive. Does any parent tell their son “Go up there and punch that kid in the face and take all his stuff?” I don’t want my kids to be a-holes is all lol! I mean, I don’t want my kids to grow up to be perceived as dicks, since aggressiveness doesn’t exactly look like a virtue just because it’s on a man. A bossy man is bad because he’s bossy and being male doesn’t somehow change that. That ought to be clear in how much push back there is against the concept of the patriarchy in our culture. But I know this is fundamental to our different worldviews, and I did see you used the word “mostly”, so I think that’ll be our common ground. The world is big enough and culture becoming diverse enough now that there’s no even consensus on how children are raised.

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          1. Self identified! It’s not just parents though. It’s a major cultural thing. They’re exposed to it pretty much all of the time. I was watching this English comedian who was talking about the difference between boy and girl toys and how boys will have clothes that say, “I’m a superhero!” and girls will have ones that say “I have fat thighs,” and this is all when they’re infants! So it’s a constant exposure to how you’re supposed to be different; then when you are, that’s used as proof! You can force someone into a box and when they’re in it, say that’s where they’re supposed to be naturally. I always say that we have no clue how people will turn out, because from the moment you’re born, you’re treated differently depending on your (supposed) genital arrangement, which is SUPER creepy when you think about it D: I’d be willing to accept (as close to possible) unbiased empirical evidence that there’s a statistically significant difference between the genders, but much of the peer reviewed studies are showing the opposite.

            Bossy men are typically leaders though and don’t face the same push back for it. There’s a…really good example happening right now. You consider that men can say/do awful things and this doesn’t ruin their careers/livelihood in many cases, and when it does, it’s surprising and sensational.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I ought to have stressed in my original response the reply concerning the culture’s responsibility alongside parents’, as yeah that’s the next place this conversation would go to. In response I think that the clincher is there is such widespread pushback to these things (a comedian being the specific example you cited just now) what with social justice and feminism and liberalism everywhere, including entertainment, that perceived socializing can’t be a viable explanation for much longer. That might be able to explain why children who are older act and behave in a certain way, but I was just talking to my wife about how our boys exhibited boyish behavior well before they even knew English, or any adult language for that matter, or even watched movies. As a feminist myself, like Miyazaki, I think that feminism actually depends upon the gender differences being fundamental and not perceived. On the note of peer reviewed studies, I’ve always found that phrase kind of funny since a bunch of people who already share the same worldview agreeing on a worldview conclusion isn’t too surprising. Statistically significant difference between the genders is already evident in terms of physiology. There will always be conceptions and note that physiological differences are outside the realm of “better or worse”, but they’re differences that are fundamental nonetheless. By that I hope you know I don’t mean that boys are somehow better than girls, physiologically. Being able to carry a human life and feed it using your body is without equal. I can’t do that. I mean, is that not empirical?

              Ultimately I think that both genders need to be provided with as much opportunity as possible to do whatever they like. Bossy men being leaders and not facing push back, or even the same kind of push back, seems to me to be not the case… every day the internet is flooded with journalistic and commonfolk push back against a certain someone I believe you’re thinking of. One of the bossiest personalities in the universe hasn’t freed him from criticism, because being an a-hole is being an a-hole, regardless of gender lol.

              And what have we been seeing recently but men doing and saying awful things AND having their careers ruined. Every single week for months now. The fact it didn’t come out sooner is the surprising thing, except that Hollywood has always treated the “casting couch” with normalcy anyway until the outrage became normal.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. It’s true. Men have been having their careers ruined, but it’s a very new thing. It’s because of that push back and demand for action that’s been happening for years finally reaching a point of fruition.

                The peer reviewed thing sounds like it would be biased, and I’m not going to pretend to know exactly how it works, but it’s usually done by people who have to reason to agree/disagree other than based on whatever evidence is presented. It’s a pretty vigorous process.

                This is going to sound like I’m splitting hairs, but it’s a trap I’ve fallen into myself with anecdotal evidence. It seems to point towards your conclusion, but the sample size isn’t enough and we as humans just have biases. Also, while they might be behaving boyishly or girlishly (depending), adults almost imperceptibly treat children differently depending on their gender. They talk higher; they respond faster, etc. It’s something you might not even notice, because you’re not looking for it/wouldn’t be cognizant of it. This isn’t to say parents are doing anything wrong, because it’s the way were were raised, and you absorb that and act accordingly. This also isn’t to say your boys aren’t acting like stereotypical boys, BUT there’s nothing to say that a girl in the exact same situation wouldn’t act the same.

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  3. So am I immature for looking for and finding the conversation in question? That…was exhausting. It seemed to devolve into semantics and when dictionary definitions come out, you know you’re going to have a bad time hehe. Since I’m a self-proclaimed SJW, I deal with that a lot, and the fact is the dictionary isn’t necessarily the end all be all of anything, since, well dictionaries were written by people, usually the people in charge (like history) and there can always be an agenda behind it. There seemed to be a lot of mental gymnastics, and I got the feeling that it was a “I’m going to do everything possible not to concede or admit I’m wrong,” which is a shame…but it’s something I understand since I’ve been there before. Very often we enter into discussions not to learn someone else’s point of view and consider it, but to prove that ours is the right one and figure out a way around any evidence to the contrary. I’m sorry that you lost that friendship/relationship. I usually hate the “agree to disagree” statement, because I think that goes more for preference and not that question. I mean you might have philosophical differences in how you’re seeing something, but to dismiss utterly all the way the subject in question fulfills the requirements must ignite some logical fallacy somewhere. The motivation for doing something doesn’t negate its artistic quality. If an artist is hired to make a portrait, the fact that they’re being paid doesn’t render said portrait not art.

    Be that as it may, I’m glad that we can be at sixes and sevens (or should I say VI’s and VII’s hehe) and still come out good. We’ve been there before, and some of our arguments have gotten pretty heated (The Last of Us was INTENSE). I think it comes down to mutual respect and the willingness to hear the other party out without resorting to ad hominem attacks. I think such discussions tell you something about the person and give you some insight on how they’ll react to narratives in similar vein. I’m perfectly okay with people having different opinions so long as those opinions aren’t rooted in anyone’s oppression e.g. it’s okay for you to love DC and me to love Marvel, but it’s not okay for someone to think genocide is okay. The latter isn’t “just an opinion.” I also loved Wonder Woman 😉

    I’m actually shocked console wars still go on. Hell the other day someone posted something ragging on Apple, and I thought, “People STILL care about this? Really??” It might come down to insecurity and needing to prove your point by any means necessary because you need the validation. I’m saying this because I couldn’t bear to have listen to anyway even SAY they liked a Final Fantasy better than FFVII. I thought it meant that there was something wrong with MY like for it, and the reason for this was because for a long time people who liked other FFs (or didn’t like any) would insist upon that. Unfortunately, I used to hang out with assholes whom I desperately tried to impress. Now that I know that people can like things without ragging on something else, it’s opened up this whole new realm of, “Well now I want to know why this person likes this so much. Maybe I’ll like it, too!” Before it was a personal attack against me; now it isn’t, so I don’t have to be defensive. This isn’t to say that something discussions don’t cause a serious emotional response, but…being emotional or passionate about something shouldn’t be a point of attack. We shouldn’t be mocked for feeling strongly about something. The detachment from your emotions is not necessarily a strength. All of my writing was created on the foundation of some powerful emotions, and speaking of which I’ve written you a novel, so I shall surcease.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Immature? No. Curiosity is a human attribute and I probably would’ve hunted down the convo just the same. Hope you enjoyed the exchange! I did right up into the very end of it (which I deleted because I didn’t want his expletives hanging in the air on the chat forever). What I found most exhausting was how it came to semantics but then this person refused to acknowledge what words mean. Sorry, but exclusively just doesn’t mean the same thing as especially. At that point, it was a literal argument, no longer a debate. Ultimately, now that time has passed, I’m glad this individual is gone and the chat has returned to normal health with contributors chatting with each other and starting their own conversations. At some point I’ll try to find some common ground rather than agreeing to disagree but in this case it just blew up. Ah well 😀

      What I appreciate about our own debates is they weren’t emotional or full of character assassination. Neither of us called the other a baby or accused the other of being irrational some such. Wonder Woman is great, too! hahaha

      Your separating your personal identity from someone not liking what you like is what it’s all about I think there are still console wars and brand wars because people bind up their identities in those things, and they therefore feel attacked personally when someone says they hate whatever it is they passionately like. That triggers the defensive to attack what the other person likes, and so on. We know the story. Like you say, the emotional attachment needn’t be sacrificed. It’s good to be passionate about things.

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      1. Haha, I can get pretty emotional, but I’ve been arguing/discussing online for a while, and I try to stay away from logical fallacies.

        Mmmm kinda? I’m still very emotionally attached to FFVII, so I had to stop following certain pages and whatnot, and I think I mentioned the “hate cast” that happened for the express purpose of getting under my skin. As long as someone isn’t being mean for the sake of being mean, and as long as they’ll respect me when I say that I don’t want to talk about something anymore, it’s fine. I was VERY brand loyal to NES when I was a kid, so Sega’s attack commercials burned me up lol. Now I’d just laugh about it, because that’s how companies advertise, but if an individual legitimately tried to argue that point, I think I’d be more confused/amused than upset. It’s like the Apple/Android war, which has replaced the console ones. I don’t think my iPhone is any better than an Android. It just happened to be the smartphone that was available with AT&T. If I had Verizon, I’d probably have an Android because the iPhone was exclusive to that company. I think this perspective you gain when you mature…which we both know some people never really do 😉

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Ugh and unfortunately, I used to hang around people like that in my 20s, because I thought if people who are always mean are nice to me, then I must be sooo cool and accepted. Really what it was is I was behaving in a way that they wouldn’t, and once I started behaving more like myself, the “problems” started.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. WoW’s Alliance v. Horde feud has always been fascinating since the gamers love the game but… hate each other… but don’t ACTUALLY hate each other because both clearly have great taste, except in allegiance choices; soooo, it seems to help to have some middle ground and a healthy respect for basic capability. Also, a convention with really great cosplay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey thanks for your comment! You’re right and I think there are various exceptions and degrees to which the things I’ve discussed are true within fandoms. After all, some fandoms are notoriously worse than others whereas some seem to be much more embracing and open-minded. Who knows why? Cosplay is therapeutic, I guess 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. *starts singing “why can’t we be friends”* 🙂

    Sorry to hear you had a falling out with someone. I think some people just enjoy conflict and instigate it when they can. Not necessarily just trolls do that either.

    I see us all as special little snowflakes with our own tastes and opinions. If someone disagrees with me, that’s cool. All I want is respect for my little viewpoint. In turn, I offer the same respect to opinions I don’t agree with. Life would be so much nicer if people stopped raging at each other… sigh.

    Great write-up!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mutual exchange of respect is what it’s all about. You’re one of those bloggers that I’ve enjoyed having discussions with on things we don’t see eye to eye on. Of course not everyone is going to agree with us but what we do from there is important. I’ve heard back from other contributors about this guy and some folks saw this coming. It was the dude who said “fite me” after saying FFXIII sucks right when you joined. Yeah, that’s not conducive to conversation so it’s for the better, I just wish that this parting could’ve happened with more… elegance.

      Thanks for reading, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always best to form one’s own opinions by experiencing the thing yourself! That was my motto after Justice League came out, and I’ve had to think the same thing regarding Last Jedi (given the differences between the critical and audience reception for both).

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        1. The Last Jedi is so divisive even among super fans hehe. I’ve talked to die hard ones who absolutely loved it and ones who were disappointed. I love what Disney is doing with the Star Wars universe. I also found out that Empire was just as divisive when it came out, which makes me giggle.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I haven’t seen Rogue One yet. I wouldn’t say it’s the best SW since Empire. My favorite is TFA, but of the old trilogy, I love Return of the Jedi (I’m a huge redemption story fan). I want to rewatch the originals now, and possibly do a comparative, because I love having no time 😀

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  6. Great writeup. Part of my whole mission starting my blog was to break down barriers like the ones you have described. It’s difficult, but I believe that it’s possible to be part of more than one “tribe,” or to get rid of tribes altogether. I try my very best not to subscribe to any specific brand, but I’m susceptible to it as well, so actively counteracting that with my blog is helpful to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly and that is a great aspiration to have, especially in the realm of gaming. There are many of us who want these things settled, who want peace rather than flame wars. It’s encouraging to see people out there like you wanting to do the hard work of breaking down barriers. You’re right, we’re all susceptible to this sort of thing but actively resisting it in our own regions is the way to go.

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  7. I must be really lucky, because I’ve been able to make really good friends with a lot of people who have completely different views and opinions to my own. I think the key is to be respectful and to express a genuine curiosity, rather than to either try too hard to understand everything about their interests (which can come across as patronising or trying to find something to disagree with) or just blank it altogether.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I vehemently disagree! …just kidding 😉

      This sort of thing has happened to me twice thus far in my stay at WordPress, which takes me back about 6 years or so when I started blogging. The first kerfluffle was over a mutual misunderstanding but this particular incident most recently was definitely an example of brand-polarization. Pretty much everybody else I engage with regularly I consider my internet friends, even and especially those I have debates with! The Shameful Narcissist is a good example of the latter in that we both respect each other (well I definitely respect her! 🙂 ) and yet we’ve had some awesome arguments over the ages. Conflicting opinions in conversation can make for some very rich discussion.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ahhhh I was mentioned! *blushes furiously* Lol, this is what I said in my ridiculously long reply. We were so vehemently opposed in our opinion of TLOU, but if I’m going to call myself empathetic I need to be able to see how other people can see something in a totally different way from me 😀

        Of course I respect you!

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  8. Interesting post. I once had a similar falling out with “friends” on a fan run website as well – about six – seven years ago now. Thing is, we never actually argued. I didn’t like how the sites editorial stance changed, the site became very snarky in terms of reviews ect. Not my style, so I left. I’ve gone on to write on numerous websites, a few magazines, and also run my own blog. When the site I’d originally left was taken over by said “friends” I was asked to go back, and I politely declined – I had other commitments by then. For a time I was vilified by them, usually via nasty subtweeted comments about me. Most hurtfully, they even deleted everything I’d ever written from the site. I didn’t rise to any of it, it gradually passed. However, I’ve done very well since, I now have the freedom to pick and choose what I want to do, and I’ve worked with some awesome teams on other sites and found communities like yours here on this blog to join in and share comments ect. That fan site I used to write for is now no more, they, aside from a couple of them, are not doing much now either. Whether this all has anything to do with differing fandoms, or stances, or that usual suspect – the green eyed monster, I found your NPC reference very interesting, and more than a little apt. I love interacting with people on wordpress and Twitter, I guess the moral of our similar stories is perhaps to remember that not everyone is quite as nice as they might seem sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really sounds like you took the admirable high road by not engaging in argument. By letting it blow over, that’s exactly what it did. I need to learn to be more like you and not jump at every opportunity for a scuffle. I love to debate, formally, but online chats aren’t a good place for that. So thanks for sharing your experiences with me. I believe that that’s is how we help each other.

      With people seeming nicer than they actually are, one other element of transparency with this situation I detailed is that this person contacted me to join our team. That’s how I prefer it to be since this is a non-pressure place. They seemed opinionated, sure, but friendly. I guess I wonder how much of a catalyst my own personality was. Anyway, again, best to let some fires die down on their own without being stoked.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, although it was tempting to argue, I’m glad I didn’t get into all that really. I learned from the experience though, and I think it made me wise up a bit as well. I agree, I love a good debate, but some take things way too seriously. My situation was the reverse of yours, in that the site contacted me to write from them, but when I started to do well their attitude towards me changed drastically. It felt like I could do no right for doing wrong, so I’m glad I walked away from it, and forge my own path. I’ve never really talked about this before, either, so Its nice to hear that someone has had a similar experience to me. Like you say, its best to let it all fade away, and then get move on from it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My apologies for the late reply. I’ve been finding it hard to stay on top of things during this holiday season. I just wanted to say that I appreciate you sharing. You mentioned never having really talked about this before. I really do think there’s some value in knowing that we’re not alone in some of our experiences!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You’re welcome. Cheers, I’ve not been around much over the holidays either, been enjoying some time with family and friends. Indeed, we are all in this blogiverse together, and it helps to share experiences like this. Whishing you a very Happy New year and all the best for 2018 🙂

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  9. It’s like the console wars of my youth. I still count myself lucky that my social circle at the time didn’t buy into it and just enjoyed that not all of us having the same consoles meant we could all play more games.
    It’s not just fandoms Vs fandoms either. I’ve seen fandoms themselves splinter from within and fall into a state of verbal conflict. The idea that there’s an inbuilt tribalism to it all makes sense too. Perhaps there’s a generic survival instinct that causes us to need to be at the top of something, and so we argue for little reason?
    Regardless though, I’m generally happy to have discussions rather than arguments. When it comes to gaming, films etc, I prefer to look at it as us all having different views but essentially enjoying the same thing on a base level. Aside from anything else, it’s people having different views that can sometimes point you to some awesome stuff that you wouldn’t have otherwise given a look-in.

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    1. I used to be more involved with those console wars of the 90’s, and on occasion I’ve partaken in playful jousting over the current console wars, but what’s helped me with that is playing across as many different platforms as possible. Now I just say Vectrex >> Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft 😉

      Essentially yes when fandoms splinter into smaller groups, that’s still really the same thing, tribal identities. I think that a lot of people try to find themselves in group identities, which may explain why there’s so much drive toward doing this, but I’m sure it’s also the survival instinct, as you pointed out.

      You and I have had some really cool discussions, and I appreciate that a lot. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, the Vectrex. You know, I actually played Scramble on one recently!

        People trying to find themselves also makes sense. We certainly seem to have a drive to find like minded people.

        And thank you, too. it takes two (or more) to discuss, after all!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ll always find it idiotic people get so enraged about this. I’m inclined towards Nintendo and the PC as the games are more suited to my personality, but I see in forums flame wars raging for months about whether the PS4 or the XBox One has the best graphics. Every now and then a PC gamer will drop in a “console peasants” line or “PC Master Race” (the most disturbing affirmation for themselves possible). All you have to do is go on one of those forums and write “PLAYSTATION SUX!!!!” and all hell will break loose.

    A lot of gamers are, unfortunately, notoriously toxic, belligerent, and obnoxious. I can’t see that changing anytime soon. It just requires a degree of maturity to respect other peoples’ opinions and interests. It’s as simple as that, but it’s too much of an effort for some. However, you can do come across someone every now and then who is genuinely ridiculous and, despite your best intentions, it can descend into a slanging match. Best bet is to try and limit those. Oh, and XBOX SUX! LOL! NOOBS!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay thank you. I’m not the only person alive disturbed by the “Master Race” title to PC gamers. It seems like it’s always the loudest segment of a group, however small, that gets the most publicity and defines the stereotypes. TWRM is here to help change that, which is likely what bothered me so much about the exchange I detailed in this article, but the most I can do is examine myself and where I am or am not setting an example.

      This really reminds me of the Game Awards recently. I dunno if you watched it, but the insta-meme “eff the Oscars” dude was everything that show and gamers didn’t need.


  11. All about that sweet sweet Pepsi Max!

    More on topic, the idea of differing groups respecting each other’s opinions is the dream really. It’s interesting that you brought up the concept of a “rogue agent” being in the mix and it got me thinking.

    Console manufacturers and game developers have fandoms that will vehemently argue and fight for their chosen brand, regardless of each other’s opinions (right or wrong). The companies obviously would have no problem with this as it’s essentially their own free advertising army. It makes me wonder though: are their plants in these groups on popular forums. Do publishers pay people to go to these sites to be inflammatory? It’s seems like a conspiracy theory (don’t worry, I’ve got my foil hat on so I’m safe) but it wouldn’t shock me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if that turned out to be the case with the big console companies. I can’t envision what that would actually look like in terms of applying for jobs and what not, and I’d like to think that if they made me do that I’d move on to some other employment… well, depending on the pay 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I used to drink Coke a long, long time ago. Then one day I filled up my little Happy Meal drink and was like, “This is disgusting!” I’ve been a Dr. Pepper fan ever since. I still gag whenever I accidentally drink some.

    But it’s really hard sometimes to find middle ground and/or respect others’ opinions, especially when both sides are passionate about a subject. For me, there are some opinions that I cannot stomach, and it’s hard to be polite to those people who support what I vehemently disagree with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually have no soda preference, I guess it just sounded like one of those fandoms 🙂

      I definitely see eye to eye with your comment. There are of course opinions that are more than just matters of taste and fandom, outside of the realm of consumerism and entertainment, but the stuff within that realm of fandoms that acts essentially like racism is no good.


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