I’m sure you have run into them before. You know, the zealous fanatics who defend their favourite band/genre/game/hobby against any and all criticism and consider criticism to be a personal attack. You may have even caught yourself doing this and wondered what the hell were your brains doing during the argument. Because being a fanboy isn’t just defending the things you like, it’s doing so blindly without thinking it over. But why does this happen? We can’t just assume that all fanboys are mentally handicapped, because I’m sure everyone has seen people they know aren’t retards turn into fanboys at some point or another. And if you ever caught yourself being fanboyish, that right there invalidates the last assumption. Because you aren’t stupid, since you are reading this. Huzzah, logic!
You see, fanboys are people who have become personally involved and emotionally attached to something they love. Which is normal. But what isn’t normal is criticism triggering the above mentioned fanatic in them, turning perfectly sane individuals into rabid fanboys. This is why: When you criticise something and say I don’t like this and this, it should be done better and until it is, this is incomplete/unplayable/a pile of shit, you are basically saying this isn’t good enough for me. And because you took the time to criticise it, it (usually) means it’s something you’d be interested in if it were better/different. An individual for whom the criticised subject is a part of their life will understand this as you saying they are wasting their time on something inferior. Which means that you saying something is crap will be understood as you saying the people liking it are too stupid to realise it’s crap. And it will thus be considered as a personal attack. We all know how personal attacks (especially on the interwebs) can send people spiraling into a blind fury of self-righteousness. And thus, the fanboy is born. Valiantly defending the object he loves and cherishes from what he believes to be an attack on it, as well as himself.
But most of the time it isn’t an attack at all. It’s simply a wish of someone who is (usually) passionate about that sort of things, expressed in the way of critique as helpful instructions on what the creator should change or fix. I’d wager criticism for the sake of hurting someone is scarce, though it does exist. Most notably in the troll, who is the polar opposite of a fanboy. The reasoning in the paragraph above does not apply in the cases of fighting trolls (BURN THEM!), where a fanboyish attitude is somewhat justified if you want to engage with them on their level, although not sensible. And it doesn’t apply to the creators themselves, as they can’t feel or react any differently when facing criticism of their creation, although remaining as objective as they can is always prefered.
The lesson learned here is that different people have different tastes. If someone says something is shit, that doesn’t mean you should think it’s shit. If someone who thinks of himself as the universal measure of shitiness says you are wasting your time, ignore him, because he is a moron. And remember, if someone is criticising something it means they are being helpful and trying to improve whatever they are commenting on. Not every complaint is a personal attack on the creator, even less so on the fan. Before responding to them, use your brains and think things through.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to play Deathspank.