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“I have a Radeon HD 6990, 6850, and 4850 running in three different PCs and they give me no problems. The Radeon 6990 replaced a GeForce GTX295 which replaced a Radeon 4870X2 which replaced a GeForce 9800GX2 and so on. Having no bias, I get the best card at the time. Hating on one company is dumb.” – DJ Hicks

That was my response to some fools on the Tested forums who were blindly bashing AMD and their Catalyst Control Center. It gets on my nerves when idiots spread misinformation because of some juvenile brand loyalty. There is a derogatory (at least how I would use it) word for these types: fanboys. I think this mental disability should have a proper name though. Oh yeah, it does…

Stockholm Syndrome, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor.” Wikipedia defines it as “an apparently paradoxical psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them.” DJ Hicks likes the Wiki version and adds, “Individuals plagued with this disorder tend to possess the characteristics of; close-mindedness and blind obedience. Usually unrespected by society, they are fearful of the truth, incapable of self-thought, and have a pathetically desperate need to belong."

Fanboys come in various forms, but all share the previously noted handicaps. Nintendo fanboys show their support of the video game corporation by purchasing every system, game, and novelty associated with said company and their intellectual properties. They are day one customers with regard to not only software releases, but even Nintendo’s traditionally biannual hardware refreshes. These gamers preorder upcoming games at GameStop even though there is no chance of anything ever selling out. This is also true of Sony's and Microsoft’s loyal gaming fan base, just not quite as oddly man-child like. An overwhelming majority of video game fanboys read and put their misplaced trust into sites like IGN and magazines like Game Informer. I say read, but they really only look at the review scores and ironically accuse the reviewers of being biased. Some go so far as trying to educate the uninformed or argue meaningless points on message boards using unsubstantiated statistics in an attempt to validate their unreasonable obsession with a corporation.

Company-wise, the most appropriate example of Stockholm Syndrome when referring to fanboys is Apple. I have yet to see a more dedicated and consistently abused corporate fanbase. Apple is a master in the art of self-obsolescence with minor periodical tweaks to hardware and software. These product refreshes also further the expandability limitations of users’ current hardware and software eventually forcing their customers to invest in the next version of the product. Despite everything the company produces being obnoxiously overpriced and annually iterated upon, Apple fanboys swarm retailers and websites so they can be the first to have the shiny new thing that serves the same purpose as last year’s model which they already own. Taking people who are actually creative out of the equation, most Apple supporters subscribe to the “Look everybody, I’m special because I have this new Apple product!” mentality. You can easily spot them in the wild because fanboys like to provide free advertising to multi-billion dollar corporations. Apple includes a sticker of their logo with everything they sell making it super convenient for these losers to label their vehicles and other goods. To me, these stickers scream “I aspire to be an elitist douche bag.”

Full disclosure: I own almost every video game systems in existence including everything from Nintendo except the 3DS. The computers I have owned in my life thus far have ran every version of Windows, a couple dual-booting with some form of Linux, and most recently an Apple MacBook Air running OSX Lion. Using a variety of technologies has strengthened my objectiveness when forming opinions and making decisions. Having an informed opinion is right below honesty and integrity in my hierarchy of proper living principles. I conclude this sermon with three questions you should ask yourself before snapping at someone with your passionate opinions on whatever: Am I being reasonable? Do I have an open mind? Am I thinking logically?

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