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Fan Boy vs Journalist

gamer2_flat I sat with my back against the cool leather seats of my usual bus to work, looking out the slightly dusty window towards the passing stream of people and the familiar grey buildings of the city. I have travelled this way for years now both as a scholar and now as a contributing member of society. It has been a great joy for me, as I spend at least an hour a day sitting within this somewhat empty bus, to be able to spend my time with my trusty handheld console. Over the years I’ve moved on with the times, no longer playing Pokemon Yellow on my Gameboy but now experiencing the modernized Pokemon Black 2 on my Nintendo 3DS.

It is as we approach one of the stops that I tense slightly, looking down towards the blue structure that is the bus stop, where my blonde haired rival stands with his hands in his jacket and large earphones plastered over his ears. He knowingly looks up towards my window as the bus rolls to a stop, and the tell-tale grin on his face tells me he has something to boast about. He steps onto the bus, casually sauntering his way towards me and shaking his earphones off his head so that they sit atop his shoulders. One hand within his jacket is already pulling out the shiny black console that is his PSP Vita. With a casual grin he parks himself next to me, without even a greeting he turns on his console and proceeds to engage me in conversation as though we’d been sitting here chatting all day.

“Yeah I downloaded this new game last night, oh man it’s amazing and it really utilizes the back touch pad of my Vita…I know the DS doesn’t have that but anyway…” I cringe slightly as I now sit here listening to this Sony fan boy belittle my beloved console, poking holes in its apparent childishness, and it’s recycled games

“…they brought this game out recently, you know, not like the same Mario and Zelda games Nintendo always brings out haha just kidding…”

It was at that point that  a single thought made itself clear to me; it was on. Trash talk Nintendo I’ll trash talk Sony. And so it was that yet again, for the umpteenth time in our longstanding friendship we engaged in Fan Boy Wars. AA040013 The question that one must ask themselves as they put on their ” gaming journalist” attire is: should I take off my fan boy suit or do I don it underneath like Superman? To be honest I wouldn’t know as technically I’m not a gaming journalist. I am a writer and a gamer and I’m privileged  in being able to do both as a Game Reviewer and News Editor for a gaming site and an online gaming magazine. However, I am required to do research, compile it and present it to readers, giving them a well written, well researched article, a review that is fair, concise and not riddled with personal opinion. And yet that is exactly the issue that I must address every time my editor hands me a game I’m either keen to play or dread playing: can I play a game and review it without letting some sort of biased opinion infiltrate my writing?

The answer should be yes, but I find my fan-boyism creeping into my writing when I’m reviewing my favourite titles and being a little bit more critical against the games I’m not so inclined to play. Shouldn’t honesty and integrity outweigh personal opinion and favouritism. Shouldn’t I review Pikmin with as much enthusiam as Pokemon (and no they are not the same game – I will go Crazy-Fan-Boy on you if you think they are hee hee ) and shouldn’t I fairly critique my least favourite game with the same mindset that I would my favourite game. Objective over Subjective.

Do I offer reviews that are fair? Well only through feedback will that answer really be given. You can check out my articles at:

http://Myxboxlive.com/gaming – where I write as a News Editor and Game Reviewer

or at

http://www.gameccamag.com – where I write Game Reviews and Previews (this online gaming magazine is for FREE! Yes FREE! )

#PS: I do not travel by bus nor do I engage in Fan-Boy wars with a PS Vita rival-slash-bestfriend…but I did play Pokemon Yellow back in the day and have recently played Pokemon Black 2 but the story was more for illustrative purposes than actual history.

*****************************

Image sources: http://coltongraphicspeak.blogspot.com/2010/12/gamer-health.html http://kevin.lexblog.com/2012/02/11/law-grads-opportunities-await-in-journalism-and-social-media/

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About Nthato Morakabi

Nthato Morakabi is a South African published author. He has short stories appearing in both international and local anthologies, and has published his first book, Beneath the Wax, which opens his three-part novella series "Wax". He is an avid reader, blogger and writer.

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