Comparative Appreciation

There’s a pattern I’ve noticed among many fandoms (especially with video games) which is honestly quite strange to me. It goes like this: people like one thing, so they are then so loyal to it that they will never try anything similar, or anything which might be a competitor. For example, going for one gaming console and never considering the others, loving DC or Marvel comics and hating the other, or the Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate (equally, the Star Trek vs Doctor Who debate – for me, Star Trek wins one but loses the other) – all of these things go to such huge extents that some people online will instantly despise a person based on their preference.

But… Why? They’d probably be much happier if they admitted that they things they demonise are actually quite good as well. I’ll admit, as a child I had a strange allegiance to Nintendo and I would only buy their consoles… but that was silly. I don’t see how or why an adult would want to hold onto these bitter rivalries. I enjoy games from multiple gaming consoles, I enjoy the unique strengths of both Marvel and DC comics, I appreciate that Star Wars and Stark Trek can provide me different interpretations of the space opera genre, I appreciate that Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings can give me different interpretations of the fantasy genre, sometimes I watch animes dubbed, other times I watch them subbed, sometimes I listen to new, poppy music, sometimes I listen to classical. It’s good to be laid back.

By all means, I do respect fans who are loyal to their favourite creators and will buy all of their things – perhaps to the extent that they don’t get much chance to try thing outside of that scope. As long as their not being pointlessly hateful towards the alternatives, I think it’s perfectly fine (though it is good to try new things). I also understand the joy of comparing things and trying to pick a favourite – it’s a nice intellectual challenge. But that’s not what some of these crazed fans are doing. I suppose, on the deepest level, its the same logic which makes somebody hate a person for being of a different religion, a different race or of a different culture.

So ignore your primal fears of the unknown and love each other. Try new things and be happy.

PS: If you try and tell me Little House on the Prairie is better than The Waltons I will NOT stand it! How dare you compare a true masterpiece to a load of –  heh, only joking.

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