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dj i/o here...

Screw Sony, Microsoft & Nintendo fanboys anyway...

PC is obviously the superior platform :)

'Scuse me, I'm just going to go and dig a foxhole somewhere and hide. Where's my tin hat?

(I have a Wii, a PC and a PS/2. I like some of the games on the high-end consoles, but not enough to buy one - making sure the windows don't fall out of their frames is probably a better use of my "spare" cash at the moment.)

dj i/o: ha, I guess I forgot the fourth corner of this conflict. ;)

My personal issue with PC as a gaming platform is unreliability. It may offer superior power, upgrade potential and all sorts of other advantages that might attract people, but I find the hassles involved in kicking it until it works to be really quite wearisome.

Peter: I know what you mean. If I wasn't developing for PS3, I wouldn't have bought one (the company picked it up as "research"). The game I spend most time playing on the PS3 is ironically an emulation of the 1982 Williams arcade game Joust, for which the power of the PS3 is utterly irrelevant. :)

Best wishes!

Cant this be summed up as just another tragedy caused by tribalism?

Can we say that console fanboyism differs from other forms of group loyalty? "We define ourselves by who we hate."

zeech: I don't think of fanboys as a tragedy. I find it quite amusing, actually. :) Now partisan religious and political conflicts - these I do find deeply tragic.

Best wishes!

The 360, PS3 and Wii might all suck, but they're great compared to the PC. God I hate the PC so much. I'd rather pay for a game on a console than play a free version on PC.

But yeah. Obviously the best console is, and probably always will be, the PS2 :D

Thanks for this Chris, a lovely read. It has made me feel a lot better about the fanboy thing, and some of the comments in that other thread.

I'm well aware of my own ridiculousness when it comes to some of my "fanboy-ish" views on things to do with console manufacturers.. which is why I am even hestitant to post them.

However, as I have often pointed out to people, at least I =purposefully= try to keep my polemic views to the realms of the most trivial, so it was really nice to hear someone else re-iterate the value of that.

Also.. *laughs* I still play Joust too, but on the 360. A shame you play it on PS3, as I've never found a good co-op partner for it!

Rik: thanks for the kind words! I too have never found a good co-op partner for "Joust", neither for that matter anyone able to sustain interest in playing it for any length of time. :) But it's just as well we're on different consoles, as I've no idea how we would even begin to schedule an internet "Joust" play session! :)

But I have to ask (and please forgive my impertinence and assumptions of age): aren't you a little young to be enjoying "Joust"? I love the game because I played it voraciously in the arcades as a child - but surely you did not? Or have I utterly misjudged your age?

(And speaking of my childhood, "Joust" was the first game I adapted to another form - I converted it to the playground to play with my friends).

Of course, it's perfectly possible you have come to it now and still connected with the game, but for the most part its vicious "old school" arcade sensibilities and challenging analogue momentum controls seem to be quite off-putting to modern players.

I'd be quite interested in your story here.

Best wishes!

Well, you may have misjudged my age.. I am 32! Although even after spending a whole night with me, people always guess my age closer to the inverse of the digits of my actual age, so you're not the only one to think I'm much younger than I actually am... In fact 'revealing' my real age is a constant game of amusement for me when I meet new people. Last time I got an entire paragraph of shocked disbelief... ah well, good for ego anyway. ;)

So yes.. I did indeed play Joust as a young child, very soon after its release - but on the Atari 400 however, as I wasn't ever lucky enough to get to play in arcades much at all growing up (Incidently I've theorised this is part of the source of my much-later-life fiero addiction than most people carry with them). One problem I have with Joust though is that I am a far far cry from my childhood skills on the game. But at least I can always blame the 360 pad which really isn't too great for it.

Joust is also a very fond memory for me as I used to play it with my brother, and it was the first genuinely "co-op" game we had ever played. I think it did wonders for our brotherly relations! I believe it could be at least one of the first truely co-op games ever made? I've not found anything to back that up though. My brother and I would go on to form great teams on the odd occasion later, on games like Double Dragon (which I DID get to play in the 'arcade' - the local swimming baths) and later SNES games like NBA Jam, where we were practically unbeatable when working as a brotherly pair. If only he had a 360 too! - He did recently 'come back' somewhat to gaming though with his Wii.

As for arranging an internet game with me, it's pretty simple over XBox Live since I am on most weeknights. So I just tell anyone to invite me whenever they see me online to suit them - seems to work fine for co-op partners for other games. But unfortunately I don't seem to have any friends who'd rather Joust than Halo. And I do have a bit of Social gamer in me. :)

While I'm rambling on - another Joust story. As ridiculous as this sounds, it is actually one of the games I found benefitted from getting an HD TV. It is much easier now to identify the enemy type from a glance at their colours rather than having to watch their movement pattern.

ah, forgot to mention - Playground Joust sounds really amusing! What were the rules and how on earth did you ever get other kids to play along.. ? Unless they were all familiar with Joust as you were?

Rik: thanks as ever for your background details - I always enjoy reading them. I confess, I thought you were about 25-27, so forgive me for my misjudgement here!

Was Joust the first co-op game? Well there were co-op shooting galleries before videogames, but Joust may have been the first co-op videogame. I've not thought about this before, so let me mull through my arcade memories and see if I can find any other candidate. It excites me to think that one of my favourite games of all time might also have been a first! ;)

"XBox Live"

Hmm... so I'd have to give subscription money to Microsoft? I'm radically unprepared to do this, unfortunately, even for a co-op game of Joust. :) However, one of my friends is pressuring me towards this outcome, and if his methods become more sophisticated (he needs to draw me in with things that appeal *to me* rather than just trying to convince me to share in his enthusiasm for it) it may yet happen. The future, after all, is hard to see. :)

Finally, the Rules for "Playground Joust".

Firstly, you need to have a line about three quarters the length of the playground somewhere which defines the "High Sky". (Since most playgrounds have tram lines for sporting games this is usually easy to define). The wall of the playground on the longer side of the High Sky is the ground. Every player starts on the ground looking up towards the High Sky. The wall on the other side of the High Sky line is the roof of the sky.

Once you "take off" (start running) you must continue running - you can't hover or stop anywhere but the ground.

The rules for combat are the same as in Joust: highest lance in a collision wins. Or, whoever tags another player while they are higher in the playfield eliminates the other player. (So you want to be closest to the roof of the sky when you tag someone).

Because you want to be highest in a collision, everyone rushes to be as high as possible at the start - although a good player can also dodge enemies and stay in the low sky.

There's one more rule which makes the game work. You can go into the High Sky, but you can only stay there for ten seconds. You must chant out loud (Kabbadi-style) from ten down to one while you are in the High Sky, and if you run out of numbers while in this zone, you are eliminated (by the imaginary pterodactyl! :D )

So here's how the game plays: everyone runs around the playground wildly, and every now and then people run into the High Sky to avoid being tagged. But whomever goes into the High Sky first has to leave first, so a player can follow you in and attempt to tag you as you leave.

The resulting game is highly anarchic. A good strategy is to try and stay around the line that defines the High Sky - but here you are vulnerable to attack if someone successfully runs past you into the High Sky, and because this is a dominant position it is the most hotly contested position in the playground.

It wouldn't entertain adults, but it entertained 10 year olds most adequately! :)

"how on earth did you ever get other kids to play along.. ?"

Last year, I wouldn't have had an answer to this, but Simon Cox (now Creative Director of Ziff Davis media, the publisher of the major US games magazines) tells me that it was always me coming up with things for our group of friends to play.

Apparently, I was forever devising crazy ideas for play activities, and everyone else went along with it because they were fun to play. So I guess they were just swept up with my juvenile enthusiasm for game design. :)

Best wishes!

UPDATE: Richard informs me "Wizard of Wor" (1980) was the first game to feature a choice of co-op or competitive play.

hi, got a question here.

is there a word for the people who say "its about the games, i don`t care which machine its on"?

i have seen people who love soccer, but don`t really have a team they support.

isn`t this another, less common reaction to an environment that produces partisonship/fanboyism?

Please stop saying 'best wishes'. Also you keep saying "lesson" instead of "lessen". Is that a British thing? Great article anyway.

Great to see this up. I wrote eons ago about fanboyism and cognitive dissonance, its good to see the idea further developed.

clayton: I don't know of a word for this in the context we are talking about, but in politics you might use bipartisan I suppose.

Paul: No, it's not a British thing to type "lesson" instead of "lessen" - I find a side effect of my high typing speed is that I type an awful lot of homonyms. And no, I won't stop saying "Best Wishes". But I'll happily exclude you from my best wishes if you like! :)

Thom: Thanks for the link!

Best wishes to everyone but Paul Acevedo! :)

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