Or "Why liking Mario too much can be bad"
Let me start by saying that I love Mario. I think he is one of the most entertaining and endearing mascots of all time. I also think Nintendo is a great game company that produces many AAA-titles. Yet I still have respect for Sony and Sega. These companies are deserving of our respect because they also produce entertaining, well made games. Their mascots deserve the same.
Which brings me to the topic of this rant. About once a week, I will receive an e-mail or instant message that goes something like this:
Dear Mr. Orlando. I love your Mario page. It is the coolest page on the whole internet. I'm not an idiot that likes that stupid idiot Sonic, I am a 100% Mario fan. I hope all those idiots that like that idiot Sonic will visit your page and see that they are idiotic idiots..."
Dear Jerkwad. Why the hell do you waste your time making a web page about Mario? Didn't you grow out of him in third grade like a normal person? In case you were too busy playing "Stupid Mario 64" to notice, there's a new system in town and it's called PLAYSTATION! ALL the good games are on Playstation, except for Goldeneye which is kind of cool, and would make me buy an N64 except for the fact that NINTENDO SUCKS! Tekken 3 and Gran Turismo rule over all! If you still like Nintendo after playing these games then I've got two words for you..."
You get the idea (I hope). I try not to take these mails personally, but it's kind of hard. The thing is, I am one of those "idiots" that likes Sonic. I too bow down before the near-perfection of Gran Turismo and Tekken. Yet just because I run SMBHQ, people think I am a Nintendo-Power-subscribing, Mario-shirt-wearing, Dolphin-will-own-Playstation-2-spewwing Nintendo maniac.
The fact is, I used to be like this. Around the time SNES was big, the mere mention of "Sega", "Genesis", or "Sonic" got me into a frenzy. I actually spent a whole weeks worth of lunch periods arguing why I liked Clay Fighter (You heard me... Clay Fighter) more than the Genesis version of Street Figther 2. This was one of my milder rants. Now I realize the veil over my common sense. I own a Nintendo 64, Playstation and Dreamcast and love them all.
But this rant really isn't about me (For those of you keeping score, that's topic change #2). It's about system bigotry in general. The two example mails above show you how people often support one system/mascot and demean all the others for no logical reason. I think it's about time it stopped.
The reasons for system-bigotry are pretty apparent. After shelling out your hard earned bucks for your system of choice, you don't want someone saying that their system is better... especially if you can't afford them both. Marketing magazines like Nintendo Power and O.P.M. add to the problem by giving the faithful plenty of arguments for their system's superiority. The result is an endless yelling match in which no one ever changes an opinion and no argument is too frivolous. This isn't good for anybody.
What I'm trying to say is that you don't have to be like this. It's OK to like one system (or company, or game) more than another, but you shouldn't automatically dismiss everything else because of your preference. Don't be afraid to keep your mind open. You might be missing out on some great games.
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