Forget about Republican versus Democrat, Pepsi versus Coke, and dogs versus cats. Geeks love our rivalries. We are ferociously loyal to one group over another and thing anyone who disagrees must be an idiot (which, in my opinion, they usually are). So here is, in my opinion, the best, geekiest, and most fun rivalries in all of geekdom. These rivalries must be going on currently (no Nintendo vs. Sega) and it must affect a significant group of geek, meaning Ewoks versus Care Bears will have to wait for another list.
7. Cheats vs. no cheats
Passwords. Hacks. Mods. Game genie. All tools of the trade for people who want to beat the game or just skip a really hard level. But is this ethical? Does reading a walkthrough count as cheating? Who are you cheating? Yourself or the game? Message boards across the internet when asked for passwords will sometimes have users who refuse to tell on the grounds that cheating in video games is wrong. It lessens the experience. Why waste your money on a game you aren’t going to play. Well, what should you do is (for the answer, please hold R while pressing UP DOWN RIGHT UP UP A B LEFT LEFT UP).
6. Piracy vs. no piracy
Yes, another ethical debate. For some, piracy is a way to sticking it to the Man, getting lots of stuff free and easy, or maybe just trying something out before spending the money. To others, it’s stealing, wrong, and immoral. If you want to watch a movie, listen to a song, or play a game, spend the money. It’s the only way to keep more of these movies, songs, and games coming. But neither answer is as simple as the downloading on IRC (it’s not simple, if you weren’t sure). And while lawyers try to figure out the legality of piracy and file-sharing, the practice still causes ire among geeks who are easy to ire.
5. Console vs. PC
In the on-going battle for the hearts of video gamers worldwide, the television and personal computer have been fighting the longest battle. Which works better: Controlling your character with a mouse and keyboard or a home console gamepad? Which has better graphics? Which is simply more fun? In truth, the answer to the first two questions is PC. The mouse and keyboard more often than not provide more precise and customizable control (though it’s far more complex to learn) and PC graphics will long out pace video game consoles. But consoles have many advantages from always knowing your game will play on your system (no processing power requirements), simplicity in set-up and often playability, and cost. And thus far, the market is choosing home consoles over PC by billions more dollars. 2006 showed gamers spent $6.5 billion on consoles and handhelds versus $970 million on PC games. But the battle is far from over, especially as more games are released on both consoles and PCs. Then we might see who really wins.
4. Open source vs. commercial
It’s the David and Goliath battle. Should I use Microsoft Word or Open Office…or maybe even Google Docs? What about hacking my iPhone to use user made software or should I wait for the official releases? And then there’s even those piracy questions, like should I use these open source Bittorrent programs or video game emulators or use iTunes and video game consoles. This all comes down to freedom of software choice. But don’t expect others to like it. It all seems innocent until you can’t share your files. That’s when bitterness becomes anger. Yeah, you know.
3. PC vs. Mac
Ah, this one separates the coders from the designers. Macs pride themselves on simplicity and a long understanding of being better with visual and video design software. PCs, while more complex (a lot more), offer more programs and a mountain of exclusive video games. Hardcore PC gamers will tell you there is no option other than a PC and they’re right. But Apple looks prettier. And does more faster. And you can escape from Microsoft’s Window’s loving clutches. Leaving you more time for Photoshopping. Doesn’t that make you feel better?
2. Nintendo vs. Sony vs. Microsoft
You know a geek fight’s big when it gets mainstream media attention. The video game console wars between the Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation 3, and Microsoft Xbox 360 haven’t been this fierce since a little company called Atari ran the industry. And that might have not been this bad. The video game industry means a lot more to more people these days. The multibillion dollar industry can be quite the cash cow when mixing in game licensing fees, in-game advertising, and online downloads all of which didn’t exist in the 1980s. And that’s just what the companies fight over. The fans often barely have enough to buy one video game console. So when they buy that console, they want to validate that choice and will fight anyone who challenges them. Preferable in a battle of Street Fight II. That ends up on every system ever made, doesn’t it?
1. Marvel vs. DC
Yes, this little rival of comic book universes is one of the most rabid, cruel, and longest running rivalries in geek history. You either love Marvel or DC. You might like characters in each universe. A Marvel fan might even pick up a Superman comic on occasion. But each comic fan has his or her loyalties with only one. DC Comics is original universe…but Marvel perfected the comic universe. DC is too corporate…Marvel’s too corporate. Batman is the best character…Spider-Man is the best character. The back and forth is endless and likely will never end. The debates over the best comic book company and comic book universe only makes reading comics more fun.
Every Monday, I force my opinion on you, my fearless readers, ranking the seven of something geeky.