The epithet “fanboy” may be one of the useful verbal barbs one can sling at the faithful follower of technology—consumer electronics, video games or otherwise—as the console wars rage on. Where did this catch all insult come from?
Its possible origins may be rooted in a pursuit just as nerdy as verbally sparing with your PlayStation or Nintendo-adoring nemeses online, dating back—at least in a derogatory sense—to a fantasy fanzine from 1973 titled Fanboy. Tech site Technologizer notes that even then, the term fanboy wasn’t used as much as an insult as it was a “mindset.”
So says Fanboy fanzine creator Jay Lynch, who was also behind geek-tinged products like Garbage Pail Kids. He claimed the creation of the term, now often a deflective self-applied label as much as a dismissive and insulting one, in a limited edition trading card in 2009. So, yeah, old news, but part of a larger look at the popular online slur.
The fanboy insult appears to apply most strongly to Apple aficionados, with Technologizer’s research showing Sony following closely behind, with PS3, Sony and PSP ranking near the top. (PlayStation would as well, showing that Sony has a strong following across its many products.)
Of course, Microsoft and Nintendo have their supporters labelled fanboy fanatics on the internet as well, ranking almost as high as Sony’s army of passionate fans. From AMD to Google to, yes, even Zune, it seems there’s a fanboy for everything.
Further level-headed and objective research into the matter at Technologizer.