Loyalty is a commendable attribute. It’s a measure of one’s integrity to value the convictions of another’s adaptable principles with resiliency and respect, even if mistakes are made along the way. We consider loyalty a virtuous exercise in tolerance, a virtue deserving of admiration. Is there anything more chivalrous than 2 heroes stood side by side, facing down against an opposing force even though their failure is all but assured, simply because loyalty commands them to do so? To wilfully betray someone who you’ve followed with such dedication can be perceived as dishonest or even cowardly. But when does loyalty become obstinate faith, blinded by perceived nobility? Is loyalty really a commendable attitude to have or just a falsity derived from the persistent hope that things will improve because of your staunch defiance or willingness to persevere whatever the cost. We form bonds and relationships everyday with people we expect to pledge significant loyalty too. Friends that you’d happily lend money too, spouses you can rely upon to provide counsel in times of distress or football teams that continually disappoint. We forgive the minor transgressions because of the dedication of familiarity and the committed modesty of loyalty that has been forged by years of sustained attachment. So it funny just how often loyalties are disposed with by gamer’s and just how fickle we tend to be.
Being loyal to a brand is grounds for either instant acceptance among your peers or instant isolation. The “console wars” that have been waged since the SNES and Genesis days has always been about flaunting your preferred fealty to one or the other. In school playgrounds there would be heated discussions between two opposing students at lunch that often resulted in fraudulent evidence distributed by both that trumped the other, and a petulant retaliation of scrappy punches and name calling. These sorts of conflicting loyalties haven’t abated as the consoles have progressed but have worsened, thanks in part to the advent of PC’s and the all too often communal latrine known as the Internet, where opinions are expressed and presented as fact! I myself have always favoured Sony products because of their reliability. Having been a firm investor in Sony products since the PS1 days, I have never felt compelled to purchase a competitor as I’ve never experienced any significant issues with any of my endeavours, barring a few innocent, self-inflicted fractures. Not even Sony’s arrogant approach to marketing the PS3 didn’t deter me from remaining loyal to my favourite ambiguous entity. Of course such purported reliability is all relative as others may have had opposing situations that they themselves just couldn’t tolerate, deciding instead that the freshly mowed grass on the other side was perhaps greener.
Many would consider my loyalty to Sony to be something of considerable naivety, that I have been too lenient towards Sony’s shortcomings. It’s understandable that formerly resolute defenders of Sony would feel discouraged by their inability to secure their own servers from hackers, causing PSN to collapse quicker than a stack of cards assembled by arthritic Nan. You can’t blame gamer’s for turning their backs on such a catastrophic lapse in security and protecting their clients confidential information from cyber terrorists. The trust, reliability and of course loyalty is hard to repair then. Yet I remained and continue to do so just like so many others. Does that make us ignorant? Stupid? Loyal? I remember when Microsoft announced they would be implementing restrictions on trading games on the Xbox One, in an attempt to regain profits lost through the second-hand market, by supplementing trades with a convoluted initiative that permitted trade agreements between specified friend for a limited time, rather than simply giving the game to a mate and play at their own discretion. Many fled the proposed dictatorial scheme, which was an obvious collusion between developers and Microsoft like guests at a Coldplay concert, yet many stayed. Are those loyalties any less deserving?
I guess extreme situations such as these are more to do with trust rather than loyalty, though they are mutually associated. So when can an individual or a product representative of a corporate agenda push the loyalties of someone too far, to the point that their rooted allegiance becomes irreparable? Personally I think it really comes down to just how much trust you have, without that how can anyone expect to remain loyal? If you maintain trust then you should retain the loyalty of your friends. Just don’t get hacked….or try to undermine your audience. That’s the moral here folks.
Do you think you can be too loyal? What does loyalty mean to you? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.