Jeromai discussed their thoughts on GW2 news in this post, and it made them realise that they were kind of elitist…maybe? In a way? I started this as a comment but it grew too lengthy so I decided to make a post instead. Disclaimer: I may not make any sense here.
I think that one of the misconceptions about elitism is that the elitists are making mistaken assumptions about the motivations of those “beneath” them. Or, at least, many of those beneath them. Your motivations don’t make you elitist per se, but they become so when you decide that it is the motivations that make you better.
That is something that you, personally, might recognise and understand – that different people play for different reasons, and no reason is inherently better than another – but I think too often, elitist attitudes come into play because they assume that everyone who plays the same content has the same motivations.
So, PvP elitists assume that those they crush are just bad at being the best PvPer around. Raiders assume that if you step into a raid, you aspire to clear the raid as fast and efficiently as possible. And so on. But that is not the case, people jump into content – even competitive content – for a variety of reasons.
Elitists treat everyone as if they have the same motivation, and so they seem very hostile to those who do not actually fall into that category. If your primary motivation for doing a certain raid is social, for example, then being told you are “doing it wrong” is not very likely to encourage you to try it again. Likewise, if you are denied admittance to a group because they think you aren’t good enough, then you are not going to have a bond with them.
I think most elitists are probably fairly accepting that people have different playstyles and enjoy different parts of MMOs. The problem comes when those “different” people want to play in “their” content. In guild-type groups, you can be fairly upfront about it: “Sorry, we only want to play with people who think like us in these particular contexts.” But in any random group that is impossible.
The end result is that people self-segregate. Which, when you think about it, is possibly for the best. People like Jeromai, who are goal-focused, find others who are Achievers in the same way. People like Bhagpuss go and do their exploration alongside fellow explorers. The problem is, the ones who had bad experiences with elitists will tend to assume that all raiders/PvPers are the same, and they will therefore not seek out other, like-minded people. Especially if they don’t have the time, willpower or personality to create such a group. Thus the chasm grows wider.
All we need is to have some technology that will read our minds and group us up with the most compatible people for our playstyle and motivations. Get on it, Science.