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the competent elitist

March 29, 2009

There is a fundamental difference between the competent elite and the aristocratic elite. The aristocratic elite are born with a silver spoon and defined not by who they are, but who their father was. Fatcats. Tycoons. Mafioso. Yuppies. The competent elite are an entirely different group, which consists of people who have better training, better skills, or more knowledge than their peers. Einstein. Achilles. Green Beret. Professional athletes. In their fields they’re better than their peers at what they do. Who do you think better understands political debate, the candidates, or the moderator? The high class millionaire reading the cue card, or the professional who has studied the issues?

Do you think you’re better than Nihilum? Do you think you’re a better tank than Kungen? Do you know who these people are? Do you hate Laintime, but think Pat and Maydie were great? Could you last a round with Daigo? Is the AWP for scubs? Are tick-throws cheap?

If you don’t have any clue what I’m talking about that’s fine. You’ve put up with this long enough so you can feel free to fast forward to the end. Just leave some argument that elitism is all about stroking your ‘e-peen’ and your ‘leetness’ is just in a game and doesn’t make you a man. After all, that would make you the bigger man. Wouldn’t it? I’m just a snob, anyway. I really am.

I’ll even give you a list of things to call me out on for my snobbery. That should make it easy.

  • People who claim things are ‘cheap’ do not deserve to play games.
  • I kick people from PUGs if I feel don’t think they’re a good player.
  • Trying to be unique and different is a sure route to failure.
  • The average player is a bad gamer.

So, go for it. I’d love to hear your excuses. Just skip ahead, hit back on your browser, do something.

Still here? Cool. Elitism when governed by the silver-spoon elite from The Hamptons is horrible. The rule for governing the difference between the functional elite and the stuck up yuppies is this: Prove it. It doesn’t matter what field you’re in, that is the only rule for determining who really is a member of the elite. I’m not saying I am, I’m not saying anyone else is. Why? That should speak for itself. I don’t care about what people think of me at all, really. I care about numbers and performance. The point is simply to prove that you can do something.

Sometimes it takes graphs, charts, spreadsheets and huge walls of text. Sometimes it takes a ranking. Sometimes all it takes is good camera movement. Good back-dash usage. Block patterns. Lag-shooting. The pistol arch. It could even be as simple as map knowledge.

People think the ‘E-Spot mentality’ is some horrible thing. It isn’t. The fact is throwing a scrub into a tournament is like throwing a weekend warrior into a big league game. People want to believe that people given equal opportunities are all equal. People want to believe that those who are better are merely more privileged. That isn’t true. They’re probably just better than you. It isn’t the people at the top who try to appear superior; but the people who tried and failed. The slightly above average who want their peers to believe they’re superior. That’s where the fear should arise. Those at the top aren’t interested in those below them, they’re concerned with the people who will challenge them.

Omelettez recently made a post about how she feels games, and gamers have been getting worse as the market expands. She’s right, but there’s another side to this. The other side is the people who hide behind masks. How often have you head these things?

  • That’s just theorycraft, it doesn’t work that way in the game.
  • Duels don’t matter.
  • Who cares about skill, it’s just a game. It’s not real life.

Let’s dispel some myths kiddies. It’s just theorycraft, it doesn’t work that way in the game? Sorry, the idea is to emulate how the game works. If it doesn’t work in that game than the theory is poorly constructed. If you want to argue with it find the flaw, or find another box to stand on. Duels don’t matter either, right? That’s not what the game is about. The truth is if you ever ran into that person alone, they’d kill you. They wouldn’t care what the game was about. They would kill you. Oh, and who cares about skill, it’s not real life. Right? Wait, who said it was? If a person is talking about a game and your argument is that it isn’t real life, all you’re doing is agreeing with them. They’re talking about something which is, by definition, not real life. Your excuse for being bad at something your doing is that it isn’t real? That’s just sad. Besides, if someone is delusional enough that they think their in-game accomplishments make them amazing in ‘real life’ do you think your pointing it out will have any effect on them? Sorry, they have bigger problems.

These are poor and fallacious arguments. This isn’t politics. It doesn’t matter what you think of populism, or pluralism. You don’t redesign the space shuttle via random poll. You ask the experts. You talk to the elites in the aerodynamics field. You study aeronautics.

It isn’t about rubbing things in peoples faces and making them feel bad about themselves. It’s about becoming better. There are two ways to look at an elitist. The first is how many, many people do: They’re stuck-up snobs. They only care about the metaphorical size of their ‘peen’ and want the masses to worship it. The second is how the true elite should be viewed: Teachers. If you know of someone who is exceptionally good at something, perhaps there’s something to learn. That’s the difference between a gamer and a scrub. A scrub wants to be the best and if they can’t be the best they want to make the best look worse. Scrubs would rather be the kings of a puddle than students on a mountain. Gamers want to learn. They want to be better. They want that mountain to be as tall as it can be.

Hell, let me tell you one last reason I’m a snob. You’re playing a competitive game. Don’t want to be competitive? That’s fine. Please preface any comments in debate with your feelings so that we know to ignore them. If you think learning and bettering yourself isn’t ‘fun’ you should rethink your priorities in life. Learning is all we have.

I’m pretty messed up in this modern world. I love damage charts. I love WWS. I love spreadsheets. I love duels. I love knowing that I can pick up games I’ve never played and beat people who have been playing for months. You know what, it has nothing to do with an ‘e-peen’ either. I love being wrong. I love seeing other people beat me. I love having something to analyze. I love having someone to learn from.

Quit being so scared. Play to learn. Play to win.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2009 12:26 pm


    I especially liked your bit about how “[p]eople want to believe that people given equal opportunities are all equal” is a false assumption. Equal opportunity does not guarantee equal outcome. You are rewarded for the work you put in, your intelligence in doing it, and a bit of luck. Nice post.

  2. March 31, 2009 5:17 pm


    It takes a special kind of elite to put things in perspective.

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