A thought occured to me a little bit after finishing my previous entry.
Maturity is a bad thing.
Sure everyone wants to play with people they can get along with and more often than not that means peers. There has always been trends in MMO guilds to require that applicants be over a certain age. I've seen them, you've seen them. Surely an older player base is a better player base. Less chance for immaturity or drama. Or at least that is the theory.
A comment made on Tobolds blog (link on the side) about FFXI got me thinking. The idea of Japanese only groups in the game. I've also listened to a friend who has played the game for a long time. In Final Fantasy, there are expectations of how you will act, how you ask for groups and behave within them.
Obviously that works for the game and the people there, but at the same time such ... expectations and required behaviour results in the type of people who will run into a brick wall for 18 hours.
Also take the current trend in City of Heroes. Previously "Mature Roleplayer" basically meant put on your robe and wizard hat. Of course now there's been a shift. That lot are either ERP or "All-RP" tagged players.
People have claimed the mature roleplayer tag back to indicate edgy or dark or generally grown up storylines. The difference between Adam West's Batman and the Dark Knight really.
All of these things require that people must act in a certain way and show particular traits or a supposed level of maturity.
Frankly I think such things are killing our games.
Don't get me wrong, I am not calling for everyone to start acting like five year olds. But when the atmosphere in which you are playing does not permit you to be just a little loony when the mood strikes, why are you there?
Inevitably everyone in an MMO, even in the most laidback of guilds/fleets/warbands/supergroups will have to deal with group drama. No amount of "18+ players only" or "Mature Guild" in the world will stop there from being people who don't get along.
If you find that such restricted groups or enforced manners work for you, then good for you. However, I would sooner be in a group who will run through the newbie zone in underpants than one demands I play a certain way or would have me spend hours on a fruitless task.
Disclaimer, I currently have a problem with a wisdom tooth and haven't really slept. I know I had a point, but Im not entirely sure I made it. Sorry folks!