Well, reading all this stuff makes me think this whole crowd is composed from lots of lone wolves and hermits (or recluses, if you wish)
Well, as psychologists would put it, the Internet has become a sort of "second world" for these people, since it preserves both their anonymity and their "weirdness". Many artists (painters in particular, as well as composers) are of the same kind - lots of extremely weird people amongst them.
As I found out, the Internet has also become a sort of 'catch basin' for ADD/ADHD/Asperger people. (If you don't know what that is, don't bother.) Some even admit it on their MySpace pages, often between the lines. Also chat addicts are very likely to have ADD, because they see the chat as their own community they can express themselves the way they want to. (And make contact to other recluses; often, these turn out to have the same disease, and are, sometimes, social outsiders, too.) Oh gosh, how were these people lost before the Internet existed! Some even almost lost their rhetorical abilities since besides occasional shopping days, they didn't talk to anyone. NOT ANYONE.
In the Net, they can at least *WRITE* to someone.; at least an improvement, but it is never going to replace real-life talk. EVER.
Even though they are mostly living in a sort of isolation, Asperger people can be GENIUSES too: such as Bram Cohen, inventor of BitTorrent.
Oh yes, psychology is a great subject. And it's crazy that some time before, the correlation between Internet addiction and the said diseases was just one of my weird assumptions! Now scientists from far Korea have confirmed just that in their studies.
But ok, I'll cut it ... back to me now:
I would not be likely to fear a sort of sneer with friends when I talk about amiga, as I'm rather an Amiga worker than a player. I've been on here since 2001: you may check out my posting history: you will only find a handful of games I actually played. I'm rather a play-tester
than a player, that's not always the same! Play-tester means I get a statefile from a user and I check something out.
I'm a true lover of challenges!
After a bunch of people have failed with a level, why shouldn't I make it by checking for e. g. some secret invisible mid-air steps (as in Rick Dangerous, for instance)?
I'd fight my way to get through that obstacle and ... DROP the game again!
(I wouldn't play it 'til the end, unless there's another obstacle causing problems for people)
And I also like to restaurate disks by piecing blocks together with a disk editor. This knowledge can be a life-saver, especially for rare stuff.
Another reason might be I'm in my 30s so I'm feeling a bit beyond the age of playing shoot-em-ups or jump'n runs. It's rather something that 13-year-olds do here in public malls, sitting at their Nintendos and hammering into their game pads like mad. (Often it's kids whose parents work all day, so they have to spend their time somehow)
And I have to note that said kids tend to be quite AGGRESSIVE after 2 hours of non-stop beat'em up playing. Some of them really should exchange this spot for a football field instead.