I’d definitely like to know about those stories too–I actually am quite interested in learning about fandoms in general, how they differ from each other, and why they behave the way they do. To that end, I’ve been part of some, well, rather infamous groups, most notably the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom–a lot of people in that group can be VERY defensive and hostile demonstrating a level of defensiveness rarely seen outside of sports and politics. (Regarding how the Sonic fans and the Bronies don’t get along, I’ve done my own analysis on that, and the Sonic fans shot first.)
I think that elevation is what some fans strive for though. They want to feel like they’re part of something as great as possible, and in some cases as exclusive as possible. They want to be able to screen out whom they deem as unworthy, and in some cases, pretty much everyone is unworthy if they didn’t join the group itself before a specific time.
Though it’s an occupation moreso than a hobby, there is a contingent of women who dive for pearls off a coast of Japan who rely on tourism to earn enough money to sustain a living. There are VERY few new women joining the trade, and most of them are quite old, in their 70’s or 80’s. While there isn’t much interest anymore in this tradition, it is odd, but at the same time interesting to me, to see the old guard rejecting some newcomers, and in one case, a marketing campaign to increase tourism using a young woman as a spokesperson for their billboards and TV commercials. (Said marketing campaign was not exactly the most well thought-out, as said spokeswoman wore a form-fitting scuba getup that the pearl divers don’t actually use, clearly for sex appeal, but the complaints from the pearl divers was not to change the approach to something closer to them, but that the marketing should be canceled, which they did.) This is an occupation, tradition, and hobby rolled into one that’s on the verge of extinction because its practitioners are aging out of existence and aren’t teaching a new generation their ways. They’ve become too tight-knit.
I think we’re getting into something else here now: Introversion vs. extroversion. You’re right, in that due to the environments where they’re commonly played, pinball would appeal to extroverts while video games would appeal to introverts, and the former would be more likely to care about the feelings of the people around them, even if they disagree with them. I would not consider introversion as any kind of spectrum issue though, just different ways of how people feel comfortable around other people. The key difference is energy levels: An extrovert gains energy being around other people and feels drained when alone, whereas an introvert becomes drained of energy around other people and requires alone-time to unwind. All but the most extreme introverts DO desire human contact, but an introvert prefers small groups whom they bond very tightly with and become less comfortable once the group grows beyond a certain size.
I would argue, however, that a preservation culture does not necessarily lead itself to a larger amount of extroversion. I can think of fans of non-traditional home computer setups as an example: There is a major repair and maintenance factor involved in this group, since they cannot be easily fixed by a normal electronics repair person, so most people in this fandom learn how to fix problems themselves. But this fandom has a lot of introverts anyway, because repair and maintenance advice and directions are available online, and fans are expected to learn these on their own. It crosses over with some sectors of D.I.Y. culture–after all, it stands for “do it yourself,” and that suggests a level of pride in isolation. My father was a proponent of this: He was the type to prefer learning anything he needed to do from reading about it rather than receive any help or support, and any offers to help he took as an insult to himself. A result was an astonishing level of knowledge on maintaining things (we had one of the longest-lasting VCRs, for instance), as well as a lot of equipment so he could do two- or three-person tasks on his own without knowing anyone else in any D.I.Y. community.
I am definitely quite aware that I cannot convince the people who prefer their status quo over sustainability, and to that end, in particular things, what I do instead is offer advice, tips, and other such information to newbies by myself. There is only so much I can do as one person, but one is better than none.
I never really thought about it though, but now that I have, there is definitely a line between extroversion and introversion in terms of a desire to make something more popular vs. keeping small, exclusionary groups. I think this is the answer to my question right here: Pinball, by nature of how they’re found in arcades, bars, restaurants, and other public social gathering locations, will attract extroverts, and extroverts, who desire relatively larger amounts of social interaction, would want what they like to be more popular because that means more people to interact with. (Well, you have the people who have home collections and only play their own collection, which I suppose would fit the introvert profile. I don’t know how many of them there are, however, since, of course, they won’t interact much with other pinball players.)
I guess that makes me the weird one–I am highly introverted, but I am interested in making more popular anything that I’m a fan of, because it means it’ll last longer.