Today, there are lots of players who complain if you don't play "open" although it's not in the servers rules and the settings (the rubber) allow to close (= grind/seal a wall). Everyone who thinks closing his bad can go to a No-Rubber server. One of the main arguments that is used to underline the importance of playing open is that "all the pros do it", which is not true (according to a poll i started on Armagetron forums several months ago).
Playing "open" doesn't require a broader set of skills than playing "closed", ie. "closed" players NEED to know how to grind as tight as possible, open players don't. The skillset required for playing "closed" translates to "open", not the other way around. ("good open" players may be more skillful at mazing than "skilled closed" players, simply by virtue of the fact that "skilled closed" players don't need to make mazes, instead they force others to do so.) i would therefore draw the conclusion that "closed" playing requires more skill and is therefore the superior gametype. maybe that's fallacious, whatever. until open is an official gametype, "open" players can eat wall.
People who make up their own rules how a game is supposed to be played and try to force those rules on others have always been and will always be scrubs.
The whole point of Armagetron was to cut people off so that they run into your wall and explode. Playing "open" is like buying yourself loss-insurance: If you kill some open player, you're just a closer. But if they kill you, you can't even win when you're trying to close them. low risk-high reward (in their heads).
"Open" does in fact hurt the game beyond just the players' attitudes and behaviours (although that's bad enough). For one, no, it absolutely does not speed up the game. Completely the opposite - their so-called "traps"—these unnecessary, lame little 180s and squiggles made with your double/triplebinds cause more boredom than excitement.
And to talk about low rubber and closing not giving players a chance to make a mistake—hello, dipshit, that's the point! Get better! Don't make critical mistakes! If you make a mistake, and someone takes advantage of that, you should be core dumped. Period. No whining.
"Closed is wrong and unfair because it doesn't give the other player a chance".- That's the other way it hurts actual gameplay, Everyone is spoiled on this crap. There are so many players who just plain can't hang against someone who plays normally.
As for leaving a little space for someone who's obviously new, older players have always done that as well, long before "open" came along. That's why it's sort of insulting for them when it's left open for them—it's equivalent to having someone go easy on you. So, now you're a little ambivalent to even go easy on the novices for fear that you're passively introducing them to, and normalising, the act of "open." Just another way in which these people have fouled up the game.
source: posts by root down, Z-Man, Phytotron and Word on Armagetron forums