There are things in every community that are so mindbogglingly ignorant that just mentioning it tears the community in half. These issues deserve to be looked into examined and exposed for the nonsense that truly are and I am going to do just that for one of the largest problems plaguing the MMO-C community today.
What is this addon? Let's ask the author "GearScore is an addon for World of Warcraft that allows you to quickly and easily judge a player's level of Gear. GearScore represents the maximum potential for a player to perform. The higher your GearScore the higher your potential to heal/dps/tank. Remember however, that is is up to the player's skill to match that potential."
Simply put, gearscore is a tool created to address the problem created by blizzard in making gear nearly identical. Gearscore removes the need to load up a players armory, and speeds up the process of character inspection.
What is the perceived problem?
Clearly, just as human beings want to be known by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin so do world of warcraft characters and the number of their gearscore. What Gearscore does is assign a numerical value of potential output from a mathematical standpoint of what that specific character is capable of in the gear they are wearing. Players do not want to be simply classified into "do's" and "don't's" without taking their individual ability into account, something an addon can and will never be able to do.
Why is it ignorant to attack a tool like gearscore?
Gearscore will never get you invited to a group, nor will it get you denied access to a group that responsibility is and will always be subject to the whims and wants of the raid leader or raid assistants. Unfortunately the massive success of this game makes everyone expendable as they are immediately replaced and looked over thanks to the sheer volume of alternative players. Some raid leaders lack the time or desire to look into a potential invites ability as a player and who could blame them, this is where gearscore comes in to play in assisting a quick moderately informed decision.
So where does the hate come from?
Like most emotions, hate especially in this case is born of ignorance and the inability to separate cause from effect. In this specific case the hatred is born from being denied access to a group the player feels they should be capable of contributing to without problem. The denial of access to the raid group would be the effect in this situation. The Cause of the effect would be the discrimination employed by the raid leader. To combat or take issue with the effect of a cause is as senseless as attempting to plug a hole in a boat, by repeatedly bailing out the water pouring through it. Although the two are related, you must combat the source (discrimination by raid leaders) to effectively combat and hope to eliminate the symptoms (the future unjust denial of raid invites).
Gearscore is simply another symptom of player discrimination that has been part of this game and genre of mmorpg's since grouping was initiated. As long as two players have a different level of ability, there will be raid leaders determined to invite the better of the two. Recognizing that getting to know any given players actual skill when conducting raid invites is an impossible task given time constraints, knowing the average realm has around 15,000 players on it. To take issue and create gearscore hatred threads on this forum or elsewhere displays a massive failure at understanding the cause and effect interaction of this system. Furthermore to hate gearscore for 'denying you access to raids' is like hating your credit score for denying you access to a loan. These things exist for a reason, if they were abolished another form would arise because the reason they exist has not been addressed. To hate gearscore is to blame the calculator for showing a solution to a mathematical equation that results in you not being able to afford something you want.
Realistically and finally, wrath of the lich king is the easiest expansion so far to become geared enough for the latest tier of gear by casual means. If you're subjecting yourself to the method of raiding (pugging) that results in you being judged by what you're wearing there are two paths to take. Find another method of raiding (guild raiding) or improve your gear to their desired standards. I sincerely hope that anyone continuing to continue this idiotic tirade would take the time to read this, and understand the error of their ways.
What is this term?
From urbandictionary "e - meaning online peen - short for penis A person's ego, pertaining exclusively to their online personality."
This is a rather crude and unattractive term, yet people continue to brandish it so I will further and more appropriately define it as pride.
What is pride? "Pleasure or satisfaction taken in an achievement, possession, or association"
What is the perceived problem?
The community has deemed it unacceptable to take pride in your accomplishments, and doubly unacceptable to do so publicly. This is the equivalent to bashing an Olympic athlete for doing press releases wearing their gold silver or bronze medals well after the event they earned them from was finished. Substitute medals and olympic athletes with football players and superbowl rings, or boxers and wrestlers with title belts. The community finds it offensive that the achievers of these goals take pride in their success and immediately attach the phrase "flexing their e-peen". It would be suggested that the community would prefer if anyone happens to achieve any of their goals, to do so quietly and to themselves and if there is a visual title gearing or mount attached to that accomplishment that it be removed or hidden.
Why is it ignorant to attack an emotion like pride?
Pride is inherent in the human condition and in psychological terms, Pride is "a pleasant, sometimes exhilarating, emotion that results from a positive self-evaluation." A common understanding of pride is that it results from satisfaction with meeting the personal goals set by oneself, such as those from reaching esteemed goals such as rank 1 gladiator, country or world first kills or the lesser forms of these goals (gladiator, duelist, faction and realm first).
So where does the hate come from?
Attacking pride or "e-peen" is effectively a display of jealously from the parties who have not achieved the goal in question, or have already achieved that goal and are reluctant to share it. People who act in this manner generally have not made anything of themselves or simply enjoy raining on an-others parade. Often the onlookers find a way to hate even the most innocent actions such as standing idly while away from the keyboard while wearing a legendary weapon or current optimal raid gear. An appropriate term to label these unhappy onlookers would be the current hip hop term "haters".
Everyone has a sense of pride or ego at some point in their lives and in some point of their characters lives. Do you take pride in the fact you reached level 80, have multiple high level characters, killed the antagonist of the expansion, owned someone in pvp? All of these feelings of accomplishment feed into ego and are defined quite clearly in most respects as "e-peen". To persecute someone for having "e-peen" or pride is to shoot yourself in the foot anytime you ever reach a goal and announce it, even something as simple as saying "ding" in guild chat while leveling. In the end, as a community we really need to see the hypocrisy in our deeds and realize that taking pride in your accomplishments at its core is what an MMO is all about.