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Manual saving does sound more challenging but then not everyone has 12 hours a day to play games.
Elitists can look down on more convenient means of saving all they want but they make the game more accessible to more players.
In other words "if you don't like the same thing I like you're an elitist."
Practically everyone likes auto-saving nowadays. It's pretty much a requirement for games now with critics openly bashing those that don't have it. And yes, if you claim that olden days are the best and how games were better in the past you are indeed an elitist.