Today’s post is going to be less gaming related and more something personal… With some gaming in the mix I guess. Bare (bear?) with me on this one, I have a very chaotic mind and a slightly chaotic writing style so I’ll try to make this as comprehendable as possible.
Something I notice as active gamer, blogger and online community member is the sheer amount of people that count themselves as introverts. I take a look around on Twitter, I read the blogs in my Feedly, hell I talk to some of my online friends and almost all of them identify as introvert. Some are a bit more outspoken about this than others and that’s okay.
I can get a bit cranky about all the “handbook to introverts” post that seem to pop up on the internet every now and then though. That’s the type of introversion that I can’t really deal with well. It feels a lot like attention whoring which, if I remember correctly, is not something a true introvert would be into at all. So if I rage about these things on Twitter now and then, don’t worry. It’s not that I have something against introverted people, I just have something against people that use said introversion to make them look like a special snowflake.
I myself am an off the scales extravert. I’ve done dozens of personality tests and all of them point in the same direction. I’m highly curious about new experiences, love to partake in social gatherings and have absolutely no issues making new friends fast or talking to strangers. All of this is actually me in real life. I thrive when my life is filled with exciting stuff. Social outings, doing new stuff, doing exhilarating things. I love the feeling of adrenaline pumping through my veins. I’m that girl who will go to the highest steepest waterslide in the waterpark and enjoy the adrenaline rush that I get when standing at the top gazing down what I’m about to do. I’m that girl who will stand on glass bridges over cliffs, staring into the abyss and loving it. I will be that girl who will be chatty with anyone at a party and go home with a new friend or a possible new friend.
This also has translated to my MMO habits for a long time. Due to work restrictions I’m more or less forced to be a “Low Energy” player. Someone who takes a more casual approach and enjoys games as they come. But in my heart of hearts I’m a “High Energy” player. I always want new stuff, more stuff. To be bigger, better, louder! I want to be the first one to race to max level in a new expansion. To get geared. To start clearing raids. More more more, higher higher higher. In my glory days of raiding in WoW I even tried to get into one of the best guilds at the time: Method. Unfortunately I got denied due to not having enough server first experiences but the hunger to join them was there.
If you look at this fact, and how I described earlier that I’m mostly surrounded by introverted people, it’s not strange that I have issues recognizing and identifying with their issues. Of course I am depressed sometimes myself. Ofcourse I have anxieties. Even though I like being around people and tend to draw attention to me I’ve also suffered from crippling anxieties that related to self-image and confidence.
However, where introverts experience their anxieties in relation to people, stress brought on by dealing with people and the fear of the unknown, my depression and anxieties usually have roots in lacking these exact things. I’ve had a very rough year where I was more or less isolated from a lot of social interactions. I was at home, unemployed and done with my education and it slowly drove me mad. I get my energy from being out and about and interacting with people on a daily basis. When I don’t get that I spiral into a black hole that is really difficult to crawl out of. Where an introvert will be happy when a big social event gets cancelled, since they don’t have to deal with the stress of interacting with people, for me it’s a major bummer. It’s denying me the energy and positivity I take out of these things and will confine me to my home where I’m alone, staring at four walls which I hate.
Looking at all of this it’s actually quite strange that one of my biggest hobbies is gaming. I guess there’s a reason why I massively prefer MMO’s over any other genre, but still. Gaming isn’t necessarily a social activity and it’s probably also the reason why I have periods where I’m just completely done with gaming and being a gamer. It’s a nice hobby to have though since it helps me get through days where I have nothing planned or when I have moods where I just want to be left alone.
It’s also the reason why I sometimes feel like I don’t entirely fit into the larger gaming/blogging/internet community as a whole. The internet is an increasingly “safe” domain for a lot of introverted people who are normally afraid of social interactions. It’s safer doing it from an environment where in essence you are talking to a person, but in reality you are typing on/talking to a screen. Whereas I’m way more comfortable talking to someone in person so I can read their body and social cues that you lack on the world wide web. It’s reading posts where people, very justifiably so, express their worry about group content, endgame content, about how to enjoy a game, about how to deal having to play with strangers. Posts I don’t really recognize any of myself in because I don’t have any issues with any of this. It’s people who say they need some alone time, to retreat, play alone or recharge that I don’t identify with. I charge up by playing WITH others and get drained when I have to do everything alone.
It’s all these little things that make me wonder sometimes, do I really fit in? Is this really the platform for me? Am I not to different from all these people I surround myself with? And honestly, up untill today I’ve not been able to answer these questions.
As I write this it’s rather funny to realize that all my IRL friends are actually very outgoing and sociable like I am, all extraverts in a sense. And there I tend to not really “fit in” due to my “serious” gaming hobby. It’s kind of odd how the world works huh?