I have discovered the first exception in my argument against MMORPG’s. I don’t fully embrace it but at least it’s helping me come to an understanding for why I, or maybe others, might fire up a game in the first place.
I’m an introvert. Not an extreme introvert but I nonetheless, an introvert. This means that I need alone time to help recharge my social batteries. These urges to shut the world out happen once a week. To get a better understanding of how these introverted tendencies stem semi-antisocial behavior, let me explain what my week looks like. I work a lot. It’s only one job but I spend about 55-60 hours a week in an office interacting with 50 or more coworkers daily. I’m their HR manager. When I get home, I usually hang out with my girlfriend for the night or if she has to work, I hang out with my roommate. On the rare occasion, I’ll turn on the TV and chill alone.
My girlfriend typically works at least one weekend night. Yet last weekend, she was off and this is where my entire mood took a nose dive. Saturday night, we were in bed by 9:30 because I literally didn’t have the energy or willingness to attempt to be social. She took offense to it, I told her it’s no big deal, and now she knows that I’m weird if I don’t get my alone time.
Where’s this all going? I mentioned that sometimes I sit alone and watch TV. Sometimes I surf the internet, looking for nothing in particular. What’s strange is that I can have a night watching television by myself and it does nothing to recharge the batteries. On the other hand, a video game works miracles. I can play a video game, forget about everything, and walk away feeling ready to socialize again. I find that to be completely odd and has led me to believe something new about my introvert-edness. It’s not alone time that I need, it’s time to imagine. It’s time to dream, let my mind go down different paths of creativity. That’s what a video game offers so cheaply. TV, novels, movies, and music are all scripted. There’s only one set path. So while I’m able to sit alone and embrace time not socializing with others, it’s not enough.
I view this to be similar to arts and crafts. I can sit down with a pencil and paper and draw anything. It stimulates a part of my brain that helps me reset. Unfortunately drawing wasn’t my strongest suit (see my EQOA Paint illustrations). However I’m beginning to think of MMO’s as a type of art or craft. You create, build, customize, and while the end result isn’t physically tangible, it’s still a process of creativity that moves beyond a television show or film. So while I condemned video games and their nature as a waste of time, I’m beginning to understand that there are exceptions. Maybe I need to participate in a game more than I realize.