Yesterday, I opened up my Minecraft server to a few interested souls who'd like a quiet, casual place to build random things. Today, I was at work and in the course of a discussion had someone say that it is unnatural for someone to want to spend all of their free time on the computer.
I don't fit many societal roles and I am okay with that. I don't feel a desire to fit in. I'd like to be accepted for who I am. That often drives me. But I'm not interested in giving up the things I enjoy, want to do, and find fascinating to fit into the group. I'm okay with being an outcast. I'm also not ashamed of what I do. I'm not ashamed of my gaming. I'm not embarrassed that I've met most of my friends on the internet. I still roll my eyes when people say that it is strange to meet people off the internet. Understand, I met my husband on the internet twelve years ago and I'm still pretty fond of him so I'm a bit opinionated in that direction.
In October, I'll be going to Eve Vegas. I was talking to a few people who are planning to go for the first time and soothing nerves. Many of us are introverted on some level or another. We're normal, functioning people in normal productive jobs. We pay bills, have relationships, some even have kids. But many of us are not casually social in our free time. Social interactions come in bits and pieces.
I've never understood how people can go out every night and hang out places. They don't understand how I can stay in all night curled up at my desk. We both go out to work. My co-workers think that its strange that I travel for video games. Yet, if I was travelling for quilting they would understand more. Its the stereotype of it and the classic 'games are for children' concept. The same one that says we have to give up things and change to adult behaviors when we get married.
Perhaps, I have spent to many years working with people and saturate my work life in strangers. Eve players are people with hobbies, Ernestine, and the daily trappings of humanity as much as anyone else. Yet, today I looked at this person and said, "I am one of those people who spends their free time on the computer."
There are times when I write about my gaming and such and in the back of my mind I contemplate the fact that some people will find me pathetic or a waste of time and energy for what I choose to do. I do write about a fictional game and the very real effects that it has due to the simple fact of interaction. Sometimes it gnaws at me. Not because of embarrassment but because of the exhausted knowledge that I will be tried, judged, and sentenced without anyone ever looking beyond a stereotype.
"Hello. I'm Mel. I manage to become an elected Representative of a community to the developers of that community's consumed product. I travel to Iceland to discuss the companies product with them as one of several voices for their product." That may sound well and good until I change Mel to Sugar and add gaming instead of product.
Yet, the same thing that drove me to the CSM drives me to challenge people who would so casually judge me. Its that defiance factor of mine.