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And Then Some Real Things

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.


  1. I happen to have a family that’s surprisingly tolerant of me regaling them with Eve stories (though I do work hard to make sure I relate stories the non-initiated will find amusing) but when I went to Fanfest a few years back their delight was extraordinary. I could see the cogs clicking in their head . . . “So the hands behind the Dire plan to fly to Iceland for a specialized convention where they’ll meet, mingle and network with longtime associates? That sounds mundane business real. Perhaps you’re not insane.” The fact that I specifically planned to meet up with a couple of fellow corporation members from Seattle really hiked up the normality. But memory fades so when I mentioned that I planned to attend Eve Vegas this year I got to watch the same cogs click through their heads once again with similar ‘Perhaps you’re not insane’ excitement. I conclude I should attend more Eve festivities. It does the family good.

  2. I always enjoy your blog, and I can relate to much of what you write about. Thank you for being you and writing about it.

  3. Hi Sugar, first time responding to one of your topics. This topic only shows the tip of the ice berg. I am relate to this on so many levels.

    Im a middle aged man who recently divorced after a 23 year relationship and 4 kids. There were many aspects but my ex wife has tried to blame my gaming habits for her other activities.

    As many might have expressed, I don't drink excessively (social drinker), yes I am social in RL, don't smoke, don't gamble, have always been employed, cleaned house, cooked meals, played with kids, always the taxi for kid activities, liked my motorbikes, camping, 4 wheel driving. However ex wife could not understand why in my free time I liked to play EVE instead of watching TV. She then surrounded herself with people of similar opinion who also would ridicule me. Once in a group of similar thinking feeding off each other, well that was it, I couldnt do anything right.

    Now my beautiful daughter is experiencing the same issue. 18 year old girl who loves to xbox (Gaming is gaming) likes her cosplay/anime things. I see her growing so much as she becomes confident it telling people where to go.

    They way I see it. My Father was told his generation listened to tge radio to much, my generation as a kid was watching too much TV, now my daughters generation on technology too much.

  4. Never happened to meh. I'm extroverted to deh limit. Play A-GODDAMN-LOT video games, drink and smoke weed. Do pen and paper RPG at least once a week, and swim at da pool. Like to dance, and rave to various music. No stranger to clubs. Have a lots of friends both online and offline. Beautiful wife, and wonderful daughter on da way. Could do more sports though.

    I am happy.

    People are less judgemental than you think, or if some are it's their problem, that they are narrow minded. In my expirence, ppl ale both best and worst things I've ever found in this world. But sure they don't bite, and there is no reason to be scared of awkwardance.

    1. Please understand introverted people aren't afraid of being judged nor do we think people are judging, and many of us aren't shy (that's something else).
      The easiest way to explain is, you are happy because interacting with people gives you energy it makes you feel good. Introverts don't 'dislike' being social, it's just for us it takes energy to do so. We get energy from being by ourselves my idea of the bestest day is reading or doing something creative by myself with a nice hot drink in reach with a cat sleeping somewhere nearby. I don't hate clubbing, or bar, but if I spend my weekend in them I end up being more tired come monday, not refreshed :)

      All of that is something separate from the phenomenon of 'gamer guilt' though, there's still a societal stigma against people who game for hobby in a many places. Apparently it isn't considered equal as a pastime activity something like gardening or collecting stuff or being a movie buff and many people that game are aware of that and feel uncomfortable talking about their hobby because of it. I think it'll go away by itself though in another generation or so :)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Personally I disagree from that "chargin' and spendin' energy" theory. It's only an excuse to be a couch potato (sumthin' i kno about being veterenarian couch potato). There is no energy to gain or spent in that manner. If i get party all weekend, get high and wasted in random order, dance my ass off and steal traffic signs, then I will look like bag of dirt tossed away by angry dog on Monday no matter if I am extro or intro... (trust me I got expirence in dat too). Like I said before I've got a lot of friends and some-of-them-are-introverts. Even there is one guy I would put as an living definition of introvertic personality. And he told me that simply that: "Sometimes, I just don't want anyone around". And that's it, plain and simple. If want to go out and get high on an Hip-Hop concert he calls me. If I want to play a Mage: The Awakening with him, I call. If he is not in the mood, he say it blunt "dude... I'm not in the mood, next time". Sometimes he is up-to go anywhere ravin' all night, sometimes my group of friends think he died somewhere around his aparment like, a week ago. And then... he calls. ;)
      A man of few words though...

    4. @ Headbanger,

      Dude, don’t be such an asshat! If someone such as Anonymous above tells you they find social situations enjoyable but *unusually* exhausting don’t tell them that because you don’t find equivalent activities *unusually* exhausting you thereby have undeniable proof that they don’t actually experience things that way. Pulling some sort of ‘Liar, liar pants on fire. You’re just an revolting couch potato,” quip out of your tetrahydrocannabinol permeated ass only proves that you are a special kind of deaf, not that they’ve misrepresented their experience.

      I care not how indifferent you are about others Headbanger, but indifference doesn’t make you correct, it only reveals that you don’t care.

    5. I've never said that anyone is a Liar. I just don't find "Charging energy" theory true. Most zaelous defenders of that theory I know are simply lazy procrastinating wannabe introverts. Funny thing is, that introverts themselves convinced me of that. There are people there, that think it hurts them.

      In fact I think that people with different characters have different proportion of needs. For Instance, I feel scared and nervous when there is no one around me for prolonged time, and true-introverts I know get irritated, and angry when poked by people too much. But that don't mean that I don't want time alone from everyone, and that introverts don't have need to socialize. Only proportions differ.

      Staying at home with your cat and roomate for days don't make you introvert. It makes you isolated.

    6. I can be super productive by myself thank you very much. While you are having fun abusing substances at that hip hop concert, I might very well be writing up couple thousand words on /r/AskHistorians or reading my way through some book, or doing something else more productive while actually enjoying myself instead of getting high. And that makes me, an introvert, "lazy"?

      Educate yourself a little mr. Headbanger

    7. Geez. All I'm sayin that introvert doesn't nessearly mean that this people spend time at home away from people, or are afraid of social contact. It's type of personality, not living habits, and preferences of spending free time. I didn't mean to upset anyone.

      @Kaeda Maxwell, I don't know if you are introvert, extrovert, neurotic or balanced (yep, there is more then that, does anyone know? Bah! There is almost never one-type personality in real life).

      I go out sometimes on various concert because to me it's fun (besides introverts draged me out last time, and it was raining). You apparently don't like that type of spending time. And it's nor good nor bad, we just have other tastes on that level. I'm not better than you because I'm going out (more or less) often, nor are you when writing on /r/AskHistorians. If by that you think (and I don't say you are) that you're better than me, that have nothing to do with introvertic personality. it's plain arrogance.

      Through my middle and great part of high school I thought I'm introvert. Read a lot, never go out, got like 3-4 friends. Psychologist dissmised that claim quite brutally. I had just very low self-esteem, and because of that I was avoiding contact with people I didn't know well (this means -> everyone). Plain and simple. Been hard working on that since then till' finally got free...

      PS> Zimbardo has a lot to say about why modern people prefer to isolate themselves from each other. It's worth to take look at. Although I don't agree with everything he says.
      PS2> Susan Cain is more like motivational speaker, than scientist. She did great job on getting introverts accept themselves (and it's fantastic!), but it's no authority on like this "theories" things.

    8. For those who believe, no proof is needed. For those who refuse to believe, no proof is enough to change their refusal...

      An extrovert will never understand an introvert completely. Neither will introverts understand extroverts. I think the truth is that no one ever completely understands anyone else except in light of their own experiences and how they interpret what another person says...

    9. You're confusing people who are shy and people who have an introverted nature. Introverts don't avoid contact with people, I used to be a large hotel bartender it's really hard to do that job while avoiding people I assure you. You'd be absolutely unable to tell I'm an introvert if I have some reason to, like work.

      But when I come home I want to ball up and read book and recharge or maybe watch a movie by myslef or with one or two close friends. What I don't want to do is go out to bar, that doesn't relax me, not even a little.

  5. It just seems that there is this hidden perception of gamers. If you went up to someone and said, oh on the weekend I played a few rounds of golf etc, hit the clubs most people are OK cool, that sounds good. But if you say I spent the weekend inside playing video games I think you will find that most people will be like really, why would you do that.

    All people are judgemental, they either keep it to themselves, they do it behind your back, or they tell you to your face.


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