You spend your time eating alone in the office, probably with your earphones on. Rarely hanging out with your friends telling them how much you just want to stay at home. Little do they know that you are a gaming god (figuratively and literally) online. You aren’t just one of those introverts, rather you are the hyper carry of your team online.
Unlike popular belief, introverts are actually observant of what is happening around them. They are far more attentive and are likely to have a more focused conversation. A study by Emanuelsson and Lindqvist suggests
that introvert leadership can be connected to a participative or leadership-member exchange leadership
It is a good thing that the online world can be their oasis in the midst of the desert. This online paradise offers a haven for them to socialize without burning out. The opportunity to communicate and be who they want to be without fear is promising to them. Also, a place where they could lead without the fear or doubt of doing anything wrong.
Global Village and Beyond
Our world is ever-expanding and yet shrinking at the same time, due to the advent of technology. From simple telephones and telegrams to having a world in the palm of our hands. The late communication theorist Marshall McLuhan coined and called this the Global Village. We managed to share and partake in different cultures as a result of this event.
This provided everyone the opportunity to expand not just their knowledge but also their social sphere. From providing knowledge and skills to actually pitting them together, the global village knows no bounds. Introverts online benefit most from this, not only do they gain knowledge, but they also develop their social skills.
With Discord Comes Order
Another wonder is the small and specific communities that are made in the form of public forums and chat rooms. Apps and websites like Discord, and Reddit for example offer users the ability to create, choose, and join communities that they associate with. These communication apps changed the game for introverts by providing them a venue to communicate minus the anxiety.
Participating in these communities also provided introverts a chance to be themselves, or the version that they want to be. You could bring out the historian in you or be a cool fedora’d whip-totting archeologist online. This is possible through the anonymity that these online words provide.
I am thou, thou art I
The way we socialize online is sometimes different from how we really are, we call this an online persona. We wear a mask as we go online due to a lot of factors, be it for security or personal reasons. In reality, however, we always wear different masks online or in real life.
“The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends and your family. The third face, you never show anyone.”
With anonymity comes the ability to disguise yourself as a different person than you actually are. The tendency to hide who we are sometimes backfires and actually reveals more about us. Even a lot more than what we actually know or care to admit. So be warry of the you that you project online.
Escaping through games
Through gaming, introverts could engage others using their online persona. It provides them a venue to communicate and live out their fantasies. It enables them to bring out a hidden side, a side that they always wanted to show. They are free to be whoever they want, the only boundaries are their imagination and the rules inside the game.
Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPGs) are the usual getaway for gamers who project or adapt their online personas. Playing MMORPGs enables them to customize a character to their own liking, and project any personality they want. This way they can be as suave or cool than what they are in real life.
The freedom that games offer the player is the reason why even introverts choose to be more open in these worlds. The opportunity to portray their personas without the fear of judgment, hence a promising opportunity to socialize. At times the knowledge they possess about certain things are seen as blessings in the cyberspace. Hence the reason why they excel in such places.
Most games offer truly immersive experiences, here is a list of some of the games that offer the an opportunity to be someone or something different.
You take on the identity of V, a… well… you choose who V (you) wants to be. You can choose from three lifepaths: Corpo, Nomad, or Street kid. From there you take on missions related to the life path you chose, or just stray away and play it the way you like.
- You can customize the gender, lifepath, and almost everything about your character (skills, implants, etc.)
- You have the freedom to follow your lifepath or forge a new one
- Keanu Reeves is in the game
- Expect bugs and glitches (despite it being a year old)
- AI for some NPCs are just wonky
Check out the game here
ARMA III is a massive military Sandbox game. You can take on any role, from being a soldier, a terrorist, or even as a part of a citizen’s militia. It offers multiple vehicles and weapons that are fully customizable, which appeals to weapons and arms enthusiasts.
- Fully immersive military experience
- Heavy gear and character customization
- Mods gives the games more content
- Too many things happening in the UI
- Not beginner friendly
Check the game here
Final Fantasy XIV
Fancy a bit of fantasy and adventure? Perhaps the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV is more of your cup of tea. Traverse in the world of Hydaelyn as you seek your own adventure and destiny. Battle monsters, craft potions, or just hang out with the locals, you make your own destiny here.
- Free trial until you hit level 60 (on all available jobs and professions)
- Hundred of hours worth of content
- Millions of users all over the world to talk with, and multiple communities to join
- Other contents are unlocked by purchase (such as characters, maps, and expansions)
- Monthly subscriptions are needed if you want to get past the base level of 60 (Pay to Play)
- Long login queue lines from time to time
If you enjoy doing most things on your own and prefer to work without disturbance, then you’re probably an introvert. Popular media has always painted them as unsocial creatures, however, they socialize just like you and me. Rather than be concerned for them, we should normalize our view of introversion.
Gaming consequently brought fort their hidden side minus the boundaries that the real world imposes. No more worrying about the stares and whispers, nor about policing their words before they even speak. Perhaps the advent of technology really is for the modern-day introverts. I do hope that the inner introvert in you will continue to seek out adventure wherever you are. Until next time.