Posted tagged ‘shyness’

Introducing *Paranoid*

June 29, 2011

A couple of days ago, I was pointed to a post by Döra about social anxiety, and about her guild Paranoid.

Paranoid is a guild for the socially awkward, the shy, the people who’d like to raid, but get a headache just thinking about all the things they could screw up. The people who type a message to someone who’s LFM in trade, then backspace, then type, backspace, type, stare at what they’ve written, backspace again and go quest on their own. And if they do press enter, they’re relieved if they get the reply: “Sorry, full.”

Can I tell how much I wish I’d found a guild like this when I first started playing WoW? Maybe it wouldn’t have taken me a year to reach max level. Maybe I would have gotten to experience end-game dungeons and Vanilla raiding. Heck, maybe it wouldn’t have taken me two years to get over my “never going to play with others” mentality!

This was me

I know I have a couple of readers who’ve mentioned they’d like to be part of a guild that understood shyness. So if you play on the EU side of the pond and you’d give group play a try if it weren’t for those blasted butterflies/stomach knots/icky sweating, there’s a guild out there for you, where you can meet quite a few fellow players who totally get you.

I also got the opportunity to exchange briefly with Döra/Thriftee and Mershelle (an officer and the GM of Paranoid, respectively) and both are lovely ladies whom I’m positive would make for fantastic guildies.

To find them, look up Paranoid on Emerald Dream EU, or drop by their webpage.

Going off on a tangent, I noticed a link on my stats page from a thread on the official forums. “Uh oh” I thought! But it turned out that one of my early posts was linked in the thread that spawned Paranoid. Can I tell you how excited I was? (Except for the fact that it was an early post and my writing back then was atrocious! I cringed so many times rereading that post!)

Being a blogger, I think of myself as a bit of an artist. Like maybe a part time artist. I attempt to turn elements of myself into something somewhat creative in order to share them. Whether or not I succeed is up to the reader to decide. But when a piece I’ve written contributes, however minimally, to something greater, the feeling is incredible. It’s at times like these that I feel like I’ve succeed as a part-time bit-of-an-artist. When I feel like I’ve had a part, though tiny, in making a difference.

Anyway, props to Mershelle, Döra and the rest of the crew behind Paranoid! As you guys (and many of us too) know, WoW is a refuge to a lot of socially anxious or socially isolated (or both!) persons, but quite often we find ourselves just as cut off in the virtual world as we do in the real one. You guys have build a network, a support system, and maybe even a stepping stone for a lot of people. And, to me, that’s beautiful.

How to Keep Shyness from Ruining Your Game

April 7, 2011

I was recently pointed towards a blog post that could have been written by me a couple years ago: an extremely timid player who struggles with the multiplayer aspect of the game. Her struggles being due to her overwhelming shyness sucking the fun out of just about any in-game social interaction. I’ll spare her the link love as being the center of attention isn’t her forte. I know you guys are awesome and stuff, but easing ones way into the blogosphere has to be done at that person’s own pace.

Edit: I got the ok from Glorwynn to link her original post.

Writing about social phobia (I don’t like the term “social anxiety”, sounds too pop psychology. I prefer the direct translation of the French term since “phobia” is a far more accurate description.) was how I made a name for myself as a blogger. I’m still a pretty shy person in game. I won’t talk on voice chat if there are more than 4-5 people in the channel, I won’t initiate conversations unless I know the player well, I have to be in the right state of mind to join random raid PuG and it takes me weeks to months before I’ll type in a new guild or raid chat.

But you know what? That’s totally fine with me. I’ve reached a point where I’m satisfied with my comfort zone and I don’t care to go beyond it right now. I’m not a particularly social person, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

Where social phobia is a problem is when it gets in the way of the things you want to do. When you want to try healing but can’t because you can’t be around other players enough to give it a go. When you’re itching to see content but can’t because guilds (PuG raids are obviously out of the question at this point) are unbearably stressful to you. When loading screens make you nauseous.

If I’ve learned anything from my two years of blogging about WoW (and it has been two years exactly! Today is my second blogoversary!), it’s that people like me, and like the author of the original post, are a lot more common than we’d think. It’s just that quiet people are, well, quiet. You don’t see us, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t there.

So, what’s the advice I’d give new players who aren’t quite comfortable with the social aspects of the game?
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