This blog focuses mostly on social activities in InWorldz – events, roleplay, places to meet like-minded people. While those are without a doubt the things that draw most people into a virtual world, there is another, often forgotten group that actually really enjoys virtual worlds: introverts.
[pic: Relaxing on my sim Midsommar. All alone! ]
In fact, virtual worlds are fantastic for introverts! We don’t have to leave the comfort zone of our homes to explore amazing places created by incredibly imaginative people. Historical places, virtual museums, art in so many different ways.I have met the most amazing and fascinating people from all over the world, people I would never have had the chance to meet otherwise. But it took time.
Introverts don’t tend to be the life of a party. Most only warm up in a small group of people they have known for a while and feel comfortable with. And even then, sometimes we just want to be alone and are really quite happy in our own company.
Sometimes I’m an angry introvert. When there is too much focus on social activities and we are being told that we have to mingle in order to fit in. Well, no, we really don’t. One of the wonderful things about virtual worlds is that we can be almost anything we want, whenever we want to and with whomever we want.
To me and I think most other introverts, being social requires a lot of energy. I remember a day some 3 or even 4 years ago I hosted an InWorldz event for a friend. If I remember right, my friend had gotten ill and I filled in for her. I had to be very social and make light-hearted conversation for some 7 (seven!) hours straight. I was exhausted. I was so totally knackered I felt I had just run a marathon. I needed two or three weeks of minimal social interaction to recharge my batteries. I don’t want to say I didn’t enjoy the event because I did. Only it took a lot of energy out of me.
A lot of – but by no means all – creative people are introverts. We all enjoy their creations and want to surround ourselves with them. But it takes time and that time is spent in workshops rather than at parties.
I hope this post doesn’t sound angry or alienating. The reason I thought this had to be said is that I have heard from not few people that they feel alienated by the emphasis on social events. And I agree, it can be alienating and overwhelming. But really, it shouldn’t be. Virtual worlds can offer so many divers activities for both introverts and extroverts, there is no reason that either group should feel excluded.
If you’re an introvert and you feel intimidated by the emphasis on “being social” – don’t. From one introvert to the other, there is SO much you can do that doesn’t require social interaction. If you don’t feel like meeting people, you can visit one of the many art galleries. Or get a boat, a plane, even a horse drawn carriage, and go for a ride. Maybe you just want to enjoy virtual “nature” – there are so many places in InWorldz where you can do just that.
The main point I’m trying to make is that virtual worlds are inclusive and nobody should have to apologise for being “different”. There is room for everyone and every single one of us contributes to the diversity – whether we’re really outgoing and can’t wait to make friends from all over the world or whether we just want to unwind from a stressful day at work. We can even get in shape without going to a gym – check out InShape for a fun way to get some exercise.
Enjoy YOUR InWorldz, however YOU want to.