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5-09-2011 @ 8:27AM
I'm a very shy and introversial person, and as such, I don't really have what you would call 'friends'. I prefer it that way, since I have bad experiences with friends, but sometimes, I like to have people with similar interests to talk to.WoW, therefore, has become the place where I have friendships. I've had breaks from the game before, but I always come back because I miss the people that I play with.
5-09-2011 @ 9:11AM
Talk to a therapist or a religious leader you trust. Seriously.Real world interactions and people are much better than a video game.I feel for you.
5-09-2011 @ 9:27AM
This is not entirely unusual. I've found that several of my in-game friends suffer from social anxiety disorders as well as one who deals with Asperger's Syndrome, which can make it challenging for them to interact with people face-to-face. However, WoW provides them a safer way to interact, be creative, and have fun in a way they aren't comfortable or capable of doing outside of the game.
5-09-2011 @ 10:26AM
This has pretty much been my experience. Social anxiety problems (and potential Aspergers...wish it wasn't so costly to diagnose as an adult) have made the first 27 years of my life difficult in terms of interacting with other people. Online games allowed me to make friendships without any of the bullshit I normally had to deal with, namely a fight-or-flight response screaming in the back of my head.Simply not understanding people on an empathic level often brands me as weird, quirky, or creepy. I just don't read body language, for example. As you can imagine, that's not nearly as much of a handicap when talking online - everybody knows some level of misunderstanding is going to happen.Another benefit of online social interaction is that I have plenty of time to think my responses through. Delayed social responses in person risk increasing awkardness, whereas just shooting off the first thing that comes to mind is far, far riskier (the few IRL friends I do have - especially my wife - can attest to this).These aren't things a psychologist can "fix". You just have to learn to adapt and fake it the best you can. I imagine specialists in this field (not general psychologists) can help someone learn the ropes faster than trying to learn it yourself, though. I also imagine general psychologists can identify when a specialist is needed.
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