Modern Introverts vs. Multiplayer Gaming

The sage-like potty mouth Ben “Yahtzee” Crenshaw furthers an interesting point about modern introverts in his latest editorial over at The Escapist, “Hating Multiplayer Creep“. Here is my bloated retort to his witty rant:

Basically Yahtzee laments the modern pressure to interact with “people” via video games (and other social networking experiments, methinks). What’s wrong with staying home, reading a book, drinking alone, and being an introvert?

Well, I’d say the big problem is that the introvert is not fully human. Society abhors the introvert because he doesn’t contribute to society. it’s nothing new.

I remember being thunderstruck by this passage near the end of The Hero with a Thousand Faces (free pdf here):
(skip to the near-final chapter “The Function of Myth, Cult, and Meditation” to read it the full thought)

“… the individual is necessarily only a fraction and distortion of the total image of man. … the totality – the fullness of man – is not in the separate member, but in the body of the society as a whole; the individual can only be an organ. From his group he has derived his techniques of life, the language in which he thinks, the ideas on which he thrives; … If he presumes to cut himself off, either in deed or in thought and feeling, he only breaks connection with the sources of his existence.”

Campbell goes on (and on).
But basically his point seems to be that cutting yourself off from the rest of humanity makes yourself less of a real human. You’re just a leach in the bit torrent sharing structure of culture.

Which is depressing for us introverts. Hopefully it suggests some justification for TRYING to allow outsiders into your play time. (I enjoy playing L4D with strangers, for example, because it’s fascinating to see the weird things they do, and the awful ways in which they act.)

Might seem a bit extreme to claim introverts are shitty human creatures. But I’m just trying to think it through. I think it’s a major problem in modern times, because the whole fucking world is becoming one society, and it’s hard to make time for billions of neighbors. hmmf.

(for the record I love Borderlands2. but only have one friend with time to play it on XBLA. and it was definitely designed as co-op experience. Currently debating how to write up a review in modern-game-journalist format).


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