Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Identities

Everyone identifies strongly with something, be it a sport, a hobby or a particular role in life. People can have many things that they identify with, and give themselves different labels accordingly.  All of these labels combine to help create a person's identity, and they often form in the teenage years.

You know what I'm talking about.

The geeks hung out with the geeks, the jocks hung out with the jocks.  I was a geek, but I was a gamer geek.  I've been playing  massively multiplayer online video games (MMORPGs) since I was 13. I loved the intricate nature of the environment, the endless possibilities and the luxury of not having to see the people I was interacting with in person.

Why, might you ask, was it a luxury to not have to physically see the people I was interacting with?

At nearly 200lbs and the heaviest I'd ever been, my teenage years were filled with bullies.  Compassion is not frequently found among teenagers and it was difficult to not let it get to me.  I took solace in my interactions with people online. It helped me realize that I was worth knowing even if I was physically unattractive. My first boyfriend was even someone I met online!

Flash forward to 2005, my sophomore year of college, and I was still playing MMORPGs.  Only now they helped me bond with a group of people I still call friends to this day.  It was something that we could talk about and play together. It was one of the happiest times of my life; I learned that I could interact with people in person and online without being scrutinized for my physical features.

These games were a saving grace for me while I was growing up.  They guided me towards my career path as a software engineer and helped me find friends.

However...

There comes a time in life when letting go of a particular identity helps you grow.  I've reached that point with MMORPGs. I've decided that I would rather let go of being a gamer, than stop being a runner. In truth, I no longer have the time to dedicate to gaming to make it worthwhile.  My health is extremely important to me and I cannot fathom giving up my exercise.  As such, I will not be purchasing the World of Warcraft expansion pack in December.

On that note, for any of my readers who have gamed with me in the past, I will miss you. Please keep in touch! :)