Hello my name is Sean aged 20 and I have been playing MMOs for over 7 years.
I am what you might call that "wierd guy" in school/college/work. I'm not outgoing or agressive but stay back watching and thinking. I am great in 1on1 conversation but am easily intimidated by groups of loudmouths. I quickly become target number 1 for the bully that exsists in all places. People avoided me just because I was quiet and would often join in on the bullying. As result I am surrounded but always alone. I had hidden in school toilets to skip bully-filled lessons, had no usefull help from twisted councillors or ignorant parents, and made preperations for suicide before I was saved by the most unlikely savior.
In a strange contrast broadband internet was just introduced and I became a full-on multiplayer gamer. I joined clans and found myself thinking about my online friends non stop. Through this I learned that I am not an antisocial disabled freak but someone who looks for purpose and cooperation in conversation. I made strong bonds and found myself without inhibition, I was myself and I did'nt hold back what I had to say. For once in my life I felt respected and strong.
When my clan suddenly died I was alone again and I looked for a replacement. I read a review for an MMO and it immediatly caught my imagination. Here I could use my decade knowledge and experiance of games with hundreds of other gamers in hundreds of different ways. The game I played was Neocron and I played it for 3 years non-stop 6-8 hours an evening as soon as I finished school to midnight. Almost immediatly I knew a healer role was for me and I quickly made friends to play with. Everyone knew healers were hard to play and most hated being the "helper" so I got huge respect and made some of the strongest friends I will ever know.
I have played many MMOs now most recent being WoW for 3 years in a guild I almost consider my real family. I have people on my MSN I've been talking to for 8 years.
I take absolutly no interest in real life friendships anymore, the cost and the backstabbing is discusting. Also I've become more horrified by the risks of real life every day. I got trailed by a unmarked police car on the way to work and got a speeding fine for driving 3 MpH over the limit. If it happens again I'm banned for driving for a year and get a criminal record. A criminal for hurting no one, damaging nothing, just the "rules" and someone doing their "job".
I continue to be bullied as an adult at work and have learned that most people will never mature and will live as animals in a civilised society because "good guys never win".
Honestly I find MMOs more mature and realistic than real life today. I am a strong and happy person fighting quietly against a world that almost made me put myself in a coffin just because of the way I am.
So is it me that needs help to cure this "problem" so I can conform to their ways and attitudes, or is it the country/people that live here/unspoken herd attitudes and stereotypes that controls everyone I meet in real life?