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November 1, 2008 / jadettman

Gaming as socialization, also Hallowe'en

Last night Britt and I went to James and Megan’s house for their Hallowe’en party. It was a small and pleasant affair where I ended up eating too much chocolate and chips and dip. Seriously, though, it was a good time.

Generally speaking, I’m not much interested in parties, especially once they get above ten people. In my experience, parties tend to be loud, crowded, and filled with more food and alcohol than I prefer to be around. The food because I like good food and too frequently over-eat, the alcohol because I don’t partake myself. (To make myself clear, I’ve got no problem with alcohol at parties or other people drinking alcohol. I’ve had some unpleasant experiences with people over-indulging and doing stupid things in the past which make me wary. That is all.)

The thing about parties with more than ten people is that I just don’t like large groups of people. I find crowds unpredictable and, sometimes, large groups of people make me uncomfortable. My strategy until I was around 20 was to find a quiet corner, or some other out of the way nook, and keep to myself which also allowed me to indulge in people-watching. More recently, my large-party strategy is to find someone interesting to talk to and stick close to them (luckily, I rarely go to parties without my wife these days).

This brings us around to gaming as socialization. For the last seventeen years, since I was about 18, gaming has been my primary source of socializing. Games provide stimulating activity (and something to do during otherwise awkward silences) while simultaneously providing opportunities for conversation. Quite frankly, I like gaming as socialization because even if we’re having a conversation about the weather or yardwork I’ve still got something engaging larger parts of my brain (yes, that’s right, I like thinking). Also, gaming is fun (and I also like fun).

Lately, though, I’ve been gaming and socializing less. This is mostly because of a lack of free time on Britt’s part, our smaller social network, and the fact that our social network has been slow in growing.

It’s getting better, though, so I figure I just need to give it more time.

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