Other players talk about how they are able to use the MMORPG space as therapy for a variety of social anxiety problems they are struggling with.
Social phobias. I am a hermit but also avoid social situation because of anxiety. EQ offers me a way to play a video game (mind numbing, etc) yet have some social contact at the level I chose. I can guild chat, hide in an unguilded alt, participate in tradeskill chat serverwide, etc. If all flops, I can switch servers and restart new alts and new friends. If I cannot give up my alt, I can pay to change her name and just not let on it is me - something I haven't tried, btw. Via online interactions, I have identified new issues, managed to work more on issues that I had gotten stuck on, etc in my talk therapy. Kudos to eq, lol. [EQ, F, 41]
Being a bookworm by nature and none too sociable as a kid, I was very bad at talking to people. Online however, was different. I could be totally anonymous, and I could actually think of what I was going to 'say' before I said it. I was actually a darn good writer, I just was no good at talking to people. UO and EQ helped me build up a relatively accurate model of social interaction and allowed me to become better in conversation, to the point where I was normal. [EQ, M, 20]
EverQuest has always been my escape from things like a job that I hated, times in life that I wasn't sure I would live through, etc. Once I moved to a new location to be with my husband, EverQuest became my life. I have Asperger's Syndrome, meaning among many things that I have great difficulty in social situations (to the point where I would rather be alone than make friends). My online world was mostly safe and I already had my quota of friends to keep my company. My husband's family no doubt wondered why I did not want to hang out with them, and I didn't want to kill time making small talk about other people's children. I'd rather be off adventuring with my friends in Norrath. There have been a few times that I have not been able to play EverQuest for one reason or another, and I hate those times. EQIM doesn't quite cut it. If I didn't have my guild message board I would be really lost, but thankfully most of my guildmates are all real-life friends and family that I have phone numbers for. However, when I can't play EQ, I still wish I could escape into it... badly sometimes. I miss my friends. I have a difficult enough time with real life, about all I can do some days is play games and deal with the little bit of lifelikeness you can't help but come across in games. [EQ, F, 25]
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