Gen Con, one of the largest board gaming conventions on the planet, starts this week, and I, Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise… won’t be there.
“How?” the imaginary person on my left may ask, “How could you miss an event of this size? The crowds, the spectacle? Don’t you want to go?” Well, the answer is, yes, I do want to go. But, while conflicting commitments do play a part in the reason why I’m not, I would be remiss if I didn’t confess that the size, the crowds and the spectacle weren’t also a factor.
See, it all boils down to something I recently learned about personalities, specifically introverts and extroverts.
While an extrovert is a person who is energized by interacting with other people in social situations, an introvert finds such interaction exhausting, mentally and physically. And it wasn’t until just a couple years ago that I admitted to myself that I’m two heaping scoops of introvert.
“But wait”, the imaginary person on my right may ask, “don’t you not only host a gaming group in your town, and haven’t you been attending as many local conventions as possible, things all centered on interacting with others?”
Well, my first response is, “Who let all these imaginary people in here?”
But my second response is, yes, I do. And each is a struggle for nerve. But I do it to spite, to vanquish, the paralyzing anxiety that introversion can cause.
Now, not every introverted gamer wants to push themselves to become more social, and that’s absolutely fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, for the bashful among us who want to find more gamers to interact with, but let our apprehension prevent us from doing so, I’m introducing a new series, Meeples For Sheepish Peoples, based on my own experiences and what I’ve done to overcome convention-induced cold sweats.
My attempts to conquer my introversion, so it doesn’t prevent me from taking part in the activities I want to, are not always successful. But, hopefully, I’ll be able to take my own advice from this upcoming series, and then see you guys at GenCon next year.