A conversation is occurring in the SimBlogosphere about introversion and Simming. (See Jes2G ‘s “Normalcy, Weirdness, and Lonerism“, aroseinbloom’s “The Sims and Introversion,” and for a fictional thematic treatment, pretty much every chapter devoted to Dia and Ede in FloorRaisin’s Wolff Legacy: Fourth Generation and Fifth Generation.)
I’ve been noticing for a while that many of us who really get into wrimmingfun (my new mashup for “writing” + “Simming” = “So much fun”) tend to be introverts.
Jes2G provides a useful clarification on the distinction between introversion and extraversion–the same distinction used by Myers/Briggs, who derive their terms from Jung.
Extraversion – Our energy moves toward the outer world of people, places and things; the world outside of us
Introversion – Our energy moves toward the inner world of thoughts and ideas; the world inside of us
As Jes2G points out, introverts often feel drained when surrounded by the overstimulating input of too many people. We get our energy from turning within, not turning without.
For me, it’s partly a matter of the feelings and emotions of others. I find I can handle office meetings of five people well: I can keep track of everyone’s body language, emotions, feelings, thoughts, and verbal cues. More than five, and I quickly become overstimulated. It will take a long walk or long hours in the garden to bring me back to center as I process how the meeting went for everyone and how everyone was feeling during and afterwards.
Simming allows me to observe others without being part of the mix. I can enjoy the presence of more than five Sims! Rarely is Simming overstimulating for me. I can pause the game to check in with how each of my Sims is feeling, and I can save the game and return later to carve time for processing what has happened.
Writing about the Sim games is even better, for then I’m able to combine empathy and imagination.
Introverts tend to live from the inside out. Empathy and imagination are our sources of energy and provide the juice for making sense of the world. When we Sim, our games become infused with our empathy and imagination–and when we write, then we’re able to find the meaning within this experience.
My Sims show me life themes in a variety of flavors. Some of my Sims live these themes as I would–and I have the luxury of reflecting on my own life and what I’ve learned through living. Other Sims, like the Royal Llama Tamer, are so unlike me–and yet, through my experience of playing life through these Sims’ eyes, my narrow borders expand. I gain what every introvert craves: to experience from the inside out what it is to be another.
More turns in the conversation:
From SummerFalls: Lonerism – Weirdness – Normalcy
From VanityHigh: SimSelf | The Extroverted Introvert