And you know, even if I didn't hate people, I would probably still prefer finding entertainment by myself, and that's what I hate about the world today. I want to know when the concept of 'me-time' started becoming a dirty word. I once heard from Charlie Brooker's excellent Screenwipe program that TV adverts for alcohol aren't allowed to show people drinking alone, because apparently this is unhealthy behavior. But I like drinking alone. What's unhealthy about settling in of an evening, reading a book or watching some Let's Plays, and enjoying a lovely crisp dry Strongbow while you're at it? Why is getting a pleasant little buzz on only sanctioned by society when other people are watching you do it, and potentially watching you embarrass yourself?
It's true, though, isn't it? This is a society that demonizes the introvert. In movie tropes it's always the quiet dude surfing the internet alone in his room who you're supposed to assume is the potential serial murderer. Whenever there's a "lone wolf" hero, getting them to "come out of their shell" and "learn to love again" is always, always part of their character arc, usually through the browbeating of a more outgoing character. It's like there's this assumption that every introvert secretly wants to learn how to love clubbing or holding someone else's fucking baby but doesn't know how to ask, when in reality I find both those activities less enchanting than nailing my foot to the floor.
Lately it seems like all entertainment media is trying to be the manic pixie dream girl who exists to take us by the hand and bring us out into the open as it spends more and more nights of unprotected passion with social networking services. Ten years from now you won't even be able to sit out on your balcony and read a book without some spring-loaded device on the spine launching a pop-up over the page letting us know that some loser in Cincinatti is also reading the book and would I like to chat about it.
Creators just assume that everyone likes this sort of thing because the ones who don't are us introverts, and introverts don't comment or write complaints cause we're too introverted. But I'm speaking for my people, now. If someone's my friend then I'll go over and talk to them when I'm out drinking of an evening, but that doesn't mean I want to face the slavering hordes with them all afternoon in a videogame as well.
And as for the activities of random strangers, I couldn't give a dingleberry. Fuck random strangers. I don't want to know what their high scores were. I don't want to know what they thought of the Youtube video I'm watching. I don't want to hear their opinions being read out on the TV news. I don't want them to start talking to me on the bus. And above all else I don't want them pissing through my letter box. So stop it, Mr. Collins.
Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn't talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.