The night after I wrote about my social anxiety and how it pertains to gaming, I went through exactly the kind of situation I’m always wary of when I’m playing an MMO — the kind of thing that I fear happening but haven’t actually experienced.
It was a beautiful sunny day and someone in the group of people I was hanging out with suggested we all go play WoW. I was seeing a full screen image on the one huge screen available, so it seemed we were dealing with, perhaps, a variant on this different images on a single TV technology.
Regardless of how I was seeing it, I had clearly been put into the second group in-game. Unfortunately three things were very wrong with that situation: I had no raid frames to monitor the groups’ health bars, I was the only healer, and the tank was in the first group. I keyboard mashed until I got shift-V to work (which pulls up health bars for friendly units in the area) and started screaming to be put into the group with the tank. Already I was panicked.
I managed to target the tank and started spamming some heals and became further stressed once I remembered that I was playing WoW post-Cataclysm, which meant I needed to be much more conservative with my mana than I was being. I changed the spells I was using to compensate, and we all just squeaked through the battle. The next fight was abysmal. The tank dropped like a stone, and someone standing near me accused me of healing too late, which riled up the whole crowd. I was horrified. We tried another fight, and everything again deteriorated to chaos. People were dying left and right. I couldn’t target. I couldn’t prioritize who to heal or what spells to heal with.
I woke up while the entire group was raging at me, and it took me a minute or two to realize that it wasn’t real — that I didn’t need to be so stressed out. Is this the gamer equivalent of the unprepared-for-a-speech or forgot-to-do-my-homework dreams? Calm down, subconscious. It’s no big deal. I promise. I don’t need to dream in social anxiety. Seriously.