I had several titles in mind for this entry, I just really, really like quotes to convey a message. It takes me back to that scene or that event where the dialogue originates. As well sometimes someone else has just captured something in their dialogue, and for me to try and re-state it wouldn't be fair.
So what I'm speaking to in this entry has to do with some of the promoting I had been doing for my Gaming and Health event a few Friday's ago (I thought it went really well, but unfortunately I was having trouble with internet access. I'll be doing it again on July 25th, and I'm working to make a Twitch broadcast possible. In the mean time, check out my channel and consider subscribing for updates: http://www.twitch.tv/stevagorn8).
I've gotten a lot of really positive feedback on the event. This, of course, is thrilling for me. Unfortunately, the positive stuff often gets forgotten when something really negative is experienced. That's a survival instinct of ours by the way. We tend to focus on things that are unpleasant. As a point of teaching, my understanding of this focus process is that it comes from old survival skills developed in our long history of evolving. If we don't attend to negative stimuli more intently we run the possibility of getting hurt. So we tend to take in positive stimuli and enjoy it briefly, but really focus on negative experiences as warnings. This can, of course, get in the way of our mental health if the negative stuff sticks around too long. The reality is that much of what we tend to linger on today isn't really as useful as it once was in our species' developmental history.
In any case, I was experiencing some negative responses when I was presenting my Gaming and Health event to a number of my peers in a few different settings. I was really spending some time thinking about it on my drive out of work the other day. I had attended four noteworthy professional gatherings where I spoke about Gaming and Health (and in particular, my specific event) over the last 2 months. At every one of these gatherings I noticed at least one person, but more often two or three people who were glaring at me as I was speaking. Now this wasn't any little "I'm not sure of what he's talking about" concerned look. This was a "How Dare You!" sort of expression. I deal with human expressions a lot in my work, I'm familiar with many of them. These looks were very clearly anger and disgust. None of these individuals stuck around so I could approach them after I was done speaking, so I won't be able to find out why they were looking at me like this. It's possible they had a perfectly legitimate reason to be glaring at me. However, I have some suspicions as to the origin of the expressions.
Incidentally, there's a whole science to expressions. If you're not familiar with it, check out the work of Paul Ekman (http://www.paulekman.com/paul-ekman/) I've always found it fascinating. These were not "micro expressions" though. These were very clear, and they lingered. I've gotten these expressions of disgust a number of times before. It always occurs once my love of gaming (or other geeky parts of my experience) are shared with peers in my profession. Now it's definitely not everyone, I've made a lot of professional friends too. In fact many who aren't just open minded, but full fledged Geek/Gamer professionals like myself. However, it unfortunately still comes up much more than I'd like, that people aren't happy with me. I attribute this to a general lack of understanding with regard to gaming and geeky stuff. I find it really disappointing. I've said this before on this blog, but if you're spending time judging me. Trust that I've noticed it, and unfortunately trust that I'm judging you back. My judgment is always associated with sadness, though, not of disgust. I don't understand why we should ever find an opportunity to look down on something someone else loves. If what you love isn't hurting you or someone else, what business do I have to tell you it's wrong. That's no matter how many licenses, professional certifications, or degrees I have. If it's not causing you or anyone else any sort of issue, then it's not my business to tell you that what you're doing isn't OK. The more I've put myself out there to my fellow geeks and gamers, the more I've had an opportunity to meet some of the most interesting and wonderful folks. So I won't dedicate any more time to the glares I received, I'm just turning it into a lesson. Life's simply too short to spend it with that amount of disgust.