Written by Cynella; PSHG Founder and Team Writer
When Home opened, I was so excited, there was a giant virtual world where I could become a character much like in Sims, but even better. I no longer had to worry about feeding or doing mundane tasks to keep my character alive. I could finally focus on what I always wanted to do in Sims; make friends, throw parties and have fun. Not sure how much fun it would have been on Sims, listening to the characters carry on in the Sims language, though.
In the beginning, not wanting to spend any money, I spent much of my time seeking out all of the free items Home had to offer and glitching. If it was free, I would spend hours trying to win it. It was important to me not to be called a noob. This new world began to consume my life. Every moment not at work, I wanted to be in Home. Starting out I made friends with a group of people, that were Bench Warmers. We spent many hours standing on the Central Park bench, discussing everything from noob behavior to politics. At this point in time, I was in Home on the weekdays for 3 hours a day. On the weekends I could easily be in Home for up to 8 hours, without blinking an eye. I enjoyed making new friends and making fun of the plaza pervs, noobs and idiots. Occasionally I would wonder why I was so attracted to this virtual world. Was it an escape from my mundane life, or was it new and exciting enough to capture my attention for so long?
After a couple of months, me and my friend Praise_B decided to start holding Bible Study Meetings. At first it was just us, discussing different aspects of the Bible, listening to music and joining together in prayer. Not too long after, we had a clubhouse and were holding regular meetings. On Wednesday nights I would teach, on Sundays she would. I had taken the next step in my Home life and started becoming more involved. Life was great, I was teaching (which I loved) and helping people with their problems in real life. I would casually joke, I should change my Status to The Doctor Is : In. The time came that we felt it was time to grow our club.
In order to find more people to join our club, I joined Playstation Home Today to begin advertising. While there, I met some great people that opened up new clubs and opportunities for me. HomeStyles Magazine had just published Issue 1 of their new magazine. After reading it, I decided that I wanted to be a part of the team. I messaged NJramal and became a part of a great fanzine. Now I was not only a social butterfly, but I was teaching Bible Study, and writing. Life was great! Or was it?
Meanwhile, real life was being seriously neglected. My family stopped calling, knowing that I would be busy. In Home, I continued jumping around from group to group, I can’t even tell you how many groups of friends I went through. They all were the same, extremely fun to hang out with, and then there would be one person that would break the group up over something stupid. By this time I was in Home on the Weekdays 7 hours a day, and an easy 15 hours on the weekend. Home began taking over my life completely, and did I mention Facebook? Facebook is great for hanging out with your PSN friends, while not near your PS3.
For two years, my life was consumed with Playstation Home. I found nothing else to be interesting. I finally came to the conclusion I was hiding from my mundane life. Work was something I went to, so that I could keep my house, I didn’t enjoy it and would long to be on Home. My husband had become a roommate, someone who was in the same house as me, but conversation was kept to a minimum. He had become addicted to Home several months before me, in turn I buried myself in Home to hide from the reality of his addiction.
After 2 years of living as strangers with my husband, we began to talk again. He began to play games to earn trophies, and we started using games to spend time together. I began coming out of my shell. Of course I was still writing for fanzines, but I began to enjoy life a bit more. Each day brought new opportunities, and as time passed; my desire to live in a virtual world began to become minimal. I quickly learned that the vast world of Home would go on without me.
While writing for HomeStyle’s, I decided that I wanted to start a website that not only told of what new updates were coming out, but that took the items and reviewed them honestly. After the split up of HomeStyles Magazine; most of us embarked on the journey of creating HomeStation Magazine. I was excited and optimistic about this new venture and was writing for both HomeStation and PS Home Gazette. End the end, I didn’t agree with HomeStations’ ideas of being solely a Social Magazine and left to devote more time to The Gazette.
Now, I enjoy spending time in Home as much as I can. Unfortunately, with my work schedule, this can mean only a few hours a week. I spend a lot of time, keeping up with The Gazette, coordinating articles and writing some as well. The support of my husband, helps tremendously and what I do not have time for, he picks up the slack. Together, we have helped build a team of great individuals, all looking for a place to write about what they love the most. Most importantly, we work together as a team; No one is held higher than the other, and we all pitch in to bring you informed walkthroughs and game reviews.
Too much of one thing can be hazardous to your health. That doesn’t mean you have to turn your back on it completely. The key is moderation. It’s okay to lose yourself in a virtual world, just don’t forget your obligations in the real world.
In the beginning, I was searching for a way to escape reality; instead I have developed a stronger relationship with my husband, spend time with my family, found a hobby that I love and great friends to go with it.
Featured Pic Credit: http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs50/i/2009/336/e/e/Ps3_Addict__by_ilikeorangecrayons.jpg