Home Is Where The Heart Is

by Burbie52, HSM team writer

One of life’s truths is that where you put your energy, what you pour yourself into, is where your heart is. It can be a relationship, a job, a religion, our children, or anything else you can think of. As humans, we have a tendency to pick something and put ourselves into it fully. For some people that something is Home.

Many people don’t understand the concept of Home at all. They have never experienced a virtual reality like this, and probably never will. I have tried on numerous occasions to explain Home to my brothers, but even though they are gamers like myself, they just don’t get the appeal. They look at me with glassy eyes and shake their heads murmuring that I am off my nut for believing that anything I am experiencing in Home is real. “How can you know that any of those people are what they say they are?” is the usual response.

But I do know that most of the people I have met here are real and telling me the truth about their lives. I keep trying to explain that I have spoken to many of these people for over two years now, and I think if they were all lying to me, they would have made mistakes and gotten caught at it by now. I am sure many of us in Home have had that experience already in their relationships here — I know I have.

Home is an incredibly deep experience if you dig into it, a place of many sides. You have the gaming side, of course — that is a natural progression for those who stumble in here because it is the one thing that binds us all together. We are all gamers, or we wouldn’t even be here. Then there is the fun side, for without fun being a part of the quotient, none of us would have stayed here long enough to find out anything else about this place. There is the creative side that is expressed through art, film, music, creating cities and houses, and decorating both our avatars and personal spaces.

Meeting people – one important reason for Home

Then we come to the social side, which plays a huge part in Home’s success or failure,  because many people come here to meet others for gaming partners and friendship. There is the serious side of this as well: for many people, this place is a haven for social interactivity, one they would never have in real life for reasons that range from illness to social anxiety.

Then there is the emotional side — for some have found a real life partner in Home. I know this it true because of the wonderful stories told here, and from personal experiences with my friends, who have found people they can love through Home.

We have all come here for our own reasons — even the people who don’t contribute to the community or try to tear it down have come for their own purposes. The past year has given us a lot of changes in Home, many of which haven’t been popular with some people. When I came into Home almost three years ago, I met and became friends with six very interesting and unique people. Of the six, only two come into Home at all anymore, and one of those two comes only occasionally. They are on my friends list still because they found their way into my heart because of all of the great times we had together. And though I don’t see most of them anymore, I will never delete them from my list, even though it is full and I could use the space.

“Home is where the heart is” is usually used to describe our real life homes, where our families live with us, or our parents still live without us, depending on our situation in life. But I think we can apply it to our virtual Home as well — because Home and how it relates to you depends on where you put your time and energy, where you put your heart.

My club – The Grey Gamers

For me, the heart lies in the community of wonderful friends, clubs and this magazine. Without these things, I would have a much duller and more solitary life now that I live alone and have a grown son who has a life of his own to live. When I started in Home, I was still married. I am no longer, but don’t worry — that was a good thing for me and for my ex-husband, and though he couldn’t see it at the time, I believe he does now. It was what had to happen to allow us both the freedom to grow past the rut we were stuck in. Being in Home with my friends helped me through that time of transition in many ways.

Home gave me a place to laugh and good friends to share that laughter, and it gave me a focus through my writing about it. It still does all of these things long after the fact. It gave me the distraction I needed in my free time to move on with my life, and in this I found solace and a wonderful outlet for my creative juices as well. Through Home, I am able to live in a fantasy world of beautiful homes I can decorate any way I like, vacation spots I will probably never see in real life, and behind all of it real friendships with people from all over the United States and the world I would have never gotten the chance to know any other way. This is invaluable to me — it has been a lifeline at times when my real world life was crashing down around my ears.

Home is what you make it

It has been said that all of us are damaged goods in one way or another, and that is what keeps us here in Home. Here we have found something that was missing in our lives. But I say though that is probably true in most cases, everyone on this planet is damaged somehow. None of us is perfect, or has had a perfect existence in the real world. It is true that some may be more damaged than others through circumstance, but I believe that anyone could find value in this wonderful place we call Home, for reasons as diverse and individual as the people who come here.

Sony didn’t have a clue what would happen when they created this place. They didn’t even know if it would be successful. They are still working on fully understanding what they have built here, and where it is going to go. For them, it may be as simple as making a profit. But Home has evolved way past what they envisioned, and though they have made 2012 “the year of the game”, I believe for Home to continue to thrive, more focus has to be placed on making 2013 the year of social revolution. Our avatars need to evolve with the rest of Home, and we can already see the beginnings of that evolution in the new abilities they have acquired recently — flight, super speed, and new dance moves, added as easily as changing an outfit. I hope this trend continues throughout the coming year, because if it does, Home will become a place with much more heart.

 

November 10th, 2012 by | 4 comments
Burbie52 is a 62 year-old published author and founder of the Grey Gamers group within Home. Born and raised in Michigan, she has lived there her entire life, with the exception of a twelve-year residency on the Big Island of Hawaii. She enjoys reading and writing, as well as video games, especially RPG's. She has one son in his twenties.

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4 Responses to “Home Is Where The Heart Is”

  1. KrazyFace says:

    Weird. I was just kinda thinkin’ this as I made my way to my coffee house this morning. But in my mind, it played through like a TV ad for the place lol. The teenage girl talking excitedly about ‘he said, she said’, her fashion statements, her favorite outfits etc. Then the voice-over changes to a 20-something male who talks about kickin’ his friends backsides by beating their lap times in S2, blastin’ stuff in Uproar, NML and Salt Shooter. Next it cuts to a woman talking about her fortnightly art-shows with everyone mingling around in Figment stuff and having dinner parties. Last cut would be an old guys voice saying that he likes schooling the young guns in how to play poker as the camera runs up the High Scores tables, resting at the top where his name is revealed as CarDKilla68. Then final phase-out just says “Home… It’s where your heart is”

  2. ted2112 says:

    Wonderful article Burbie,

    The social side to Home is as important as the game side. I feel to some people one side may be more than the other, but one thing is for sure…Home needs BOTH the social side and the game side for it to exist. Take away one and it’s nothing.

    In the beginning of Home there wasn’t much games going on, so we were forced to be social or we didn’t return to the game. I think this made the social side to Home vital to many people, myself included. Well done!

  3. Nami3 says:

    Nice piece, Burbie52.
    As an adventure and shooter gamer, I hesitated entering the unknown world called Home when it arrived. A week later, I ventured in. Since that day and now, years later, Home has become THE place online for me to find fun, excitement, buddies, solace, comfort, and happiness. And there are even games to play.

    Through real life tough times, including illness, layoffs, death of a loved one, and a couple of failed cars, Home has been there. And in good times, for holidays, birthdays, new jobs, promotions and anniversaries, Home has become an integral part of the celebrations, with both real life and Home only friends, all in real time.

    For me, Home is an emotional rest stop. A place to take a break from hours of chores or Uncharted 3 Multiplayer. A place find solace and consolation in my Space Apartment. A place to visit with Home friends and real life friends who make you laugh, share with you, and support you. A place to meet new avatars and the cool people behind them. A place to try on a new outfit.

    Home has a place in my heart, thanks to PSN for taking a chance and making it possible, and of course thanks to my Home friends. Right on, Burbie52.

  4. riffraffse7en says:

    Although there is plenty of unnatural behavior on Home, and there is a whole heaping boatload of drama to be had at the drop of a hat, I still would not give up my interaction here with my friends. I recently sat and had a victory dinner when a friend signed closing papers on his house. I met him on Home and he lives about 300 miles away. I told him that we should have a victory dinner. So he went out and bought Sushi take out and so did I and we sat in front of the cam (my Sony eye) and had dinner together and laughed… after that he pulled out his guitar and taught me a few tricks because I am just learning. And then one of my other Home friends from Florida 3000 miles away came on and played guitar with us… and then a friend from Australia joined in… discussing games and cultural differences.

    I am pretty impressed with how Home has expanded my world.

    Today had a birthday party with friends from all over the place in my Home clubhouse. We sang, played music, danced, recited poetry and told each other awful jokes and laughed. I had such a great time! And now I am going out with my real life friends to have some more fun. :)

    I am so glad that home has helped me meet people that I would have never had exposure to at all if it were not for this technology.

    Kudos for a great article Burbie

    And btw thank you for being a wonderful Home Friend.

    Riff

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