What I learned from playing Slender

A few months after the game Slender came out, I was walking out of my room on my way to a friend’s. Little did I expect to see  group of grown college-aged men, my RA at the time included running out of the suite yelling and screaming.

As it turns out, they had indeed been playing Slender. In the dark. With speakers turned up all the way. With a bunch of others so as to create a situation of groupthink. While I wasn’t particularly judging, I was interested in the game and played it myself (read: scared the crap out of myself multiple times for pleasure).

This, my friends, is Slenderman. Screenshot from the game.

Over the weekend, I showed the game Slender to my uncles. Somehow scary games came up in converstion and after mentioning it–we decided to set it up on my dad’s projector and play it together. I went first: all went well up until the third page. Suddenly, Slenderman appeared and I let out a YELL of fear. In front of everybody. A-whoops!

But thinking about it more, I was emotionally invested in the game. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I feel like I am pretty well in touch with my emotions and feelings. If you are interested in seeing me toot my own horn, click here for a 3 second video of me doing so.

Staying in touch with emotions is a good thing. Emotions and feelings are one of the critical differences between us and other non evolved animals. Those emotions let us form societies and social contracts–they let us grow by letting us empathize and connect with others.

Learning how to harness the power of interactions is hard, nigh impossible–but with a dedication to learn we can all learn how to get started. All it takes is a willingness to make an effort to connect with others. We’re never going to be perfect, but we can all improve even a little bit.

ScaredEmotions

Do it, go the extra mile to get emotionally involved with the situation. While at times it will mean you’ll let out a yell in front of everybody because a fictional man with many appendages jumps out at you from behind a computer screen, it also means that you will build real connections in life. What are you waiting for! Connect!

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