Earlier today I saw one of those tweets of "RT this if X has...". In this case X was Final Fantasy XIV and the rest of the tweet was a small list of things that the game might have helped. I just RTed it because I liked it and then didn't give it another thought.
Since I have no shame when it comes to stealing ideas for topics here is how MMORPGs helped me in real life:
It helped me gain confidence in my English skills
One thing people soon find out about me is that English is not my native language, it is in fact my second language. My native language for those curious is Brazilian Portuguese.
I had to learn English as a kid because my mother thought it would be good for my professional future (and she was right). However since just learning a language in a course will only take you so far, my skills only improved with it thanks to reading a lot of websites about tabletop RPGs and tech sites.
Even then I wasn't completely confident in my abilities in writing in English. Have you ever seem that person who writes a perfectly fine message and ends with something like "Sorry for my bad English, it is not my native language."? That was me for a long while. MMORPGs gave me the confidence in my ability to write in English and nowadays I only apologize when I actually mangle it due to either being braindead or my brain flying through other places on its own. XD
I am still not completely confident in my hearing and speaking skills though. I'd say I can understand about 90% of what people speak in English. While with speaking I have a long way to go. Pronunciation has always been my weak point, no matter the language, even my native one.
I suppose I could improve on my speaking skills thanks to voice-chat being so accessible and prevalent in games nowadays. But there are a lot of reasons I am not really comfortable with it. In fact I even wrote a whole blog post about the subject which you can find here.
I met some of the finest people on this planet through it
Pretty much all the people I consider friends nowadays are on the internet. The bulk of them I met through MMORPGs.
The group of friends I met through Everquest 2 has been the hardest to keep in touch with after we all left the game and we haven't been able to settle into a new one to play together.
And outside of games we each seem to have our preferences about how to keep in touch with each other which makes things rather complicated. I still love them though and still try to keep in touch in any way possible.
With the friends I met through Final Fantasy XIV things have been easier as there are Discord channels we hang around and keep in touch with each other. It makes it very easy also to organize evenings to play other games too or just to discuss anything else that is in our minds.
These are all great people who I love and made me grow as a human being. For that I can never thank them enough. I am only sad that I am unlikely to ever meet them in real life due to living in different countries. And even if I could do it easily I must admit I am scared that I'd just be my usual quiet self due to being an extreme introvert and social anxiety.
It helped deal with my social anxiety
Back when I start in MMORPGs, I'd get mad at my ex-friend when he invited some stranger to our clan or even to join our group because I thought it was rude to do so without consulting the other people involved. Back then I didn't realize that I wasn't really angry at him as much as I was horribly uncomfortable with strangers.
I am still uncomfortable with strangers in real life. It is something I have been trying to work... with, well might be over two decades now since I first started feeling like that when I was a teenager. It has been slowly getting better.
MMORPGs have helped a lot dealing with this. For instance I don't do anything like in the first paragraph anymore. If someone joins our Free Company in Final Fantasy XIV I welcome them. If I join a random group of people in Duty Finder I say "Hello!" to them and will join in any banter that I feel I can add to or explain mechanics if someone asks about it.
Although I will admit that the first time I had to do a Duty Finder alone in Final Fantasy XIV I was horribly anxious because I didn't know what to expect about doing a dungeon with complete strangers. Fortunately it was a good experience. 🙂
I still feel a bit of anxiety from time to time though when it is a complete new dungeon and I don't know what to expect. But those tend to be something that was just released with a patch and I try to remind myself that nobody else knows what to expect either.
All in all though, MMORPGs have only brought benefits to my life and I am glad I started with this hobby. 🙂