This week is going to be a terrifying one for me. This weekend (14th and 15th April) I'm off to Insomnia 60, which is an amazing gaming convention that is held in the N.E.C (National Exhibition Center) in Birmingham. It's an amazing place, and there is loads to do: you can try out upcoming games, buy loads and loads of cool merch, see live e-sports, as well as meet youtubers and other cool people in the gaming industry, but one of the main parts of me going is that I will be meeting my friends. But these friends are not like traditional friends, they are my internet friends from all over the UK.
It's a strange prospect. Imagine talking to someone for a year and a half online, and then one day instead of video chats they are standing there, talking, walking, just like they would be, but instead of talking through a screen you're facing each other. I have met a few of my online friends through previous Insomnias, but this time will certainly be the biggest one for me, because there are so many people going that I know, and everything is thrown into perspective. These are real people, that have feelings and emotions, and I know it takes so much courage going to a place to meet one another. I remember my first time I was super nervous and awkward, but after around an hour of hanging out with these people, they are just like you know them online, and that's when things get amazing. You can actually see this ‘amazing' taking place: just look at our Insomnia Gifs, you can see the friendships in the gifs. People treat each other like their normal friends they would meet in real life, and it is awesome.
I want to give you a bit of story that I can actually explain more on, so I want to direct you to this Gif. That was at Insomnia 58, you're probably wondering ‘Who's that weird guy with the Robin Hood hat, dancing with someone?'. Well, that is me in the green hat (ignore the hat for a minute, we'll get back to that). Keep in mind, only one or two hours ago from when that gif was taken, I was an awkward teenager, so much so, what happened, I played the Noxcrew's game and then had to wait outside the exit, hoping that someone would see me. Luckily, one of the moderators - The_NeonGhost - noticed me, hugged me, we had a short conversation and then she proceeded to get Noxite to say hello, and keep in mind, I was still standing awkwardly by the exit, but he came over, we hugged, and I was so awkward he had to invite me back into the booth. So in the space of a few hours, I went from an awkward, shy, teenager, to merrily jumping around the booth, with one of my internet friends, in a green pointy hat. So although things may seem awkward at first give it time, and it will sure be better. Oh! And the green pointy hat, it has a deeper story than you might first think, some people might think its just a hat, but to me it was embodiment of my online persona and self, and whenever I'm in the company of internet friends, at one point or another I will wear a hat, so ever since that green pointy hat, I've worn a different hat to every Insomnia. The following Insomnia, Insomnia 59, I wore a earflap winter hat, and to Insomnia 60, I'm planning on wearing the mad hatters top hat, so it's sort of a strange tradition I've made for myself.
But I cannot wait until Friday, it literally cannot come quick enough, as soon as it comes, I am going to be really happy, and even though I am doing 18 hours of travelling in 2 days, it will all be totally worth it to meet and hug the awesome people that make up this amazing community. I think it's something crazy, like, 20 people I know are going, and there are loads of them that I am meeting in real life for the first time, but I just have to get through the next 2 days, and as soon as thats done, Im ready to experience what awesome things Insomnia and this community has in store for me :)
Until next time