The internet has opened doors for so many people to gain experiences through the most obscure places. Growing up in the age of the internet, I had access to so many online multiplayer games and was able to meet and interact with so many people. Little did I know that playing these sorts of games would allow me to gain life skills, such as being able to talk to people or being able to diffuse a bad situation. Transformice for me was my foot in the door towards gaining leadership skills that I have been able to apply to real life.
Transformice is an online multiplayer game where the basic mechanic is that you are a mouse and you retrieve cheese to return to a mouse hole for points. In this game, you can make what is called a Tribe, which is essentially a group with a ranking system that you can invite other players into. Tribes are completely customizable. Some people just have them for their friends while others create tribes to be a hub for the highest ranking players. For the tribes I owned, I made them for both reasons. When I was around 12 years old I made my first tribe and had the goal of making it as big of a community as possible. I think at one point my first tribe had over 1,000 members! To make sure people would remain active and not leave, I would host regular activities, like game nights and movie nights. Running a tribe like that takes a lot of time, however, so I gave people the roles of co-leaders and tribe moderators to help run the tribe with me and host events. Owning tribes on this game was my first experience in being in a leadership role. I had to make sure that my tribe officers were doing their job as well as mediate any other issues among members. I also hosted regular meetings with everyone to get input on the tribe, to discuss new information, or just to let people ask questions. It feels silly to think back to this game because we were all just pixilated mice, but to me at the time it felt like a big responsibility. I continuously hosted events every weekend for about 5 years straight, which honestly is a long time.
How I have been able to apply these skills is being an officer in student organizations in college. I have held officer positions in two organizations, the MTSU ACM SIGGRAPH Student Chapter as Treasurer and President, as well as Her Campus at MTSU as an editor. If I had not played Transformice growing up to gain the confidence to take up leadership roles, I do not know if I would be where I am today.