Warning: I am out of coffee. This will probably be much more disjointed and rambly than normal.
Yesterday Softi, a longtime twitter friend of mine, and once upon a time WoW blogger went out of her way to set up an account based on US servers. I was (and still am) quite happily looking forward to hanging out a bit while in game.
Seriously, I was just as happy as if one of my long lost classmates or perhaps one of the few old service buddies I still have, would have said they were coming to town.
That got me to thinking a bit about what it means to be a friend.
When you are talking about Johnny from down the road that you went to high school with, or Mary from the cubicle next to yours, even Willie from the service that you have not seen in a decade and you call them friends everyone knows what you are talking about.
Society seems to say you can be friends with folks you rarely speak with and in some cases would not even invite to your home.
There are people who go out of their way to set up pen-pals, friends who by their very nature will likely never meet, and that’s perfectly OK and acceptable.
Why is it when I try explaining to someone who does not spend much time on-line how you can be friends with people you have never actually met I just get funny looks?
How can it be normal to be friends with a pen pal in another country, and yet be somehow twisted and wrong to have met through playing a video game? We are still just writing words back and forth right?
Why is it that people simply can’t understand that you can in fact become friends just chatting, Sitting up late, just hanging out in vent or typing back and forth?
The Internet is a wonderful place, I have gotten to meet lots of interesting people I would likely never have met without it. The only downside is that while the earth has shrunk in terms of communication it is still a pretty big place as far as actually getting somewhere goes.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to say, lets raid (insert instance here) tonight and then all get together for lunch tomorrow? How about getting a whole guild together for a cookout?
In a few rare cases it has been known to happen. For example, a couple of guild mates were moving across the country a few years back. They stopped to visit folks in three or four towns along the way, including stopping in mine for a weekend of camping and other offline fun.
I still have pictures of our kids playing together, it was rather surreal.
I hear over and over about people meeting through online interaction, then meeting offline as well. My brother and his wife met that way years ago.
I suppose the way I see it, a friend is a friend, no matter what media you happen to interact thru.