It surprises many non-gamers as well as some gamers that players can make good friends online. After all, how do you really get to know someone when everyone is pretending to be someone else? Part of the answer is that the pretense of pretending to be someone else allows many individuals to shed the guises they wear in real life, and become more of who they really are. A fuller exploration of the reasons why strong bonds form in MMORPGs can be found in this presentation. (http://www.nickyee.com/hub/relationships/intro.html)
When players were asked whether the person they would consider to be their best friend was someone they met online in the game, 7% of male players and 19% of female players indicated that this was the case. The age differences were quite striking. While male players across all ages tended to show a stable 5-9% range, female players revealed a striking age difference. The prevalence of this phenomenon is highest among 12-17 year old female players and then declines until it hits a trough among 29-35 year old female players and then rises slightly among female players over 35 years of age.
I "sort of" went through that my online friend is my best friend thing, but quickly learned that online friends are quite often like vapor - here today, gone tomorrow.
I first started playing online when girls were a real rarity in rpg games, so it seemed that we tended to "group up" a lot - and often with expectations that were far from realistic. Real life often intrudes, and real family and obligations are far more important than any game - yet I know that some younger women felt "betrayed" when their "best friend" left just to have a baby (duh!).
LOL, read the comment above. I am one of those people who are those vapor friends. I change characters weekly.
I met two guys in a chatroom about a single player game. They started playing Asheron's Call, together, and I followed shortly after.
Over a year later, one of the guys and I are still devoted gaming partners, still talk every single day, sometimes all day, then play at night. I still keep in touch with the other guy through semi-regular emails, and the occasional chat. They have both since quit Asheron's Call, though I play Neverwinter Nights about four nights a week with one of them. We've been through AC, AC2, NWN, and a multitude of single player games.
Would I call him a close friend? Absolutely. When I think of the past year, being newbs together, questing, gaining things, losing things, being in near tears when the server goes down, and 13 of my corpses were scattered across the Obsidian Plain, and have him stay up way too late, to help me recover them. I've never met him in real life. We've never spoken on the phone, and we've never exchanged pictures. Being in near tears, relating RL tragedies, and consoling each other through them.
Yes, I feel like he is my best friend. Also, just so you don't think me lonely or desperate for contact, I must tell you, I'm happily married, with a group of close RL friends. Somehow, I just relate better to this guy. Maybe it's because we have gaming in common (which I don't share with any of my RL friends, or husband, they all think I'm crazy)
I find it interesting how the males mostly don't consider someone they met online as their best friend, yet with females, at least in the younger ages, tend to feel opposite. Personally I have met some great people online, in game as well as through chatrooms etc. While never having met them IRL, only having talked to a few on the phone, and having exchanged pictures with most if not all, I do consider them very good friends but not best friends. I currently have 3 best friends, all of which I meet IRL.
I'm wondering why the data is the way it is. Why is it that females overall tend to feel an online friend is their best friend while the males dont? And also, why do the numbers for females jump the way they do?
I met my best friend on a fan site last year and since then we've grown'n extremely close.
Not a day passes by that she does not come to my mind and we now send each other presents and letters too!!
Most of my other friends still find it a bit odd that my best friend lives in a completely different country and we met online but it makes no difference to me.
I think god made us live so far apart because he knows its going to be that much more rewarding when we do finally meet!!
I am a 18 year old female and I have been playing online games since I was 15 and I've met some of the greatest people online. I believe that it is alot easier to find people to relate to online because there is such a vast amount of different personalities and you meet people of different ages that you can relate to. I have best friends IRL and online. However yes I feel that I can confide in alot more personal issues to those online because it will not impact my personal life. Even if I were to meet them in real life at this point I feel that I could confide anything to them because they know the real true me already without any fake facades that I have to maintain.
I am 19 years old Male.I am from Greece.2 years ago i started for fun Lineage 2.At lv 10 (noob then) i met a guy from Polland.He asked me to party.I said yes.We partied along for quite some time.At lv 40 we were still together and made the quests together.One day he said that he had to stop the game because of studies.I was dissapointed by that but i was also playing with friends real life.I decided to continue without him although at party we were unbeatable.I became Clan leader and in progress Alliance leader.I was commanding more than 120 people at a time at sieges etc.I was lv 64 at the time.One day i see at my chat Artek (friend) Has logged in.Instantly he send me private message (how are u my friend) he was still 44 lv.He asked me to help him if i could.I gave him full equipment for his levels.He leveled up.At that time at the server it was Greeks Vs Pollish.At an Alliance raid i was leading i came up with Artek's clan.Artek was in front to me.I knew that it was a game but i was feeling that killing him would be like killing my mother,i know stupid but these were the facts.We charged but i didnt touched Artek.At one point Artek began to hit me.I turned and told him stop.He stoped.He turned and began to kill his clan m8s.At that point he was a global enemy.He was enemy by greeks because of his origin and he was pollish enemy because of his betrayal.He told me that he was stopping the game because of that.Never heard of him again.This was my first TRUE friend i ever had.
I live in a fairly isolated location, so it isn't possible for me to go to a club or go bowling and meet people. Though I am a college student, I rarely see other students outside of class. Within WoW I have been able to stay connected to a group of friends that are scattered here and there throughout the country and beyond. I think it is beneficial to have connections in so many places, because when I eventually move away from here, it seems likely that I will be geographically close to somebody I know.
I don't believe in a single best friend but in a group of good friends but anyway...
Yeah, some of my best friends, I've met online. People who'll pay my account with real cash when I'm down and out, people who fly here to visit me when on holiday and offer me accomodation if I visit them...Things like that.
When you move on to communication beyond the game, (e.g. in instant messengers, email, voice chat etc), you're in-touch even if you've left the game. The only possible threat I see is if we lose internet access for prolonged periods of time.
Speaking of which, I do think about making a will for my online "assets" or leaving instructions for a "Piggy died" message to be placed on my msn and stuff....Because I don't want to vapourize on my friends if I die and never come online again (~o.o)~
I met my fiance in a little guild on Everquest. He lived 100 miles from me at the time and we would never have met if it wasn't for EQ. This man is my soulmate, we have been together for 3 years now and I am absolutely certain of it. I believe meeting him online and having the opportunity to get to know each other's minds first was the key.
So although I no longer play EQ, I will always be proud of the 40 + hours I spent a week in Norrath.
My best mate articwolf quit wow after only reachin lvl 29 /cry
listen up , i have a good friend , and i knew her on this online game for 6 years and that game is called runescape , thats right , i love her with my soul till it splits , if it splits beyond that till it shatters , ill reach my goal for her , i promised with my whole soul before i quit , even bey ond that more and more and more , i will reach my goal*will*i never use can or might i will beyond that more and more , thats how much i love this girl!!!!i want you all to know , if you set a goal and reach it for them , to try and reach it for them , you dont lose hope of leaving them , so dont give up and set a goal , reach it , she made me a stonger person , so confident , i belive in myself so much because of her , =') i love her!if i were more than human , id do anything , if i were god himself , so bad that i am him in my heart , i !I i will do it , my goal . its to beat bill gates , thats right!!!!!with my whole shattered soul shatter 1 percet of the data of my soul , 2 percent , shatter more and more , till its all gone , ill reach that goal , ill do it so watch ouyt my name is tyler and ill be the next bill gates , for this person i love , !!!all of you confidence , its the only way , just belive and youll never forget your friends , i swear with my soul and pieces that are now gone!!!!i will do this for everyone here , completly gone, before i met her , my real life was terrible , i almost went suicidal , i had the pills , but she saved me , i met her , and yes she was a good friend , and ill never forget her so much more and more i so much will never , love her with will of god in dimensions of things beyond the non existance of my shattered soul even till now , even till now i wait beyond this poiunt of beyondness , i never talked in rl , zero talking to my parents or anyone , i was only 8 years old , now im 16 , and im ready , ill go out there sent my products right into the market , and i wont even patent them , im getting ready to beat him , im god himself i am!!!!!!!-------thats how you gotta belive ,
I'll just be looking at the 12-17 age group here. One possible explanation for the massive difference between males and females is that for males gaming is more socially acceptable than it is for females and therefore more males are going to be playing, even ones who have many great RL friends. However, since it is less socially acceptable to spend time in online games for females, then in general it will be mostly a small fraction of girls who'll seek out and play MMORPGs and these are the people who are less likely to have good friends already and will find better friends in the game. This theory of mine is supported by a piece of information somewhere on this site that the split of male/female is about 85/15 respectively.
It might be a mix or preconceived notions about gaming and the fact that females mature sooner than males in terms of behavioral patterns. A female might be more likely at that age to look at games as being 'childish' versus the opposite gender. And I do think that the stigma that 'boys play games' might have something to do with large ratio difference.