In Their Own Words: The Social Component
Now contrast that thread with the following narratives that illustrate the desire to form personal relationships with other players.
I probably play mostly to meet new people and make new friends. It's fun having friends all over the world, you can learn from the way they live and do things.. That's what i mostly enjoy about meeting others in game.. To befriend people and get to know them, hopefully building a lasting friendship even when one of us does end up giving up on whatever game we're playing [EQ2, F, 19]
I'm currently sitting in Las Vegas typing this using the network of a friend I met via EQ... we met IRL last summer when she had reason to visit Boston (I live in Connecticut), and now I'm visiting her for several days. My dearest female friend I also met via EQ; she and her husband and my then signif other (also met via EQ then continued IRL) and two other people (Now also RL friends of mine with whom I exchange visits periodically) grouped every night for about a year before she finally convinced us all to visit her IRL. Since then I not only spend every Xmas with her and her husband (4 times so far) but also visit her for a week every couple of months. They don't even EQ any more but the friendship continues strong and growing :) Via Guild of course I have a world of virtual friends and comrades. We help each other and help each other's friends. [EQ, F, 61]
When i was playing SWG I met a group of ex UO players in a forum and they all knew each other. I jumped in and got to know them quite well and within a matter of a few weeks we had our own player town, guild, in-game chat channel and had even arranged to meet up in real-life. A year later I am still in touch with these guys and consider them to be good friends, meeting up with many of them at least every month. I even went to the wedding of one of them. I also have a very good 'friend' that I met from SWG and have now converted her to an EQ2 player. I helped her out one night and we have been inseparable in game ever since. There is even a bit of a romance blossoming IRL. I have been over to Greece to meet her and her family last October, and she is coming to England to stay with me at Easter. I initially was always Mr Cynical when I read or heard about internet based romance, but I have been pleasantly surprised ;) [EQ2, M, 33]
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