In Their Own Words: The Social Component
A related theme are players who are open to developing a romantic relationship in these environments.
I believe I am a lucky man, as I married a woman who also has a great love of gaming. We met from different countries in an online gaming guild, played together, and eventually fell in love. I obtained a spousal visa and we have been happily married for 5 years now. We game side-by-side, literally, on new machines at a desk custom-built by my dad. Just goes to show: there are real people behind their own monitors out there and this is certainly a viable medium of communication. Our old guild had gone too far into the realm of powergaming, we felt. The guild leaders loosened their admission policy and allowed obnoxious and rude players into the guild. We felt this compromised the spirit of our guild, so we broke off with our friends and formed our own guild once Everquest II was launched. There is very little structure to our current guild and we do not censor topics nor bad language. The only exception is the need to respect your fellow guildmates. [EQ, M, 27]
i just started playing warcraft, prior to that i played FFXI for nearly a year. the thing i enjoyed most about mmorpg games is the socialization ... the friends you make on line. i have met many people on line, especially when i played FFXI. In fact, that is where i met my fiancee ... we gamed together and spent hours upon hours together for nearly six months. i ended up moving from california to indiana after being constantly together for six months so we could be together in real life. We are very much in love and have plans to get married in real life this summer. [WoW, F, 30]
Socializing is my favorite part of the game. I have played EQ for about 3 years, and in the course of that time I have met many good people, a few of whom I still talk to through email. I met my RL fiance in EQ, we spent 2 years adventuring together in the game, and that in-game relationship led to our RL romance and eventually we moved in together and plan to marry. Some people don't understand how I could meet someone in a game and end up loving them and trusting them RL, to them I can only smile and know they are not gamers. Because gamers know that the characters are real people and in general most people play their characters as a reflection of their RL personalities. Anyways, in EQ my most enjoyable times were socializing. I was always part of a guild for this reason, to have a constant network of friends and comrades. I led a guild for about 1 year, and it was fairly successful, though small, we were all very good friends. Often in the game I spend time and money helping new players just because I want to. [EQ, F, 22]
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