Making Online Friends Through MMORPGs
Although some disagree, for me one of the strongest sides of a MMORPG is the socialising aspect and the people we meet and friends we make. It’s quite amazing really, when you think about it, playing with folk from all over the world and all being united towards a common goal and sharing a common experience. I’ve also been very fortunate to make, what I would consider, good friends through these games and ones I still keep in contact with even when I don’t play the same game as them.
I made quite a few friends in my time playing Everquest but they were very transient. As soon as they or I stopped playing, we completely lost touch. Looking back at them, I wonder how deep those friendships really were. I guess they were pretty superficial considering I can’t even remember anyone’s name. Still, it’s odd thinking about just how much time we spent together. Logging in and grouping with someone for four hours or so every day for weeks wasn’t an uncommon experience and when you add it up, that’s a lot of time. Oddly enough, even though we rarely shared our real names, we often talked about our personal lives. I guess it’s the anonymity part of the Internet that people like – kinda like having a someone to tell your inner secrets and worries too without worrying about any consequences.
Although I’ve played several MMORPGs since Everquest, Everquest 2 was probably the next big leap for me in terms of making online friends. One reason was because of the time I spent in my guilds there, secondly because of the advent of voice chat, and thirdly because of social networking sites like Facebook.
The first ‘major’ guild I was in was on the Splitpaw European server. It was called The Mutineers (because we mutinied from our previous guild) and I was a co-founder. I had a blast grouping with my guildmates but there were two in particular (a married couple) who I grouped with most frequently and still keep in semi-regular contact with. In fact, I just received an email from them today and am about to send them my wedding photos. Although we’ve never met, I think it’s fantastic that we can share our lives with each other (awww).
The next major guild I was in, New Dawn, was on the Nagafen PvP US server and I met so many fantastic people there. It was also great to be able to part of a European guild on a US server and really get a full mix of individuals. Texans, Italians, Austrians, Scots… we had them all and it certainly made Ventrillo an interesting experience. I still keep in touch with quite a few guildies via Facebook which is great as I don’t play EQ2 very much at all these days.
Of course, all of this pales in comparison to my email-pen-pal I made 12 years ago and keep in touch with to this day. Still never met him. Maybe one day. Although I imagine we’ll finally meet in real life and discover we can’t stand each other
If you want to be my friend (who doesn’t?) then you can find me on Facebook.