In a rare treat for you all today, Rowan from I Have Touched The Sky is making a guest appearance on this blog…
What, you thought he was going to post his stream of thought here or something?! He has his own blog for that.
When I was online the other night, I opened my friends list, expecting to toss and invite to my brother, since my Friend count was at: 1. Turned out it was Rowan. And we were actually in the same zone. I told him later that is the MMO equivalent of seeing somebody you know in the grocery store. So one thing led to another and we spent the night playing around in The Gloomy Woods (TM).
Anyway, it was a good time, and was a fun crossover type event for two people whose primary interaction is comments on each other’s writings.
That actually came together with another unique life event for me yesterday. My awesome TOR guild, Beskar, has left me with many friends I keep contact with. But yesterday was a rare treat – one of the guys I have known for over three years now (!) was driving through town on a trip and we got together for lunch and to see some of the sights downtown together.
We had a great time, and it left me wishing I had an opportunity to cross paths with more of them. Some of them are simply too far away and/or live in small towns that I won’t travel to or near unless it is a specific trip to see them. And some do not wish to be seen in real life – and I don’t want to be critical about that choice, because it is a perfectly valid one.
But…I have a feeling that maybe the biggest problem with internet friendships and acquaintances is that we don’t let them far enough outside the box. Like the title of the post, we are afraid something bad will happen is MMO friend or FB friend somehow becomes RL friend. Or vice versa – how many of us grew up scared to share our RPG hobbies with RL friends? Which is scarier – inviting someone to church/social event, or asking someone out on a date, or inviting them to come play some DnD with you? Or are those things, as I suspect, just about equal in the “nope, nope, nope” category?
And what happens when those interactions, already difficult in real life, have to cross into real life from cyberspace? I friended two people from my World of Tanks clan on Facebook two weeks ago, and one of the guys jokingly said “Is this allowed?” But we had a lot in common (his wife is a pastor at a church not far from a seminary buddy of mine) and got along well – why not? I consider myself fortunate that in addition to my regular feed of English on Facebook, its not uncommon for me to see posts in Danish, Czech, Spanish, German, Arabic, and Urdu. All from gaming connections.
Again, I’m not lobbying for everyone out there to knock down my door with Facebook requests. I’m just saying its nice to see a trend of crossing streams in lots of different ways – cross game guilds and clans, social media contacts outside of games, the occasional real life lunch get-together or Con meet up. There is always something refreshing about spending time with friends, no matter how you first met or what brought you together this time around.
So, unless you are facing Zuul on a rooftop at night with an unlicensed nuclear reactor strapped to your back…consider crossing the streams occasionally. Its pretty awesome.