Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Virtual Worlds, Real Friendships

I happen to be listening to "Forever Young" by Alphaville as I write this. It makes me nostalgic for my teen years where the last song of seemingly every dance was this anthem of youth. It reminds me of the great friends I had in high school, having fun, hanging out, talking about love and life.

But I've grown older, and my high school buddies are not as close as they once were. Work associates, even my fellow soldiers when I was in the Army, are just not quite the same. I am lucky that I have managed to marry my best friend. But where do I find the sort of friendships I had in high school?
I'm happy.
Online? Perhaps. One of the topics of the Newbie Blogger Initiative Talkback Challenge was "Guilds: What for?" I have been part of several different guilds over my MMO "career." I don't envy guild leaders. They say it's like herding cats, and I have never aspired to be in a leadership position in a guild. While pretty much every guild I've been part of did some progression group activity (raiding), I never joined any for the express purpose of tackling group content. From my first guild in WoW—that I can't even remember the name of now—to Mercy Gaming, House Stalwart, and Beyond the Veil, I am part of guilds because of friendships. To me, that's what guilds are for.
Even purple cats are hard to herd.
I may not be as close to all the members as I was to my buddies in high school. Heck! I've met less than a handful of online friends in person. But I know a little about them and their lives. I share their joys and sorrows, if only through the strands of copper and fiber-optics between us. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of my closest online friends are fellow bloggers. We can't help but share a little bit more of ourselves than we might intend for a gaming blog. We learn about each other, as we learn a bit about ourselves, typed out in black and white.

I'm not sure how long I've been aware of Big Mikey Ocho of Casual Aggro. He was one of the NBI Class of 2012, but it feels like I've known him longer. What do I know about him? In addition to MMO and Tabletop gaming, he's an avid frisbee golfer. He loves Jimmy Buffet. He's involved in the Special Olympics and other charities, as well as local politics; and I admire him for that. He's one of my favorite bloggers and guildmates. He grew up in southern New Jersey, close to Philadelphia, PA. He also grew up near Rowan University. And one day recently, while passing the school, Ocho decided he would pick up a T-shirt for an online buddy who uses a pseudonym.
Thank you, Ocho. I will wear it proudly.


  1. Ah yes, Forever Young by Alphaville . . . I think I have my old tape of that around somewhere. Yes. . . tape. It was that long ago. Ouch!

    1. Eh, nothing wrong with tape. "Mix CD" and "Playlist" just don't have the same ring to them as "mix tape." But. . . I *was* listening to Spotify. :)

  2. I was doing some similar pondering the other night. I got onto voicechat with a guy I've known for awhile as a fellow tester for WoWp. As we said hello with voices rather than keyboards for the first time, I had to laugh. He's a Brit loud and clear, but I had no way of knowing that. There is something about the process of unfolding long distance friendships that is magical.

    1. That's one of the things I love about MMOs, the many people I've "met" from all over the world.

    2. One of my EQ2 guilds was like that. We had people from Russia and Scotland in our raids and it was always so fun hearing their accents over Teamspeak. But from typing. . .never would have known.