Have you ever made any real friends through / via gaming?

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Hello Escapists!

I've been gaming since I was five years old and when I stopped to think about it today, I've noticed I actually have made zero friends over the course of sixteen years via the use of video games. Oh sure, I have played with plenty of people whom I've gotten along with, but I've actually never had made a real friend through gaming. Now, my definition of having a friend is quite old-fashioned. Today's Facebook-based society allows you to have exactly one thousand friends with one thousand clicks of the mouse. For me, that doesn't cut it. The weird thing is that I find myself quite easy to talk to and talkative in return, so arguments or questions are never a one-way street.

Maybe it's also relevant to mention that I don't really like multiplayer games. In sixteen years of gaming, there are only a literal handful of games that I can point at and play at my heart's content. I usually like single-player experience, pretty much for the same reasons of Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw. I find players in competitive and even co-operative games to be either harassing assholes (i.e. StarCraft II) or the fleshshields who pick up all your ammo and health (i.e. any badly designed co-op game).

When it comes down to it, my question to you, Escapists, is:

1) Have you made any REAL friends through gaming (in any form of gaming)?
2) If yes, under what circumstances did you find this person?

I suppose the "real friend" definition is questionable here but...

I have a group of friends I played Call of Duty 4 with back in my college years. I'm from Minnesota and they're from Ohio so I've never seen them in real life (I've seen pictures and whatnot from Facebook). If they stopped playing games, I'd have stopped buying Call of Duty ages ago. Ghost is on my shelf in spite of itself; not because I'm a CoD fan anymore.

I also play fantasy football with these guys so I trust them enough to send them $100 at the beginning of the season (and trust them enough to give me my $400 second place prize! Suck it Ohio!). I also have a few of their phone numbers and we generally game at least once a week. Honestly, if it wasn't for the fact that I'm kind of broke (and my car isn't trustworthy enough to drive down to Ohio), there is a very good chance I'd have been down there to do the fantasy draft in person with them.

If they don't count, then no (although I have made friends IRL indirectly via the shared hobby of video games).

Gaming has certainly been a jumping off point for discussions with people who would later become my friends. Hearing someone talk about Magic, Call of Duty, BioShock, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Mass Effect, and other games is sure to get me interested in having a conversation, and since I'm not a very talkative person, those are decent ways for me to feel comfortable inserting myself into a conversation. Sure, I might have made those friends through other means, such as discussion common world views or tastes in beer, but games are just as good for getting a conversation started as any other topic.

As for meeting people in a game, it depends on your definition of a real friend. I haven't met anyone I started playing an online game with in person, but at the same time, a few of the people I met playing Call of Duty and Halo eventually became very good friends. We offered support for each other in hard times, enjoyed joking around on Facebook and Teamspeak and Skype, had discussions on numerous topics that interested us, and of course looked for opportunities to play CoD and Halo together while occasionally branching off to play another game. Sure, they weren't friends in the traditional sense of actually meeting each other face-to-face, but I'd say my interactions with them weren't that different than my interactions with traditional friends. We just had to find a different way to have the conversations and fun times that traditional friends can have.

So overall, yes, I'd say games have helped me to make friends in the past.

I once had a conversation from a guy in Alaska. this was back when I was playing StarCraft II.

Yep. I met my boyfriend on World Of Warcraft.

We ended up meeting up after I broke up with my ex and my ex was being weird about it. So my now boyfriend came up to visit to cheer me up and also to be around in case my ex went full on crazy. After a while I went to visit him and we eventually ended up moving in together.

I think it's easier to form close connections like that over games like WoW. I've got several other people I met around the same time from WoW.

Not really. I won't go into details, but there was a small group of 3 people I used to play games online with for nearly 3 years. But truthfully, they didn't really consider me a friend, mostly just someone to pass the time with when the other members in the group were busy. So, after being constantly excluded and ignored for a bit, I just cut ties. Better to move on.

You just don't know if you're a "real person" to them, let alone a "real friend". So you probably shouldn't get too attached. With people you meet in real life you can feel the connection if you are to be friends.

At best, internet friends are fair weather friends. They can turn off the friendship as easily as turning off the computer.

I've made some (gaming) friends when I first got Xbox Live during the good 'ol Halo 3 days, plus a bunch of people whom I either fondly remember or continue to speak with over World of Warcraft (even more so now that I'm a roleplayer on it).

Does it also count if I made friends with people over gaming related websites? Before I basically had an exile from bothering with my PC for a while I was good (gaming) friends with somebody over at Halo Fanon, we were basically in Steam communication 24/7 and sometimes played games together when his Australian not master race internet didn't fail him.

Yes I have. His name is Aaron. We work together, but we weren't really friends at first. He works in the back, and I work out front. Somehow, I became friends with another coworker there, and none night four of us were playing FEAR 2. We were going for trophies, so we weren't really playing correctly. Aaron and I ended up on the same team, and once we actually started talking to each other, we found out that we had a lot in common besides just being friends with this other person. I've been friends with him ever since.

However, he is the only person. Everyone else on the gaming system list I was either already friends with, or I've never met them in real life.

Yup.

Half of my irl friends are people who I met during a Halo 2 lan party at another friend's house back when I was in high school. 10 years later we've all graduated college and are still friends. Most of us still hang hang out at least a few times a month, and still game together, and while a few have moved away, either to other states or entirely other countries, we still visit each other and talk online all the time.

So yes, I've made lasting friends through gaming.

I play MMOs since I am 11-12 years old (I'm 22 now, started on UO) and never met anyone on the internet. At first I thought it was because of my bad english or my inaptitude to socialize but now I know it's because I just don't care about people in my games (so I guess it is indeed my inaptitude to socialize). I stay polite most of the time and try to be a good person overall but I never start conversation with anyone. Even when people talk with me, I just answer the strict minimum. When i'm in a guild I just talk when there's stuff concerning the next raid/missions/pvp. I guess i'm kind of anti-social but I like it that way. My best friend and I play the same games I don't really need random people to play with or to appease a social trip.

Well I've made friends with people as real as can be when they're in England or Texas.

I did meet my boyfriend on WoW, so thats worth like 10 friends.

Yep. Some through WoW, some through League, some through others I knew from those games. I talk to many regularly still, and am very close friends with several others (have met up before, know where we both live, a lot of talks about what goes on in our lives, etc).

It's all about the atmosphere you're a part of. My guild from WoW was very close, and a lot of the people from it are still around. Maybe I got lucky, but it's pretty awesome. As far as the whole "real friend" thing goes, eh. I care about them, but I'm aware that we're far away from each other normally. I will definitely try to visit them all at one point or another, though.

No.

I got close with one girl, but she vanished off the face of the earth out of nowhere. ;___;

Well, I played WoW a few years back and got to know my guild leader well. Idk how but she and I started to talk a lot (mostly her giving me advice on life cause she was a few years older). Added each other on fb and we exchanged numbers so she could text me when I was running late for raids. Unfortunately lost touch with this person because I quit WoW and realized my GPA in college couldn't take any more hits. Oh well. But yea, considering we were able to discuss somewhat personal matters with each other, I'd think that I was able to make a friend online. I still do occasionally say hello when i log onto battle net and i see her there.

I started a guild in WoW back in early Burning Crusade. Not only did I end-up meeting someone who lives within 20-minute's drive of where I live, but there's a group living in Vegas that the both of us ended-up becoming fairly close with as well. We started-out meeting for BlizzCon, and these days we even head down to Vegas about a week early just to chill with them and their friends before road-tripping to Anaheim for the Con, and now the guy who lived right near me actually ended-up moving down there just recently. I've been considering doing the same, but I'm a winter person, so I don't know how I'd do in any environment that isn't completely buried in snow for roughly 25% of the year.

Yes from various gaming clans. and other communities

Its not so rare in this day and age

Im not sure what you mean by real friends. You stated that they arent the people you just friend to play with which is alright I guess but then you didnt really define what it was beyond that.

For me, Ive made met many people that I consider good friends through gaming. Ive met and hung out with many friends Ive met through the various MMO's Ive played and we still have strong bonds today. The officers of my old everquest guild still talk and get together on occassion even though none of us play the game anymore. I even run a monthly Pathfinder game over Skype that all eight of us play in.

I quit neverwinter a few months ago due to its crap expansion but in our guild there are quite a few people in our state. Were planning a get together next weekend at my place (a few of our European guild members are even flying in as part of a vacation). Im planning a big BBQ but there was also some interest in playing out some Werewolf: The forsaken so Ill have my books and storyteller hat ready just in case.

Then theres my friend Shawn who I originally met at a Marvel vs capcom tournament in a small arcade. He and I served together in Iraq, I was the best man at his wedding, and Im the godfather of his daughter. We get together to talk and work on projects often. I dont think theres a person Im closer to who I met through gaming.

From where I stand I consider them all my close friends. Friends I would have never met and had the privilege to know if it werent for gaming

Yes. When I was little I deliberately befriended the new kid in my classroom because he had a GameBoy. He quickly became my best friend.

I have quite a few friends I've made through this site and gaming (most of them I do both with). And by real I mean we occasionally call and text each other (because most of them live in parts of the world I can't easily get to). If I were to do a full count it would be probably in the neighbourhood of 20. Though I'm low balling it because I'm pretty sure it's more. And most of them have my address and we exchange holiday/birthday cards.

Oh plenty of them. Mostly through my LAN party days, though I rarely see or speak to them as much these days. Still it was awesome to bond with people over Quake 2.

Yep.
I have a good six people who I have met through gaming before actually meeting face to face.

Just recently, I invited one of them to celebrate my birthday and he flew in to the east coast from Texes.
Not once has this gone badly for me.

Got two guys in Tennessee, one who drove down awhile back and another who was attending a convention at the same time as me.
Visited another guy in North Carolina.
Maryland.
New Jersey.
Already mentioned Texas.

Just two left in the group. The guy up in Canada, and the most recent one in Nevada.

Does befriending people through a gaming website count? Because I have made a bunch of friends from this very site, and I do occasionally play games with some of them (a group of us were streaming Civ V earlier today). Even if I don't play with them I still love to discuss gaming (among other things) with them.

Offline I don't think I've met any of my friends through gaming, but I've certainly become better friends with them through it. Since it's a common interest it was something we got together to do and through it I became closer acquainted and got to know them better.

If you want to make real life friends through gaming, either find your local LAN groups or take up fighting games and find your locals scene (relatively easy through relevant message boards, assuming you live in or near a city). The fact that fighting games work best in a local setting encourages people to get together in person, and of course there's Evo every year, though that's not cheap unless you live near Vegas.

I talk to some of my friends about games occasionally but no, not really. A few of my friends play games but I don't have a particularly game-orientated social circle. Gaming was something I picked up when I was a kid and I just kept up the hobby, I generally don't discuss gaming or play games with real life friends.

If you count meeting people through a gaming website though, then yes.

I met some lovely people at Escapism.

I also met someone particularly important to me through this site.
>.>

Uh... I don't know?

In terms of talking with someone you've met through video games that wasn't about anything "video games"-related, then "kinda"... But, then again, it's kinda cheating on my end since, in turn, we met because of both ponies AND video games... So, there's that...

In terms of hanging out with someone you've met through video games that wasn't just because "we have/had to", then no because, again, ponies... (I'm starting to see a pattern here... But, I digress...)

In terms of having a close relationship with someone you've met through video games in general, then that's a definite no... Not only because of ponies, but also because I usually don't talk about myself as often as most people think when they do meet me "face-to-face"...

In other words, I don't have any "friends" that was due to the byproduct of gaming in general... Also, it's never what I have in common with someone (like ponies) that ends up being one of the sole reasons for having a "friend" in the first place... Otherwise, the closest anyone has ever gotten from bonding with me because of JUST "video games"/"gaming" was being an "acquaintance", at best...

Many, many friends actually.

I started college fresh out of high school knowing and gaming with someone I met in the Armored Core forums.

He happened to be in the same exact computer science class as I was. I got exposed to more of the competitive and recording scene through him, which is where I really started paying closer attention to what goes on in gaming at large.

In the following two years, I made no less than a dozen friends through gaming (we even founded a club on campus); many of whom I still regularly socialize with in person (weekly) to this day.

It works like a network too; two of my friends actually initially met playing WoW at this one LAN joint in town.
By hilarious coincidence, they were in the same place in game while sitting next to each other.
Today, one is directly responsible for getting the other one hired at a real job; which lead to more contacts.

On average (most) gamers are some of the most chill sorts of folks I've met.

Yes, in fact my entire group of real life friends had a small guild running in Aion and we ran into another small guild of friends from Georgia and we all hit it off in Skype chat. I even dated one of them briefly before the distance killed the relationship, but our friendship is very much alive. We always try the latest MMOs and we've picked up a few more friends along the way. We'll never be one of the high-ranking raiding guilds but we have a great time when we play together. My sister operated independently from us and she got absorbed into a guild in Final Fantasy XI where she met the man she's currently engaged to and has been living with for four years.

There are also some acquaintances I have made at our local board game store. There's usually people looking to play and we met a few sane people that we now have a regular thing with.

Yep. I met my Wife through an MMO. I should mention she lived in America and I live in Australia.

Windcaler:
Im not sure what you mean by real friends. You stated that they arent the people you just friend to play with which is alright I guess but then you didnt really define what it was beyond that.

For me, Ive made met many people that I consider good friends through gaming. Ive met and hung out with many friends Ive met through the various MMO's Ive played and we still have strong bonds today. The officers of my old everquest guild still talk and get together on occassion even though none of us play the game anymore. I even run a monthly Pathfinder game over Skype that all eight of us play in.

I quit neverwinter a few months ago due to its crap expansion but in our guild there are quite a few people in our state. Were planning a get together next weekend at my place (a few of our European guild members are even flying in as part of a vacation). Im planning a big BBQ but there was also some interest in playing out some Werewolf: The forsaken so Ill have my books and storyteller hat ready just in case.

Then theres my friend Shawn who I originally met at a Marvel vs capcom tournament in a small arcade. He and I served together in Iraq, I was the best man at his wedding, and Im the godfather of his daughter. We get together to talk and work on projects often. I dont think theres a person Im closer to who I met through gaming.

From where I stand I consider them all my close friends. Friends I would have never met and had the privilege to know if it werent for gaming

I know I should've defined every single detail before I started the thread; when I write these things down I usually assume most people know what I'm talking about but most really don't. "Real friends" may be a little too strong a word but if I would have to define it I would say that they are people you play video games with, yes, but they are also people you can sit down with and have a long chat or discuss anything with them. If they happen to live close by, then people you can hang out with. If they don't live close by then that's obviously not possible :).

Out of the many posts I've read on this thread there seem to be an abundance of people who have made real, lasting connections through gaming and the people who haven't are in the minority. It would seem I'm also in that minority. Looking at your post, do you think it's a case of just being lucky (in finding friends) or do you consider having friends to be the most normal thing in the world? I ask because I've played video games for so long and -I don't know why- but I can't seem to find friends like you describe them.

And congratulations of being the godfather of his daughter!

Nope.

But that's due to no one's fault but my own. Even if on the rare occasion when I do come in contact with someone who seems pretty cool, it just doesn't really enter my mind to ever contact them again afterward. I lack that ability to take the initaitive.

It's the same reason why I don't have friends in real life, or why I never contact any of the online friends I made here.

Yes and no. None of the people I currently consider "real" friends I've met through gaming. But in the early 2000s, I was very close friends with a girl from Minnesota I met through an online game. At that time she was my only female friend, and ahead of a lot of the guys I hung out with.

We lost contact when she went to college though, I tried contacting her via FB a few years ago, but that didn't really go anywhere :(

I first started gaming as a hobby so I would have something to do and talk about with a gamer I met around 2007. We're engaged now so I guess you could say I made some real friends through gaming lol. She's still way better at games than me for the record. In games like Serious Sam (the first one we played together) and Doom it's not even close.

Nope. Not that I wouldn't like to, I'm just terrible at it. Even when I really hit it off with someone I am far too shy to ever try to make any kind of lasting contact, regardless of setting. All of my friends have been my friends since I was a kid, and to be honest I can't remember if I met them via videogames or not. I have played games for as long as I can remember so I suppose it's possible, maybe even likely.

Also, nearly all of my friends -only two exceptions- are male; is that strange?

Drummodino:
Does befriending people through a gaming website count? Because I have made a bunch of friends from this very site, and I do occasionally play games with some of them (a group of us were streaming Civ V earlier today). Even if I don't play with them I still love to discuss gaming (among other things) with them.

Offline I don't think I've met any of my friends through gaming, but I've certainly become better friends with them through it. Since it's a common interest it was something we got together to do and through it I became closer acquainted and got to know them better.

This, though, despire having met and spoken to a number of people, I'd only consider a few of them actual friends.

Apart from that, I don't know. I used to bond with people over games, but that's more "school" friendships, in that you hang out with them until people move away or you grow apart.

Myself and several of my friends all played WoW back in Lich King/Cata days, we got pretty friendly with several of our guildmates. One flew from Missouri to come stay with us in Ohio for awhile, and we eventually drove out to attend his wedding since the bride, his mother, and a couple of his friends were also guildmates. It worked out really well, the WoW players were actually able to 10-man the wedding. Since decline of WoW, most of us have stopped playing, but still keep in touch on Facebook and such.

I also have a friend that I met playing Diablo 2 about twelve years ago that I've never lost contact with. Haven't seen him personally, but that's on my list of roadtrips when I can get away from work and a car that can make it.

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