Let's have a wholesome one. Do you have friends you met for the first time in a multiplayer game, whether you met them later in real life or have never seen them up close at all? What about friends made through gaming forums? If you've been playing online more often during the pandemic, have you made friends with anyone new?
That's our weekend question: Have you made any close friends through online gaming?
Here are our answers, plus a few from our forum.
Graeme Meredith: About three years ago, I wanted to play an old RPG that was only released in Japanese. As well as learning to read a bit of Hiragana, I played along using an English website, written by a Japanese person, but I still had a lot of questions. I emailed the website's author for help and we got talking about the game, but also life in general. Neither of us play the game anymore but we still chat frequently. It's a great friendship, and I've enjoyed debunking all kinds of myths Japanese people have about the UK (and vice versa).
Jacob Ridley: Back in the day I used to spend a lot of time chatting with clanmates across various shooters, and we'd tend to pick up and play any new game that came out. Then there were the thousands of hours running raids in Destiny with both real-life friends and people I'd only met online—oh, to go back to the days of Destiny LFG, when everyone was ripping huge bong hits during Crota's End. While I haven't been back to any clan-based games in a little while, during lockdown I've found online gaming to be a great way to stay connected to my close friends.
Wes Fenlon: Two of my best friends, to this day, are people I met online many years ago. One friendship started on a Final Fantasy message board I posted on regularly as a teenager, and the other I met playing Halo 3 online when I was in college, around 2008. It was one of those coincidences in life that I'm really thankful for, looking back—he was invited along to our game because he was online friends with a couple other online friends I played Halo with. I didn't end up keeping in touch with those guys, long-term, but they made this connection for us, and a new friendship was born. We played Halo together regularly, and then League of Legends, and from there just stayed friends regardless of games. We hang out in person a couple times a year when I fly back to my home state of Georgia—where he ironically moved a few months after I left for California! Since travel isn't really an option this year, we filled the void by playing about 200 hours of Satisfactory.
Andy Chalk: It's not exactly "online gaming," but I met a guy more than 20 years ago in an IRC channel dedicated to Looking Glass Studios, and we've remained in very regular contact ever since—and we still hang out in the same IRC channel, too. Never met him in real life, though, and expect that I never will. Ironically, we've also never played online together: We share very similar tastes in singleplayer games, which is one of the reasons we've got on so well for so long, but couldn't be more different when it comes to online stuff. On that front, I've been lucky enough to meet a few very cool friends through Destiny 2, which has carried over into Ghost Recon Wildlands, Apex Legends, and Sea of Thieves, and hopefully more in the future.
Morgan Park: I've met online friends many times, and it never gets less weird. There's always a period of awkwardness where everybody is coming to terms with familiar voices coming out of actual faces and not crappy headset microphones. Some I met playing Rainbow Six Siege, others long ago playing Day of Defeat: Source, Minecraft, and Terraria. Last year I met up with a bunch of friends at a Siege esports tournament in Las Vegas. In 2016, one of my best friends moved across the country to start a game dev career only a few hours away from me, so I get to see him a lot. Others I've met up with at conventions, gaming events, or dedicated visits.
From our forum
ZedClampet: Not exactly. To be perfectly honest, when I'm playing with randoms, I tend to keep to myself, and sometimes I even mute people who talk too much, so I find social media to be a better place to connect with other gamers. I formed a group with folks I met on Twitter, and we've played quite a bit together. I've also created adult-only gaming groups on Facebook and met some people through there. Most recently, we played Farming Simulator 19 together.
Pifanjr: I'm very bad at initiating contact with other people, both online and in real life. I don't remember ever talking to anyone I met in a game. Unless you count playing Mafia on an online forum, in which case I did make some friends, though not close ones, and I lost contact with them since.
drunkpunk: The best friends I have in this life I met through gaming. Back when DayZ mod first launched, I ended up connecting with a couple random people through the Destructoid chat (when that was still on the website). Since then I have continued playing games with these three guys and we're still at it today. Out of all the friends I have cycled through in those many years, these 3 dudes have always been there despite the distance between us. I haven't met any of these guys in real life yet, but I'm planning on meeting up with at least one once this covid stuff has blown over.
DXCHASE: Close? No, but ive made "friends", i run a Destiny 2 clan and when it was active i played with a lot of people, some more than others, now that its pretty much dead and people have moved on, i find the only real person i connect with is whoever im running coop with from my place, which is usually my wife lol.
SWard: Like, every friend I've had in the last 15 years has been through gaming, specifically through games, deffo my League of Legends friends :)
Sarafan: I have some online friends, but I never met them in real life. We usually talk about games and other related topics. The main problem in meeting is the distance. They're living quite far from me. We also rarely play together online, because I prefer single-player titles. But we talk quite often and it's always a great time! Didn't meet anyone new during the pandemic though.
McStabStab: Leading up to my son's birth I played almost every night with a discord community. I'm sad to say that once he was born I pretty much cut the cord (sorry for the pun) cause I simply didn't have time to game with that group anymore.