I was walking past the computer and saw in the chat box "Naadir has logged in". I couldn't hardly contain myself. Naadir is Jahf, an old friend from way back when in EQ2 history and we have stayed strong buddies ever since. He's a sterling fella and I have a great fondness for our friendship. So, after not seeing him for so long online (it's been, well it's been bloody ages!) it was wonderful to be able to chat to him again and catch up. Really made my week that did.
He's digging out his mic so tonight we can chat away the evening just like old times, putting the world to rights and generally having a right old laugh. That's what I love about EQ2 and online gaming in general, especially MMOs where the community is central to the game. I've tried explaining it to folks who look at me like I have just been crowned the 'King of the Nerds' when I tell them I indulge in a bit of online role playing in a Massively Multiplayer Online game. But what they don't realise is that whilst they are sat on their couch watching Coronation Street, that I am reaching out around the world and making new contacts and feeding existing friendships. That's right you don't have to have physically met someone to be their friend!
Because of online gaming, I now have good friends who live up the coast in Spain, some who live in Finland, many who live in America, a couple who live in Australia, some in Wales, a lot in the UK, a couple in Italy and Canada and a few in Sweden, a couple in Germany. I'm sure there are some I am forgetting. But do you see my point? Yes, it may be classed as a bit nerdy, but through this conduit I have been able to formulate friendships, with other human beings who I otherwise would have never likely met.
I wish I could explain to the Nerd Critics that whilst they were down the local public house, chatting to 'Bob' after having given me the "you oughta get out more" speech, that I was crafting lasting and meaningful friendships with folks all over the world, sharing in the intricacies of their lives and sharing in the issues they deal with every day, local idiosyncrasies, cultural differences. The list goes on. Just because I have never met these folks face to face, doesn't mean squat. I do chat with them via live voice apps and sometimes we tlak for hours about all sorts of subjects, not just the games we are playing. We giggle, have a great laugh, we sometimes cry and share in each others torment in our lives, offering support or kind words. These are REAL friendships, and I value them highly.
I can't wait to speak to Jahf later. I've got some bevvies in, my comfy seat, my computer and mic headphones/mic. I'm all set for an excellent evening in with an excellent friend.