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The value of online social interaction

I just read this moving article on the bbc that I thought was worth your time reading. As a gamer myself and a member of online social gatherings such as that we share here at NB, I can totally relate to the storey being told.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/disability-47064773

personShoshinlobsterKerome

Comments

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    I had a similar but smaller scale experience like that in the story. I played World of Warcraft for several years, through Lich King. For most of that time I belonged to one guild of 20-40 people where we spent a lot of time together and got to know each other, at least personality wise if not many details of real life. Anyway, I had a bad accident and was in the hospital in a not very conscious state. When I regained my senses I had my sister log on to our guild forum and let them know my situation and why I hadn't been around. Lots of people reached out to me on my caring bridge site and one of my closer friends there collected some money and sent me some WoW merch.

    Years before that my own father regularly played an early online game and had one particularly close friend. When he died I made sure to log in to the game to let him know, it was kind of awkward but he glad that his friend didn't just disappear without knowing why and wanted to call and talk to my mom. He made a touching forum post about it that got lots of nice responses.

    lobsterShoshinKerome
  • Great link @Lee82 <3

    When I died, I found out online, I was so surprised, I wrote my obituary and posted it online ...
    http://web.archive.org/web/20041013020010/http://pages.britishlibrary.net/lobster/rip/

    maybe it is time to update ... mmm ... 2day is a good day todie B)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I played as well for a while, from World of Warcraft vanilla through to Cataclysm, and had similar experiences while I was a regular player. You can form quite close connections to people with whom you face these shared challenges, it’s a tribal thing almost.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I played as well for a while, from World of Warcraft vanilla through to Cataclysm, and had similar experiences while I was a regular player. You can form quite close connections to people with whom you face these shared challenges, it’s a tribal thing almost.

    Out of curiosity, what faction were you and which characters did you mainly play as?

    I was Horde on an RP server mainly doing questing, casual raiding and completing accomplishments. I started and played into Burning Crusade with a Tauren enhancement shaman. During BC I leveled up a blood elf holy priest who was my main the rest of the way. I also played an affliction warlock and a moonkin when I could. My favorite accomplishments were winning the STV fishing tournament and other fishing tasks, gaining the Salty title, gaining exalted status with 40 factions for the Exalted title, finishing every quest for the "can't remember the title" title, completing all the dungeon challenges for the red dragon mount and our guild completed 10 man Naxxramas without anyone dying for the Undying title.

    Kerome
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I played Alliance on a standard EU server, and I mainly played a Night-Elf Druid on a Healer/Balance mixed spec. I remember doing 40-man Ragnaros in the old days of Vanilla, but I did a lot of 5-man healing, it was easier to find groups that way. I’m pretty sure I saw every 5-man instance up to Lich King. I think Naxxramas in Lich King was about the latest raid I did, I became casual after that. I levelled a Gnome Warlock, a Human Priest, and a Night-Elf Death Knight (my only tanking experience) through Lich King. I played the auction house for a while, collected a lot of gold through Jewelcrafting mainly. But I never chased the achievements so didn’t have many of the titles and things. The last few expansions through to Cataclysm I would buy the expansion, play for a few months and then quit again.

    person
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    Yeah, jewelcrafting was a real money maker. You could buy the raw gems off the AH, cut them and resell them pretty easy. I liked to buy the expensive mounts, like I think I had the big mammoth and paid for all the parts to have an engineer make me a motorcycle.

    Yeah, the old 40 man vanilla raiding, what a nightmare. To do them you needed so many committed people and the raids would last many hours. It totally burned me out and I quit until BC came out. My later raiding was as part of a casual guild mostly made up of older players many with families so we weren't worried about being the best or having super long sessions. We would take our time and often go through raids after new ones came out and we had the better gear to make them easier.

    In the end it was such a time sink and an addiction that I'm glad I gave up.

    Kerome
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @person said: ... Out of curiosity, ...

    You guys totally lost me....

    ... what faction were you and which characters did you mainly play as?

    Here.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    @federica said:

    @person said: ... Out of curiosity, ...

    You guys totally lost me....

    ... what faction were you and which characters did you mainly play as?

    Here.

    What level are you?

    federica
  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    I’ve never played WoW but I have made good friends through other games who I’ve now known for 10 years or so.

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
    edited February 9

    I played Runescape when I was a kid and got truly addicted. I would dream in Runescape on a regular basis. But I only socialised with people I knew IRL. I never had Facebook, so this is really the first time I’ve tried socialising online. And I like this.

    The article reminds me of Sword Art Online. Anyone seen that?

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I remember doing Christmas presents for half my guild one time, wrapping up decent gems and sending them through the mail. Also various fads like the train set from the Toy Store in Dalaran. It was all good fun. But you’re right about it being an addictive time sink... ultimately the best thing about it was playing in a guild, and if you played the way I played, a few months on and then a year off, you tended to lose those contacts quite quickly. I have a few regrets from this period of my life, it wasn’t a particularly healthy time for me, but not playing with guild mates anymore is right up there.

  • Gosh had completely forgotten about my recent computer games addiction
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/comment/532678/#Comment_532678

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    One thing though, there are so many people who have difficulty finding friends, perhaps if we have found a medium which causes people to band together — even if it is online games — we should think twice about discouraging it...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited February 10

    Oh hang on, @Kerome. there never used to be a massive difficulty in making friends before online gaming... people are only in difficulties finding friends now, because too many people are sat in front of screens holding controllers....
    People had outdoor social lives, and met up evenings and weekends...
    I consider the people on this forum as 'friends' although I haven't met any F2F... and Facebook? I don't have it on my 'phone, and I have a friend list of precisely 18 friends.... And all of those, I also regularly interact with off-line....
    Sothe internet is most definitley not my port o call, making-friends-wise.

    Kundo
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited February 10

    No I understand that, but many more people play games these days on phones, tablets, pcs, consoles and so on. Making friends while playing collaborative games is something we do naturally, and maybe there should be more of a place for it.

    I think World of Warcraft created such strong communities because of the shared challenges, but there are other games where that kind of community forms, Destiny or Minecraft for example.

  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    I think it’s easy to stereotype, these kids sat in their bedrooms instead of playing in the street. However the article demonstrates that a disabled child lived a fulfilling online life with “friends” that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible, or at least much more difficult in real life.

    There are also plenty of people out there who find socialising a challenge, including my 13 year old son who is “on the autistic spectrum” and has always struggled with group activities and making close friends.

    In the most part I agree that an online connected world discourages face to face interaction, but at the same time there are big benefits to certain people in society, and, if used in a responsible way, benefits to all of us.

    lobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    I've moved away from my nerdier gaming days, but I like the idea of real life board and table top gaming meetups that is gaining some popularity theses days.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Our discussion of World of Warcraft on here set off a certain nostalgia, and I just wanted to catch up on what has been happening with the WoW story and stuff. Since I didn’t want to resurrect my old account I decided to follow a Let’s Play series of YouTube videos about the latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth... I’ve been surprised how much I’ve enjoyed returning to see updates on my old haunts, like Stormwind and so on, and cinematics about what happened to Sargeras.

    World of Warcraft made a deep impression on me at the time, and I’ve regularly had dreams which placed me back in the game world. I found that somewhat disturbing, that it had become part of my subconscious.

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