Tobold's Blog
Friday, November 04, 2011
 
The saddest statement about online friends

I think I already remarked a couple of times that online games and social platforms have somewhat degraded the meaning of the word "friend". But today I read the saddest statement ever about the kind of friendships you make in online games: Zelmaru of Murloc Parliament advises people to not play online games with their real life friends, because it would "eff up the RL friendship". I'm not saying that he is wrong (there is a reason why I quickly gave up on trying to play WoW with my wife), but as a testament to the quality of online friendship I find this really depressing.
Comments:
I find it more depressing as a testament to the quality of his real life friends.

If you cannot tell a friend that they're playing bad, or have a disagreement about something in game, without it affecting the real life friendship, then that is not what I would call a real friendship.
 
Is it my impression or you are facing some kind of "internet demotivating depression"? Your posts are kinda pessimistc/negative in that sense, it looks like you're suffering from the current state of the "social" aspect of the web.

That said, I totally agree with the author. I have zero "friends" online, just 5-6 "nicknames". And I am perfectly fine with that. I have no time to organize events, chat with mic and headphones, and stuff like this. Real life/family and hardcore videogaming don't play well together (on the long term).

I used to have a grand total of TWO friends back in time: one was playing WoW with me, another one was a teammate in Battlefield 1942 and Trackmania1. Right now I tend to focus on "one man only" titles, where I don't need to find people to progress. IF I want I poke someone and temporary invite them, of course.

Giving a definition of "friendship" is kinda useless, in my opinion. It's like trying to define "art", "love", "honesty" and so on. Everyone has a personal point of view.

Just sit back, relax and enjoy Internet for what it offers. Who cares if "Anaconda22" is a male, a female, a teen or a grandpa. As long as you FEEL fine playing/chatting with him/her... that's all.
 
I don't really follow your logic there. She's essentially saying that her online friendships have proven to be sturdier than her RL ones. I could understand if, like gabbastorm above, you'd interpret that as a sad testament to the quality of the RL friends, but how is she saying anything bad about online friends?
 
I think all of this really depends upon your goals within your guild. I equate MMO's at the end game much like a sports team. If all you are out there for is victory/progression/server firsts, then friendship issues do arise. Of course, in my mind, that makes the "game" a job...no longer fun.

I'm more of a social player. I do level, I do hit the pvp ggrounds and up to heroics, but I wont ever become an arena god or do the endgame raiding. This really all boils down to I hate making a game I PAY for a job. I enjoy chattin and BSing with my guild on vent or in Gchat. We go out and do world pvp, and for those wishing to, there are rated and arenas etc, but no pressure. I like it this way, I get to enjoy friendships and comeraderie without the hassle or pressure.

If a player feels like there is no friendships, that player has made a game that he/she PAYS for into a non profitable job. Just my opinion.
 
I just think of them as eFriends. I spend hours a week listening to them and they enrich me - bring much humor and annoyance to my life.

But they are not offer-a-kidney. They are not even come-pick-me-up or come-bail-me-out.

A virtual tour of the Getty or the Louvre or Machu Picchu is certainly not the same as visiting the original; not close. But that in no way means that being able to safely, instantly, efficiently see content and docents whenever I want is worthless.
 
Many friendships today are based on not bringing the other person's fault to mind. That is if your friend get fired for not showing up at work two days without notice the "correct" response is "dude the manager is a tool." Not well maybe you should of called your boss.

That fact the some people take game life more seriously than rl causes issues. Or the otherway around. The whole hunter misdirect to kill you gag. Some people will take shaving cream to the face fine, but drop raid if you kill them as a joke.
 
I think it just takes care when you are playing with real life friends. If the friends don't have roughly equivalent skill levels, one of them will inevitably get left behind (such as kicked out of the raid group).

With real life friends, you have to stick with easier things like leveling alts together or doing normal dungeons. Heroics might be possible as well, but the extra awareness required is beyond some people's abilities.

I personally don't do raids or rated battlegrounds just due to my own unwillingness to stick to any schedule with my playing. I want to logon and logoff whenever I want. Leveling alts, daily questing, and dungeons are all regular activities, which generally work well with real life friends.
 
Here is the comment I posted on his blog:

There’s no problem with playing with RL friends, as long as you aren’t a douche bag and know how to work with them. Maybe instead of calling them “morons” when they mess up, you help them learn from their mistakes. As a matter of fact, if you couldn’t get along with your RL friends on WoW, how the hell are you going to get along with strangers? If you can’t learn to play with your RL friends, maybe you shouldn’t play with ANYONE!

If you have different in-game goals – go do your own things. You don’t always have to be playing side by side. I think the problem you are describing comes from trying to coerce someone to participate in something they aren’t interested in. Which is really pointless to begin with.
 
Not going to be much of a problem for me, I think. Not sure if i can think of even one real-life friend who'd know what an MMO was without me having to explain it first, and I'm certain there's not one who'd even consider playing one. Even the people I know who play a lot of console games are pretty much completely unaware of the existence of MMOs. I think we tend to assume the genre has had a lot more penetration into the cultural than it actually has.

Mrs Bhagpuss and I play MMOs together often and pretty well too, I'd say, and have done for over a decade, so it's obviously possible to play MMOs with someone and not fall out. That said, we've probably had as many arguments over difference of approach in MMOs as over anything in real life.
 
I think Mhorgrim nailed in on the head; it all depends on the player type. As a hardcore player, I rarely play serious games with my RL gamer friends. I don't raid with them, and I stopped playing DoTA/MOBA type games because I used to play them with RL friends.

When you make RL friends, I don't think the nature of any real life friendship is to expect criticism over the slightest things; in fact, I would expect any healthy friendship to gloss over such things, and only to step in when said friend has crossed the line. But when you play games seriously, the nature of the friendship has you start having to criticize them over a game. It makes you judge what's more important: your friendship, or the game?

Not playing serious games with RL friends just allows me to have both.
 
I raided WoW with my real life friends from early TBC to a few heroic kills in Cataclysm (at which point we got tired of the game).

My advice is, if you are going to play online games with your real life friends, do so with the friends you met in the math program at the University of Waterloo.
 
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