On friendships and games

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What is a friend? I think a more accurate question is what is a friend not?

Someone who is not a friend doesn't know you. Doesn't want to know you. Stays antisocial, or keeps their armor up. This can be for many reasons.. past experiences, family life, how they were raised, previous betrayals.

Or even every time someone gets close, someone else stalks them. It can creep a lot of people out, myself included. Especially on online games. I've seen people announce "I'm a girl!" Then get stalked, spammed by "tits or gtfo" et cetera. This can make anyone more cautious on the internet.

It's not even limited to girls. Guys get stalked too. Usually by other guys that really like them, but don't know how to express themselves. This comes from gaming their whole lives. Games as a whole tend to handicap social skills. Don't argue with me, you know it's true.

I mean, how much social contact is there through a text medium or phone? There's no physical stuff. A handshake, a hug, a punch. Humans are social animals. In order to thrive, we need social contact. But many gamers tend to feel more comfortable being bitter online. They troll, they insult, they harass.

But wait, don't trolls have no friends? Well... that's true, and not true. A troll is harder to befriend than most. Usually the ones that do get past the troll armor (tm) are pushed out again. Then there's the non serious trolls. Ie, you get past the armor, you're bound to stay there.

In my opinion, those trolls are the best ones. They've had social contact, they must troll or offend because it's amusing. But god help anyone who insults, offends, or harasses a troll's friend.

You might argue since I am a troll, I have no friends. Or that I am antisocial. This isn't true, although sometimes I wonder, working a third shift job does suck. I wouldn't advise anyone work the night shift unless they already have real life friends and contacts.

For me, trolling and friendship go hand in hand. I will push you away, annoy you, piss you off. Anything to keep a stupid person from becoming my friend. But some people can see past that, and break through. Or some I just allow in, and try to help.

I know I'm not alone in this, there are others out there in similiar situations. Sometimes a troll is just a troll, so you should ignore them. Get a kick out of it when you beat them at their own game. Whatever. These aren't important people, and never will be.

The thing is, though.. have you looked around lately? Have you walked on the street, and seen what is going on? People get attacked, hurt. People are assholes while driving. It takes a lot more patience in this world to deal with the people outside of a game. So I can see the allure.

That doesn't explain why, in real life, everybody seems to be a troll. You talk to someone online, then finally meet them. You've already broken the barrier that makes them nasty in any other situation.

So what do games provide in the end?

Friendship. Community. A poor man's replacement for a group of real friends.

Sure, you can break past that and actually meet the people. But come on. How many have actually up and met people they've met over the internet? I've met twenty so far. And I can tell you.. while it's dangerous...

It's so worth it.

Just be safe, and if you do decide to meet people from the net, meet at a public place. Train station, store, airport. Have a backup plan if they don't show. Have a backup plan and somebody ready to call the cops if YOU don't show. It does happen.

But everything that is worthwhile is a risk. You have to fight for the good things in life. I want to fight for a paricular friend, but I cannot control a mind.


I'm a troll My armor comes from forgiveness. Hostility. Hatred.

It's the same for everyone in the world. They can choose to hate someone, or forgive. Sometimes forgiveness isn't deserved. It depends on where your line is.

So far though, only two people have ever stepped over that line with me. And none of them are from shadow era. I love this game and the sense of community it has. I can only hope it continues to grow in a good direction. But it's not in my power to control the forums.

It's in your hands.

Your responsibility.

GS693 is not a sensitive kitten. He just gets drunk sometimes. And takes potshots at photos of dogs. Or real dogs, if he's lucky to see any strays. Take the above post, any grammar errors, any spelling errors... at your own risk.

And for god's sake do not hint that you have catnip.

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