I don’t usually post articles which have only a little to do with gaming in some way, but my friend Ian sent me this piece and asked if he could post it on my blog. After reading through, I said absolutely, as I feel like this is great to show that internet friends are real friends and can be absolutely wonderful.
If you’d like to read more, the following are the words of EenPlaysGames aka Ian.
So as you may or may not be aware, myself and my wife had some friends over to visit at the end of August. We were going to the Insomnia 63 Gaming Festival at the NEC in Birmingham.
One of them is the lovely person who runs this awesome site, Dana, the other is her friend (and mine) Bjorn.
How did we meet? Well this is where the idea for this article came from. We met around 4 years ago (Dana and I, Bjorn was some time after) on the Internet, specifically on the game streaming platform Twitch.
I wanted to write this article as I feel in some, though not all, instances saying you met people on the internet can still bring about a certain stigma. While its true that there are many bad things that have happened by people connecting online, I hope this can serve as an exception.
So as I said, Dana and I met about 4 years ago on Twitch when I began streaming; she followed me and supported me, eventually becoming my first moderator. It became very clear that we shared a lot of interests, gaming being the main and also the love of geeky/nerdy culture. We developed a friendship beyond Twitch, conversing on various other social platforms. In time our friendship circle grew to encompass a few other people from the same Twitch stream as well as my own.
She first introduced me to her friend Bjorn one day when I was streaming Halo, I believe she said something like: “Oh I have a friend who loves Halo, wait there I’ll go get him!” and from that moment Bjorn became another friend from this strange place we call the internet.
You can pretty much guarantee that if you tell some people that you have made a friend on the internet the default response will be something along the lines of: “They’re not a real friend”. But what constitutes a “real” friend? Especially nowadays with the internet being the infinite social hive that it is. Well, they may say, a “real” friend is someone you’ve known all your life, someone who is “there”. To this I say, rubbish, ANY friend (I would define) is someone who you share common interests with, someone who you can talk to be it in person, over the phone, on a social network, ANYWHERE.
Over the last 4 years Dana & Bjorn, as well as the other people I mentioned, have shared joy, sorrow, achievements, failures, and life in general with each other. Whenever one of us has had some news to share the others have been there, with words of support, condolence, encouragement, advice and above all we have gained trust in one another. It has developed to the point where we send each other birthday & Christmas cards and presents as well.
So onto this past weekend, in the weeks and days leading up to Dana & Bjorns visit we shared our excitement with one another, but part of me (and I’m sure for them as well) was a little nervous, this would be our first “proper” meeting in 4 years. As my wife and I stood at the arrivals gate of the airport waiting for them the nerves grew slightly, then I saw them coming through the gate, we instantly walked up to one another and hugged one another (as well as a totally manly fist bump with Bjorn), and then walked out to my car.
Within a few seconds of us starting the walk out it just felt like we’d known each other for years, because WE HAD! Friendships shouldn’t be measured in how many times you’ve met in real life, we all knew most things about each other as we had this pre-existing relationship developed through interactions on the internet, and while its true we don’t know EVERYTHING about each other, everyone has aspects of their lives they don’t share, and that’s fine!
We journeyed to Insomnia 63 on Saturday and had an amazing time! Then on Sunday we travelled down to Bicester to meet another friend of ours from my stream, Rise (not her real name obviously). And even though we only had a few hours together it was like we really had known each other our whole lives!
Monday came round, the day I had to take Dana and Bjorn to the airport to go home, we shared our last few real laughs and jokes in the car and when we got to the airport and got out the car, we hugged each other once more and said our goodbyes. Driving home was hard, we had an amazing weekend, and I can honestly say I was genuinely upset that it had come to an end. My wife and I miss them.
The point is, while the internet can sometimes be a place of hate and negativity, it is also capable of bringing people together, I count Dana, Bjorn, Rise and the others among my closest friends, on a personal level they have given me support (not just on Twitch) and we have shared so many awesome times together over the course of these last 4 years, and I hope it continues for many more years to come.
Let us know in the comments below if you too met great friends through the internet, be it from Twitch or otherwise!