In about a week I’ll start playing City of Heroes. There is a lengthy and serpentine tale behind this, but in a nutshell it’s because some good friends of mine who play are moving away from me and I wanted a way to stay in touch. I think this is a good one.
Years ago I began playing Everquest for Mac. EQ was a good game for awhile but after getting about halfway I started feeling like I was fighting against the game itself more than the dragons, owlbears, and sundry other nasties that were supposed to be my enemies. The game had definitely lost it’s zing. But I and my wife (who felt similarly) kept returning. We weren’t even playing any more, we would just go sit behind the bank for hours with our other friends we had met in game and chat about our lives, hopes, fears, and loves. Some of them made the trip across the country to meet us, and others to meet each other. There is one marriage in the works following a move from California to Connecticut last year.
I have certainly heard more than enough disparagement about people reaching out and connecting with one another via the internet. My opinion is that this is the voice of ignorance. I wonder how many similar complaints were launched at the telephone, and before that, mail. My actual experience is that any human interaction is real interaction, and the process by which it arrives is almost wholly irrelevant. In any case, it is irrelevant to me.
For the sake of my friends who are moving away, I know this will keep us up to date with one another, and in each other’s thoughts and conversations. That’s more than enough reason to put on a cape and cowl for me.