musing { Death in the Virtual World

So I didn't mean for the theme of the blog this week to be such as downer. It just kind of happened that way. I just finished listening to episode 74b of 'The Instance', one of the many podcasts I listen to, this one with a World of Warcraft theme. It was a tribute to a guild member, who in IRL, died suddenly of a rare heart disease.

I mention this because everyone of the players I see on line, regardless if they are an elf, a dwarf, a beastman, an orc, an undead, even gnomes, on the other side of that character, on the other side of that screen is another human being. A spark of life. A soul that resonates in the fabric of existence. Even if some of them have the emotional maturity of a rock and the sensitivity of a twig and the tolerance of a forest fire. Granted because of the nature of the technologies of the Internet and the framework of a fantasy RPG game, we live as relatively anonymous personae of heroes fighting against the supernatural or as the supernatural, sharing only what we want with others. But that as well is not wholly true, many members of what I loving refer to as 'Team CubeZoo' have joined me in game. These are my 'real life' friends. Some of them, my oldest and dearest. I know the face behind the name/character/alias/personae. We've had good times and bad times together. We've supported each other through sorrow and joy. Dark times and light. I love them like family and have loyalty to them as friends.

In the game I have a person (Krieghund is his main's name), who I've never met in real life who I consider a friend. He and I have quested together for dozens of levels with multiple characters. We've shared sorrow and joy with each other as we're both technology professionals and have a lot in common, even if he is red leaning and I am blue leaning, we can respect each other positions and still have good times. Honestly its this relationship that has changed my opinion that not all right-wing aligned people are bad and some still can be rational. I feel bad when he's having a bad week at work, or a rough spot in his life. I share his joy when things are going well. And it works in reverse. Even though I only interact with this person through the framework of the game, he is no less a friend.

Since forming a guild, the guild members have become, not a part of my, family is not the right word but tribe works better. We're small, struggling, on the edge of failing, but we're loyal to each other and help each other.

I guess all I'm trying to say is that in our modern age, the line between reality and virtual reality had smear and blurred.


celesathene said...

We love you too!

Knight of Nothing said...

A touching piece, GeistX. I find it to be strange and wonderful how people can form bonds even through these crude technological media which seem devoid of human expression or warmth.

Too often online communities are abused as platforms for anonymous, hateful domination - the human id run amok. That we can make genuine connections through them, in spite of all their drawbacks, is cause for hope.