This piece first appeared on the Until It’s Not Fun newsletter.
My friends Patrick and Sasha are coming over this weekend! I met them when I was going to college at Oregon State and they lived right above me on the second floor. The day Patrick and I first saw each other, we were both wearing shirts that had cactuses on them. Patrick and Sasha invited me over for food and beers and we played games and really got to know one another. I learned that Patrick and I both enjoy gaming. We both had Playstations and we played a few games together while we were both in Corvallis.
They had to move on with their lives to a different state while I stayed in Oregon to finish my degree.
I think it’s easy to discount gaming as not really hanging out but that’s not really true. Patrick and I not only stayed connected but deepened our friendship through mining, killing Oni, escaping the Arctic, and surviving in a jungle together. When we meet in the virtual realm, it gives us a chance to catch each other up on our lives and work on a common goal together. We learn how to work together and how to interact with each other to foster friendship.
The way people socialize is changing so fast. Young people have so many tools to make friends both virtually and in real life to maintain a healthy social life. As VR and the gaming industry (and the metaverse) continue to evolve, so will people’s capacity to connect with one another, unbound by physical location. And that is a beautiful thing.
I have the honor to be Your Obedient Servant,