What Friends Have You Made Through Games?

Image: Portal 2

Tuesday's Off Topic discussions are typically unrelated to video games, but for this week I'd like to tackle a semi-related topic: the people, and friendships, we've met and made through our shared passion.

I was having my morning coffee when this came up in my Twitter feed:

It reminded me of something I'd never really quite forgotten about, when I went to my first proper CS 1.6 tournament. It was a netcafe on Sydney's George St, the old Weblounge cafe about half a block down from the cinemas.

You walked down a long, narrow corridor of stairs to get there. At the bottom was a long hallway of computers, approximately 60 or so. Each PC had a little wooden cutout, each with a 17" CRT at the time. There wasn't much desk space. I was looking to fill in for a team on the day, because I didn't have one. I barely knew anyone: it's not like people wear nametags or anything at these events.

So I'm standing in the corner near the front desk, because the first round hasn't started and the entire lobby is full. There was over 80 people there that day, which was pretty standard for a state tournament (16 teams of 5 players, not including the friends, netcafe staff and admins around).

And I'm still standing there, when a tall, lanky bloke comes up to me. I didn't know who he was, but told him my gamer name (Dippa) and said hello.

He told me his name was Rob: he'd recognised some writing I'd done for the community site that everyone connected through, which was Pantheon at the time. I'd been doing wrapups of international events for Australians, and people apparently enjoyed it. So he took me around the room and introduced me to everyone in the space of five minutes. I met the state's best players at the time, people who did backend work for the site, the admins, friends of friends, and eventually a team that needed a 5th.

By the end of the day, I'd played one game that ended up going into overtime. The people that Rob had introduced me to beforehand turned to watch the overtime rounds, which fortuitously resulted in me basically deciding three out of the four rounds, including two pistol clutches that won the game.

That little act of generosity, introducing a fresh face to an old crowd, is something I've never forgotten. I don't know what Rob's up to these days, but it's a kindness that I've always remembered.

There's plenty more stories, but I just wanted to share that one. What friendships and connections have you made through video games?


    None unfortunately, I don't really know anyone else that games. Would be great to be able to chat to others and game online with someone I know. Part of that is being 39 I guess.

    Well, I moved from Florida to Australia and have been married for 9 years to the most important person I ever met raiding Molten Core. =D

    I was the warlock lead in our WoW guild way back in Vanilla and the start of BC. Then I went on a 6 week tour of the US, sleeping on couches and spare mattresses of any guildy who would have me for a day or two.
    I still keep in touch with a few of them.

    During my next trip I hooked up with a fellow gnome and brought her back to Australia! We're now married with 2 kids.

    Too many to count really. Back in the days of Ultima Online and Everquest, a bunch of people from work started gaming together, which led to plenty of friends amongst them, and others that joined us on our adventures. Which led to get togethers in real life.

    In WoW, similar happened, with various people meeting up as we travelled around the country for work. Spending a few days in Brisbane, lets meet up. Melbourne? Why not have dinner? And so on.

    In the end, we were lucky that a bunch of us working in the same Govt department were able to join up in the early MMO's, which really helped establish a lot of friendships. It was a good basis for meeting lots of others I still chat to plenty of them today, some 24 years after we started gaming together.

    Met a good mate through Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.
    We were defending and I was on the MG positioned to cover a doorway, he went afk to "light his smoke on the toaster" because his lighter was missing...
    Anyway the door opens and a Scout player in a uniform comes through - the thing with ET was if you couldnt see the player nameplate above their heads constantly they were an enemy spy - I was fairly new to the game and didnt know this at the time, so I held fire.
    My mate comes back in the nick of time and kills him as hes about to knife me from behind.
    Since then, we've played through all of WoW, visited each other in different states (Vic and Qld) and had kids (not together, because that'd be weird and a miracle of science)
    I should catch up with him again soon...
    At the very least I'll hoist a beer for all the memories Gid!!

    Botenator, on the xbox 360....

    You only spoke in a blended swedish/german accent and only spoke with your Aussie accent once from what I remember.

    Wherever you are you magnificent bastard I wish you Godspeed.

    Shout out to Waxmynips/waxingnipsisfun/iliketowaxhardnips. Your gamertags were similar to our friendship. Fleeting.

    I made a friend through Hearthstone and the basic chat bubbles the game offers you. By the time the match was over, he'd sent me over a friend request.

    Made a few good friends through WoW but, since I quit my addiction, we don't talk as often as we did though they're still on my facebook list.

    Through games directly would probably be far smaller a group. Most of the friends I made over the years were via forums on the net, through a shared interest of games. There's been a few others that come to mind though. Several years back I won a spot at the preview event for Soul Calibur V along with two other friends, and while they were busy playing matches I ended up chatting with some random guy there and we ended up hanging out most of the rest of the night. I told him about the forum we were from in case he wanted to join up, and he did briefly show up but wasn't exactly active. A week or two later when starting up a games programming course and checking out the lists for who has to go to which class, I see a familiar sounding name in my one and who should it fucking be... needless to say we were best mates throughout our time there :P And made a whole bunch of other friendships there that have continued on.

    More recently though, it's been Splatoon that's done it. A member of the local community dropped an advert about a LAN event here in Sydney early last year, I decided to try shake off the rust and attend and found myself re-addicted all over again, now they're stuck with me. Even found a whole load of familiar faces there, including an old old forum friend, the younger brother of a highschool friend, and a Tetris demon that another forum friend faced off against in a tournament down at the first PAX. Also a guy that I always seemed to run into when picking up new sets of amiibo as they released. Small world's a small one.

    My wife and I first connected through games.

    I had been living in Chiba, just outside Tokyo for nearly six years and was about 3 months away from coming home. The entirety of those six years, a friend I'd met living there (who coincidentally grew up ten minutes from me) had been trying to set me up with women so I'd stay forever and help her make a weird little foreigner enclave. She had one more girl for me to meet, but I was not interested. At all. The lady I was supposed to meet was British and worked with my friend's husband at an English school. She badgered the hell out of me until I agreed to go on a group date for bowling, izakaya, and karaoke.

    I turned up and met the woman in question. She was as uninterested to be there as me and what followed was an awkward, stilted night of her clamming up entirely out of awkward nervousness and me unable to shut my mouth because I was desperately trying to fill the silence. I also accidentally drank her beer and spent more time talking to my friend's husband about the lack of really engaging granular turn-based strategy games than my supposed date. I saw her off at the train station and despite everything that happened during the night, the apologetic look she gave me through the window as the train pulled away made me feel weirdly upset that i would never, ever speak to her again. Because holy shit that was an endurance test for all of us.

    About a week later she sent me an email asking if I wanted to play a game together. One of the few times we had had a decent conversation the whole night was when she had mentioned she was playing Borderlands 2 on PC, but playing co-op with one of her work friends and his brother was terrible because they just sprinted through every map farming loot. I was also playing it at the time and told her to email me if she wanted a co-op partner.

    We spent the next few weeks chatting on skype as we played through the campaign and got to know each other well enough that we went on another date. A month later, I had met and talked politics with her dad and a few weeks after that, I had moved in with her for my last month or so in the country. She agreed to move to Australia for a year instead of going somewhere else in Asia for her last year away from home to see where this whole thing went. That was 5 years ago and she's applying for her (third) citizenship this year.

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