When the game isn’t a game

It’s no secret that I’m a gamer. I’ve posted more than my fair share of game and anime related posts on this site for anyone to mistake me as not being a gamer.

For the past 27 months I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XI. Forgive me if I slip into the common FFXI vernacular, well, slang.

Over the course of these two years I’ve gained notoriety in the game world, well, at least in Valefor, the server I play on. I’ve met people in the game, some of them become friends in-game, others continue on whatever quest they’re working on and that’s it.

But when you come across a group that you hang out with a lot, you tend to come to know them, maybe even befriend them on a different level.

In my linkshell, I had to discipline a new player when s/he started using coarse language toward other players. When I told them they should stop, their reply was, “Why? It’s only a game…”

It’s only a game… is it?

The other day I received an email from our fearless leader asking where I had been and that one of our own had passed away.

I had to stop and think.

Just because you’ve never really talked to a person in real life, their well being is still relevant to you. I could have said, “Meh, oh well.” but I didn’t.

It affected me on a personal level. As I searched more and more into finding information, I felt a rush of feelings.

A part of me felt happy to use my journalistic abilities again, but once I found the information I sought, I was sad again.

To protect their privacy, I’ll not say much more about it.

Even though you may know someone “only online” it doesn’t mean that they’re any less a friend.

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