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Reader Comments (2)

Posted: Mar 17th 2011 8:25PM Space Cobra said

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"There's no doubt that online communities, and the friendships that come from them, are growing in size and popularity. But the real question is whether these relationships will ever be accepted into mainstream culture. As real and as valid as they are, there's still a lot of skepticism from many over the fact that they don't involve face to face contact. Only time will tell, but as these panelists all explained, there's something uniquely special about the bonds that we form from online games."

I've been an avid gamer for a long time and I've seen the world change and grow. While I still hold onto some old habits but embrace new ones. With the growth of Facebook and the internet proper, such attitudes will die out and hopefully, more real gatherings will emerge. This is the trend I see. It will happen more rapidly in some countries than others and it won't be "overnight". Consider and comparer: How things were just 10 years ago? Or 20 years or more compared to now. While still much of the world population is not tapped for true hobby-gaming, the industry still grows and so do the numbers.

And, weren't there similar stories in the past using old technologies? Pen Pals who wrote and never met? People falling in love through letters mailed via Post Office? Such things are not "new", but many don't really look at history and think about how people lived and how they were not too different from us today. Well, I should say not "totally alien", because really, I've even noticed my attention span has shrunk like many folks, but I acknowledge and deal with it.

Personally, I am still a private person who likes my privacy, but I do like to "show off" and I do enjoy small groups of friends. Perhaps one day, I'll find a group and stick with them and not wander too much or be too mysterious. :)

Posted: Mar 21st 2011 2:50PM (Unverified) said

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Thanks for covering my panel Karen. This is the third time I've done this particular one (PAX East 2010, PAX Prime 2010 and now PAX East 2011). Each time I swap out my four fellow panelists to change things up. Normally we hit a lot of talking points, then do a Q&A, but opted to try the "storytellers" model this time. Whether it worked or not is most definitely up to the audience.

You definitely picked up the message loud and clear, though, that regardless of how people come together in their various communities, the bonds of friendship forged online are just as valid as those offline. Taking those friendships and bringing them into the real world is where a lot of people show fear, concern or anxiety. Hopefully as more and more people have experiences with their own communities, communal experiences such as PAX, and experiences in mixing online and offline friendships, the stigmas and fear will subside, and all people will see are your friends - how you meet them and spend time with them is much less important.

Once again, thanks for the kind words...

Derek "DSmooth" Nolan
Co-Founder, 2old2play.com
Host, 2old2type Radio Podcast

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