Gaming creates two separate lives, two separate friend sets

Heath Verhasselt

I love online gaming. And quite frankly, who doesn’t? Pwning noobs, throwing frags, defusing bombs. Not to mention how you’re also working as a team, accomplishing objectives, and most importantly: making friends.

You make friends while doing it. You work well with someone, you enjoy playing the game with them, and so you add them to your buddy list to get in contact with them for a later game. Sometimes you never talk to them again, sometimes you do actually befriend the person, and in some cases, a meeting in real life is arranged. But for the most part, this friend is online only. And that’s exactly it — this friend is different, they are online, they aren’t real, right? Are they actually your friend?

What is a friend? A friend is defined as “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard,” according to

You both enjoy playing games, enjoy each other’s company, and might joke around when not in a game through chat. Some games, such as “World of Warcraft,” you literally sit in a voice chat with them for hours on end, more than once a week.

This person is your friend. They were there when you got that crazy kill streak, they were there when you killed the final boss, they were there when you were having an “off” day.

This friend, however, can’t be there all the time. They too are a real person somewhere, with a separate life and with their own friends in real life. That raises the point, what about your IRL friends? Your “in real life” friends.

They’re there for you, they may not play your games, but they are real people. You can enjoy hanging out, going out to eat and playing sports with them, right? The problem you create for yourself is that of modern gamers everywhere. Who gets priority? You literally have created for yourself a second life. For those of you that play that game, no pun intended.

Truly amazing how the Internet and video games have changed the way we live our lives. You have created a second life for yourself without even realizing it. And in that life you have created a second set of peers with new inside jokes, new stories and new drama. This is a problem that you will now have to face. You have to keep track not only of different aspects of your life, but two different lives entirely. Think you’re up to it?

It’s a matter of making priorities. Who do you want to give priority to in your life? Do you want to live your life locally or globally? You might never see these people in real life, but they can become your best friends without you even knowing it. Personally, I like to find a balance between the two, and even better, I only play games my real life friends are playing. That way there’s no chance of losing friends due to video games.

Now, girlfriends and video games? That’s a different article all together.