I’ve been thinking this morning about friends. I had a fight with a friend last night that led me to basically say “Adieu”, which is French for “I’ll see you in heaven, because I don’t ever expect to see you again on Earth.” This is a person I once thought of as my best friend in the game, one who I told was my best friend in the game, and one with whom I’ve had a lot of fun with, although not so much recently. I don’t want to write too much specifically about that situation — partly because it’s too fresh, and partly because there are some things better left unsaid. But I do want to write about things generally.
I’ve had many, many “best friends in the game”. There was one who even leapt beyond that and became my best friend, period. For better or worse, though, practically all of them are gone, or are so far distant that it seems almost inevitable that they will go. Sometimes the ending is sudden, whether it’s by some argument or by someone quitting the game or transferring servers and not wishing to extend the friendship beyond it. Sometimes it’s gradual; interests change and people move on. I’m not sure which is worse.
One of the most powerful things that ties one to Warcraft — far more than the Skinnerian reward of a daily quest — is the people that exist within the game. Warcraft is at its heart a social game. You do things together. If not for that, I would have quit playing long ago, just as I quit playing Civilization, Sims, Pirates, Dragon Age, or any game that didn’t have a social aspect. I think people who are complaining about LFR and complaining about Dungeon Finder are the like are really complaining about this — that the game for them is becoming less of a social thing, and more like a single player game. I’ve never felt that, because I spend so little time comparatively using those tools and so much time doing things more permanently social — RP and ten man raiding — that I’ve never seen if LFR and LFD are really moving the game away from its social ties that make it so strong.
So for me, losing a friend, even someone who I would never consider my “best friend”, is more meaningful and in some ways more painful than getting a nerf, or being frustrated with not being able to progress or get gear or the like. It’s a blow, and even in the cases where it’s been a heated argument that leads to “Adieu”, it still makes me sad. Understandable or not, I’ve lost something. There was something I really enjoyed that, for whatever reason, I’ll never experience again.
I apologize if this post comes out as too self-absorbed. I think that’s the nature of blog posts, or at least the nature of my blog posts. I know that there are other people in the world who have far better reason to be sad than I — people who have lost loved ones in a tragic shooting, people who are struggling with a terminal illness of a loved one, people whose dear pets have succumbed to illness — the list could go on and on. If you’re one of those people, and you know who you are, you have my sympathies.
But to my former friends out there, and you know who you are: at some point in time you made me feel so happy that I felt like I never wanted to leave your side. Some of you carried me through some tough times. Some of you saw great triumphs. All of you, for at least some time, found a place in my heart. And all of you, even the ones whose friendships ended suddenly and badly, will be in my memories forever. I hope and trust that most of those memories will be of the good times, not the bad.
You all have meant a lot to me. Thank you.