One of the many reasons I love online gaming
On September 11, 2001, I had spent the morning horrified by what I was seeing on the news. My heart was heavy, and I simply didn't know what to do to relieve the strain of watching two massive skyscrapers collapse with thousands of people inside. I knew that I had to step away from the endless news loop, and so I logged into EverQuest, more just to wander around Norrath and clear my head for a bit than to actually play.
I expected my server to be relatively empty. After all, the world seemed to be in chaos. The chat channels were largely silent, but then somebody spoke up and said, "I came here to escape the news of this awful day." I felt slightly less alone in my anguish. But then another message appeared in the channel and said, "Aussie here. Our hearts are breaking for Americans today." Another joined and said, "UK. But we're all New Yorkers today." And, with the silence broken, voices from around the world chimed in with words of support and respect. Not a single person said anything political or insensitive. Not one. We were miles apart, and yet we were all together.
Online gamers are often perceived as vicious 12-year-olds cursing like sailors and tea-bagging one another. It's rare for the outsider to see us as a community, and yet, that's what we are. There's no shortage of asshats in multi-player gaming, but I like to believe that they're still the minority. I've encountered far more kind, helpful people while playing multi-player games than I have jerks.
Today's video speaks to that. It comes to us from the Polaris Network, a group that represents 500 gaming channels on YouTube. Google invited the group to be ambassadors for Gaming Day during YouTube Geek Week, and they saw it as an opportunity to talk about what video games mean to them. Have a look.
Have you made lasting friendships as an online gamer? What does community mean to you? Share your thoughts and memories in the comments below.
If you've got a video you'd love to see featured as our Video of the Day, drop me a link at shayalyn[AT]tentonhammer.com. You can also tweet me @ShayalynTTH on Twitter.