Video games are a freedom, a story, a picture, a twitch in the tip of your index finger, a drop of sweat rolling down your back, a connection. Interacting online with people whom I only know by a unique alpha-numeric string, however, creates a peculiar relationship barrier. How can you be somebody’s friend if you don’t even know his name?
The answer to this question has been a guiding force in my view of the world. Neither a face nor a name nor even an ethnicity make a person who he is: rather, shared experiences create friendships.
No matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you have been, you can create an avatar and live a life that you have designed for yourself. Video games let you be free of any real world baggage.
When real world limitations are removed stronger bonds can be formed. In the virtual world, your choice of friends is limitless. There are millions of gamers to choose from. Billions of interactions, lacking traditional biasing factors present in contemporary communication, to engage in.
Instead of being limited by appearance, the virtual world requires friendships be built on bonds not corrupted by physical perceptions. The virtual world enables true relationships built on faceless pseudonyms but shared stories. Virtual world friendships are built on mutual interests, shared values, and revealed dreams; the true foundations of meaningful relationships. Through video games, I have interacted with innumerable fellow gamers from various cultures, and since I have joined this interconnected world, my life has never been the same.
There are many who claim participating in the virtual world is akin to alienating yourself from social life. While I’m not particularly strong in the realm of real life socialization, my personal shortcomings started before I became a gamer. In fact, video games have helped me develop numerous teaching and leadership skills because of the responsibilities I have assumed in online communities. The best way to gain skills is through practice, and the internet provides limitless opportunities to practice any skill.
My world is not limited by the shackles of space but only restricted by the bounds of creativity. When the story is written with code, not words, the experience is no longer finite. The book is but one writer’s imagination; the game is of the imagination of millions. A video game is a painting of communication in motion. My choices are the colors on the canvas. And the canvas is infinite.