Yeah, I’m playing fast and loose with the word ‘family’ but in some senses I think of the denizens of online role-playing environments as a big, somewhat dysfunctional family. Or club maybe…dare I say cult?
Anyway, I never met Candace Bolter, to the best of my knowledge, but she seems to have been a very nice person. More importantly to me, is the fact that people who never met her face-to-face liked her, and now miss her and remember her fondly. Its so easy to write off ‘in-game’ friendships as somehow no more real than our avatars…easy, that is, until we lose someone, and know we’ve lost them.
How many other virtual friends have slipped away with us assuming they just got tired of playing? Its a disturbing thought, isn’t it?