I did something this past week that I have never done in years of playing video games: I played with people I didn’t know IRL (in real life). Let me explain alittle further. I have been playing a popular game called Modern Warfare for the past few years and a major part of the game involves playing with others online. Sometimes you interact with people in the lobby waiting to play or boasting afterwards upon shooting them…usually I only really talked with people I knew in real life. Not sure why this is as it has become much more common to talk and play with anyone online…but it just wasn’t something I wanted to do and I usually always had at least one friend on to play with anyways. This week I was playing with my buddy Scott when we got invited to join these guys “party” to play with them. With some hesitation we joined them. Turned out to be a couple of adolescents who were very good at this game. While Scott and I didn’t add much to their team, they seemed happy to trade their expertise for our humor. We have been continually playing with them for over a week now and it has been cool getting to know about them more and learn tips from them. One thing that stood out as we got to know them was that they had been playing with the other for over 2 years and have never met in real life! Woah if that isn’t a statement on how relationships are changing rapidly with each new generation I don’t know what is. Another guy we played with was in his twenties and shared that he just returned from serving 7yrs in the Army. After Scott thanked him for his service this turned into a discussion on faith and God…crazy stuff.
In the end I’m not very good at Modern Warfare or Words with Friends…but I don’t really play them to win as much as I do to connect with people. This is what this wave of social gaming is all about…students and adults alike are connecting through games like never before. I was happy this week to cross-over and learn a little bit more about the people around the world that I am playing with. Instead of just some random computer generated character running around the screen with a name on top of it, I was reminded that each represents a person like me out there…a person longing for relational connection.