A little bit of music for this post.
So I am a married man. The hardships and indignation of single people are lost on me. It has been so long since i've been single, I do not really remember the issues that come with it. I have friends who have met and gotten married through World Of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI. I also have long standing friendships in a bunch of multiplayer games with people I have never met. I have found friendships with my brother-in-laws through fighting games. My friend (for his sake, we will call him Mr. Aidan) had a girl he met through a Call Of Duty clan (for her sake we will call her Miss Bradshaw). Mr. Aidan has been Skypeing with his clan mate, outside the game. Miss Bradshaw and Mr. Aidan had gotten kinda personal recently and their relationship was discovered by the rest of their clan. As a result, the dynamic of the clan had changed. Another male clan member (we will call him Mr. Bigg) had a crush on Miss Bradshaw. When Mr. Aidan and Miss Bradshaw's relationship was made public in the clan, normal male stupidity ensued. Mr. Bigg sent pictures of an elderly couple having sex to the clan, mockingly saying that the pictures were of Mr. Aidan and Miss Bradshaw. This upset Miss Bradshaw, making her uncomfortable and making Mr. Aidan angry. Mr. Aidan spoke online with Mr. Bigg and they worked out their difference over a game of Killzone 3. Mr. Aidan is an open minded individual who gets over things quickly.
“Video gamers aren’t the lonely guys in their basement anymore. There has always been this belief that men who play video games are loner, loser type of guys, but these days all the major consoles have large internet gaming communities such as Xbox Live that connect players to other players all around the globe. You could be running special ops with a buddy in Nevada or watching Peyton Manning cheaply throw passes over your head thanks to an unknown opponent in Bangalore in a matter of seconds. Either way, we are interacting with friends and fellow gamers all over the world. Oddly enough, video games have probably become one of the more socially active hobbies you can have these days.”
– Shawn Norris from Guyism.com article – 10 Reason Men Love To Play Video Games
When we make relationships online are they the same as relationships in the real world. With privacy dying on the internet. What I'm trying to say is Facebook fucked the internet up in a way no one ever expected. We went from displaying ourselves as an online persona to displaying an idealized version of our actual life. In the future, we will no longer be able to idealize ourselves and the internet will reveal humanity in us all. Is this changing the social dynamic in the future for everyone? Are we looking into everyone's lives too closely? As a society are we prepared for the social changes in work and home life this may cause? Probably not. The generation born into the age of the internet will not know the difference between who they are in real life and who they are online. The use of a persona will be dead.
No matter what changes, the world is still filled with assholes and always will be. The assholes are alive and well. Their soap box has just gotten louder. Should romantic relationships grow in this bold new world or should we allow travel and communication to become even better before drudging these paths. I do not know. I am married and these types of relationships have no relevance to me.
The better question is can video games become the relationship. The most talked about scene in Starbreeze Studio's The Darkness involves Jack "Jackie" Estacado, a New York assassin, sitting down and watching “To Kill a Mocking Bird” with his girlfriend, Jenny. You, as Jack, can watch the entire movie with her allowing Jack, and you as the player, to become emotionally connected with Jenny. Only to have the game continue wherein Jenny's gets shot in the head. I actually was taken back by this. My assumption was that the game was going to make me save Jenny and now she is dead and the game forces you to live in Jack's rage. The Darkness becomes a story of revenge as Jack takes out everyone in sight. His love of Jenny is the motivation for Jack. The game is broken in many spots and has its issues, however, I do not know why but that scene stays with me. Can artificial intelligence and developers' planning become so realistic that we have the same relationship with the artificial intelligence that we have with actual people. Is that truly the end of the human experience? Probably not. People are people and that will never change. Video games are at the end of the day a way for us to experience things outside ourselves and learn more about our personality.
As the old saying goes, you are what you eat and we are the entertainment we consume.