Video games may be the main reason for keeping you away from your real friends on the ground, even though we recognize and talk to hundreds of people online.
While people might not consider that an actual friendship, Charles Powell‘s story might change that perception.
The 28-year-old from Cincinnati got engaged to his girlfriend Myra last year and went through the usual process of organising their wedding. When Charles was thinking about who he’d invite to be his groomsmen, he didn’t hesitate to include Joe Walters from Detroit.
The two had been mates for 15 years, yet they had never actually met in person.
15 years of playing on Xbox live. The first time we have ever met, and he’s a groomsman in my wedding. Online friends are real life friends. pic.twitter.com/2rEAXozZtr
— Black Star (@ChuckNyce116) November 16, 2017
But that didn’t stop him from including Joe in his wedding ceremony.
He posted a picture of him and his mate to Twitter saying: “15 years of playing on Xbox live. The first time we have ever met, and he’s a groomsman in my wedding. Online friends are real life friends.”
It’s an understatement to say the post went viral, with it being liked and retweeted more than 200,000 times. Other people shared their stories of meeting their partners or mates in similar circumstances.
One person wrote: “I can relate. My best friend and I met on a forum ten years ago this year. First day we ever met in person, she was my maid of honour. Online friends are the realest.”
I can relate. My best friend and I met on a forum ten years ago this year. First day we ever met in person, she was my maid of honor. Online friends are the realest. Congratulations to you!
— Adelaide Gardner (@ohadelaide) November 18, 2017
So sweet! I met my fiancée on Twitch. Gaming brings people together!
— 💵💉Addicting Ally💵 (@PrincessAlly27) November 18, 2017
They first crossed paths in 2003, when Charles was 13-years-old and playing Phantasy Star Online on Xbox. Charles has told Buzzfeed: “Every part of my life [his online buddies] were there.”
He adds that there was no awkwardness whatsoever when they finally met in person, saying: “We already knew each other. It was like we were already family.”