I have spent time in gaming environments, and part of that in MMO’s. Playing with others. To quote Phyllis Greenacre If two people are repeatedly alone together, some sort of emotional bond will develop between them. Does this apply to virtual relations? What are these anyway? How much of it, if any, is real?
Often I am surprised how accurate gaming friends can judge me. That’s not for you. Watch that movie, you will like it. Omg, you forgot, of course you did. Spot on. At least some of me shines through. But, there are also gaps with real life and sometimes they pop up in little things. F.e., in game, I am seen as someone who can cook. IRL, in any event ever where I had to bring a homemade dish, I’m questioned about who made it. And eyed suspiciously when I reply that I made it myself.
How much do I colour, do I create while interacting online? (I do that irl too, but I can’t help doing more of it online, right?) Things do happen, though. Liking some, disliking others. Nightly confessions, sharing, an infatuation, disappointments, getting angry. Real feelings. In that sense it is real.
And connections, emotional bonds, leave traces, and memories.
Not to mention what happens when you meet, and worlds clash.