There's this stupid little virtual world game that I play, called Second Life. I have talked about it quite a few times in my blog. This is not a game but a virtual world as in you are free to do what you want once you are in it. There are no aliens to shoot at no points to collect or stuff of that sort that makes up a video game. There are games "in" the game but SL itself is fully free-form. It has its own economy and many types of businesses. People meet, chat, have relationships, marriage and everything.
It is quite an engrossing thing, this game and so addictive that some people have this text on their profiles, "Remember, it's just a game!". I don't agree with them. It's a game, technically and for the purposes of establishing that I am a sane person, I'll concede that it's a game. But it's not completely a game. In a game when you shoot at the alients, or the villain's henchmen or the enemy army, they don't hurt, they don't bleed, they do bleed on the screen, but not in real. Just pixels. Lighted dots on the screen. But in SL, behind the pixels there is always a human being. He may not be as ruggedly handsome, or she may not be such a ravishing beauty but they are human, with a mind that thinks and a heart that feels. Some people, not necessarily the people who claim that it's a game, but some people do not fully realize that they are interacting with humans. Humans with feelings. These people can be really mindless jerks at times.
On my friend list are some people I have not talked to in a long time, but I still can't bring myself to delete them off my list. It's not much different from the way I always call my friend Harry, my real world friend Harry, on 9th Feb without fail, even if I have not talked to him the rest of the year. And there are some people I talk to almost every day on Sl. Just like in RL, I will call my real friend Fazil at least once a week no matter what corner of the world I have taken refuge in.
In this world we form friendships. Do they matter any less than the "real" friendships because the medium of communication is different? I don't think so. The joy of new connections is the same. The partings have the same kind of sting and the feeling of loss. The partings are quite real and painful they are depends on depth of the relationship not the medium they were made in. Well, I am feeling the pang of such a virtual parting today so I just thought it might help if I rant about it.