When your social network is your passport to the world
A friend’s girlfriend is having a hard time keeping up with all the games her social media pals play.
So when she’s feeling lonely, she decides to try her hand at one of the gaming communities on the planet.
“I just started to realize, like, wow, what if I could just go online and play these games and talk to these people?” says Amanda Cairns, 27, a social media consultant from Los Angeles.
Cairns and her girlfriend, Lauren, decided to play the games on the group of friends she’s known for nearly a decade, starting with the one that started it all.
“We had this really great time and we had a really great discussion about things,” says Cairsons sister, Heather, 27.
“And then it got to the point where we were like, ‘We need to do something together, we have to play some of these games.’
And it just seemed like the right thing to do.”
Cairsns says the two got into a little bit of a game of their own.
“It’s not like we were trying to hide that we were playing games,” she says.
“But we were kind of like, well, you know, why not?
We’ve got a really good relationship, so why not have a little fun?”
For the two of them, it was a fun time.
“I think the games really kind of brought us together,” Cair says.
The games that are part of the group’s social activities include the popular Card Hunter and its spin-off, The Last of Us: The Game of the Dead, and the popular World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, which is currently in beta and can be played by players from anywhere in the world.
“It’s really fun to see the community come together and just hang out and play, like,” Lauren says.
For Amanda, the group is more about socializing with people who she doesn’t have much in common with, and getting to know the people in her immediate social circle.
“There’s a lot of different groups and people in my life that I haven’t met yet, and I’m just like, hey, I’ll meet you, and it’s just kind of cool,” she explains.
While it’s important for young people to feel comfortable interacting with their peers online, the gaming group isn’t for everyone.
The two women say they’re happy to meet new people, and they’re also willing to do a little exploring in order to find out more about the world around them.
“Just trying to see what’s out there and learn from other people,” Cairsons says.
“There’s so much that’s out in the wild, and we want to learn about that,” Lauren adds.
“When we get to know our friends in real life, we can actually be like, oh, these people really like to hang out with other people, so we want that too.”
The first person to win $20,000 in The Last Of Us: Burning Crusade prizes is Amanda, Lauren and Heather.