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AuburnAlumni's Blog
Longtime Friends I've never shook hands with. 
Posted on November 14, 2008 at 06:13 AM.
My how times have changed.

I can remember the old days of Prodigy and the first inklings of the world wide web.

I can remember the beginnings of AOL, Chat Rooms, and the all too familiar sounds of my dial up connection sending me to a place called the world wide web.

Back then, it was a kick just to be able to type something on a computer and almost instantly have someone halfway across the state, country, continent or world respond to what I had written. It blew my mind.

Fast forward almost 20 years and now, I can have a conversation with someone who lives 1000 miles away...ON MY VIDEO GAME SYSTEM. This growth of both the internet and video gaming online has created a whole new aspect of human interaction...the "virtual friend".

I stumbled upon Operation Sports back in the Summer of 2001 while working my internship after graduating from Auburn University here in Alabama. Instantly..I was hooked. A community of guys like me, sports fanatics, video game junkies, music fiends, you name it. A virtual neighborhood where everyone on my block shared all of the interests and passions that I had developed growing up. Inevitably, I became a regular poster on this board, stayed with it after it's "relaunch" in July of 2002, and still visit it as often as any other site on the net to this day, over 7 years later.

Inevitably, after spending so many years exchanging posts, etc. on the same board with many of the same people, "friendships" have developed. I can truly say that I have very good friends that I in fact have never even seen face to face in a real world enviornment. In fact...many of my friends here are still faceless usernames and avatars...yet I have spent more time interacting with many of them than I have with old college buddies or high school classmates.

I've spent countless hours online scoring touchdowns, popping 3 point baskets, and shooting terrorists with these friends...year after year after year. Most of these guys knew me right out of I am 30 years old, less than 2 months from my 31st birthday.

It is the evolution of the Message board "brotherhood"....

Posting leads to gaming.

Gaming leads to voice chat.

Voice chat leads to eventual phone calls that have nothing to do with gaming.

It's funny....I was on the phone the other night with Dan aka "OS KODIAK". We weren't talking about NCAA or NBA 2k or Ghost Recon. We were talking about the election, mortgage payments, buying houses, etc. When a friend of mine asked me who that was on the phone, I told them a friend. When they asked me how I knew him...I replied "through Xbox". It sounded strange at first, but then again...look at Myspace. Look at Facebook. The world is evolving, changing and people are meeting people not only in the physical world, but the virtual as well.

It's quite amusing that years before myspace, etc. many of the foundations of meeting those new folks were built right here on Operation Sports. Through user names, avatars, and good old fashioned sports allegiances.
# 1 TJdaSportsGuy @ Nov 14
There are a few guys like that for me here. Guys like Scott "ExtremeGamer" Burress, Matt "TheLetterZ" Blumenthal, Chris "Millennium" Gunter, Terry "TCrouch" Crouch. I'd share the same conversations with them as I would any other friend I've had. This place is awesome and I'm so thankful I found it.
# 2 ezekiel55 @ Nov 15
Great blog thing you forgot to mention is getting kicked from dial-up because someone, I hated that.
# 3 fishepa @ Nov 20
Excellent blog.
# 4 Coach Bryant @ Dec 15
# 5 JohnDoe8865 @ Jan 26
Very true, I just now got around to reading this and I feel like I know some of the guys here and I've never met any of them that I know of.
# 6 countryboy @ Jun 2
Excellent blog AA.
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