Friends for Five Years, Finally Meeting Offline

In July, I met up with two friends from the gaming group I’ve been a part of for over 5 years. Though we’d seen each other periodically through webcam, this was the first time we’d met in person!

We were in Las Vegas for EVO 2016, the largest fighting game tournament in the world. A year before, I had to miss watching the tournament online, and jokingly suggested that we just go the next year. As I prayed for closer friendships with this group, our conversations became more and more personal, and suddenly the trip was happening.
At first, it was a bit odd getting used to their physical presence and reading their social cues. But after a few hours it felt just like every evening for the past 5 years: gaming together, making jokes, and talking about our lives. Even saying goodbye at the airport didn’t feel weighty, because I knew I would see them online the next day.