WINCHESTER — A bunch of Winchester teens have been enjoying on-line video video games with a boy from Birmingham, Alabama, for greater than 4 years.
But till just lately the children had by no means met.
The Winchester avid gamers lastly met their on-line buddy when Trey Thompson, 15, flew almost 700 miles from Alabama to Winchester to meet 10 new associates. Trey mentioned the assembly, which happened slightly greater than per week in the past, was a “surreal” expertise since he’s been wanting to go to Winchester for the previous two years.
“It’s simply actually been type of like a dream of mine to return up there and meet them,” he mentioned.
Once they met in particular person, the boys (and one woman) wore face masks resulting from COVID-19 precautions with not more than eight individuals gathering indoors at a time. During Trey’s go to, the group walked and drove round Winchester and performed video video games at a number of of their properties.
Trey first met the Winchester avid gamers by a recreation referred to as Rocket League, the place he started chatting and enjoying on-line with Lang Kulton, 15, a sophomore at Handley High School. Lang then launched Trey to the remainder of his gamer associates in Winchester by a gaming server often called Discord.
For Lang, it was “actually cool” to lastly meet Trey in particular person.
Trey is especially near Handley college students Jake Burton, 16, and Campbell Walker, 16.
Jake estimates that he’s performed on-line video video games with Trey for no less than 2,000 hours over time. The two have spent many late nights speaking and enjoying video video games. Jake mentioned Trey has at all times been good to speak to every time he feels unhappy.
“A bond has undoubtedly been created over the previous 4 years,” Jake mentioned.
Meeting Trey in particular person was a spotlight of the 12 months for Jake, who mentioned he hasn’t had many alternatives to spend face-to-face time with associates this 12 months due to the pandemic.
As for Trey, he mentioned Campbell has helped him by all of his breakups, including that he was as soon as chatting with Campbell on the identical time another person had simply damaged up with Trey. Campbell helped him get by it.
For Campbell, seeing Trey in particular person “confirmed me that relationships that you simply make on video games can final some time. They could be simply as actual as assembly somebody in actual life.”
“Gaming is simply as a lot as a medium for social interplay as it’s a medium for leisure,” Campbell added.
Campbell additionally famous that he and his associates, together with Trey, have grown nearer all through the pandemic since they’ve extra time now than ever to speak by gaming as a result of they’re at all times inside.
“If there’s one takeaway, gaming itself can do much more good than it does unhealthy,” Campbell mentioned.