I have been immeasurably lucky in that I have never lost a close online friend to death, only to drifting away. But unfortunately, you don’t have to tour an in-game memorial to know it’s incredibly lucky and that it eventually touches everyone in gaming.
Over the weekend, a Final Fantasy XIV player posted a touching tribute to his wife, whom he’d lost to cancer. The pair of them had played FFXIV during the early months of the COVID pandemic as a way to socialize, but it quickly became a lot more than that. It’s enormously painful to read, and I sure wouldn’t do it if you’re not in a good place right now, but he was reaching out to XIV players for help: He didn’t want to play the MMO without her.
“Has anyone experienced this, having a spouse or a close friend as a playing buddy, and they passed away?” he asks. “I know that I shouldn’t force myself to stay away from things that give me joy, but I’m having a hard time with like any media that I enjoyed before she passed[.]”
If you’ve lost someone in an MMO, how have you handled it? Did you keep playing, or did you find you needed to break from those memories for a while or forever?