Some gamers get ripped for having no friends, even though when they're playing online, they speak to dozens of people all over the world. While people might not consider that an actual friendship, Charles Powell's story might change that perception.
The 28-year-old from Cincinnati got engaged to his girlfriend Myra last year and went through the usual process of organising their wedding. When Charles was thinking about who he'd invite to be his groomsmen, he didn't hesitate to include Joe Walters from Detroit.
The two had been mates for 15 years, yet they had never actually met in person.
But that didn't stop him from including Joe in his wedding ceremony.
He posted a picture of him and his mate to Twitter saying: "15 years of playing on Xbox live. The first time we have ever met, and he's a groomsman in my wedding. Online friends are real life friends."
It's an understatement to say the post went viral, with it being liked and retweeted more than 200,000 times. Other people shared their stories of meeting their partners or mates in similar circumstances.
One person wrote: "I can relate. My best friend and I met on a forum ten years ago this year. First day we ever met in person, she was my maid of honour. Online friends are the realest."
They first crossed paths in 2003, when Charles was 13-years-old and playing Phantasy Star Online on Xbox. Charles has told Buzzfeed: "Every part of my life [his online buddies] were there."
He adds that there was no awkwardness whatsoever when they finally met in person, saying: "We already knew each other. It was like we were already family."
It's certainly a new way to make a friend that you wouldn't have been able to do before the turn of the century. But there are more avenues than ever to make friend online, with one of those being a sub Reddit called GamerPals, which has more than 18,600 subscribers. It helps connect people with similar time zones, ages, likes and dislikes. Plenty of people post on the page looking for mates to play Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto or any other type of video game.
The site says: "[GamePals] is meant as a place where people can meet other people without the hassle of having to join a community or gaming group."
It's a really good way for people who might have social anxiety to get some mates while staying in relatively familiar territory. This was seen shortly after Pokémon Go was introduced, where hordes of people were interacting with each other because they would be travelling to the same gym or to catch the same Pokémon.
Featured Image Credit: @ChuckNyce116, @wi11_l3 , @Sinj0 @therealfwave