Touching viral video shows online gamer showing up to surprise his friend in real life

A viral TikTok video proves that online friendships can be real friendships.

Since the introduction of online gaming and social media, much has been made about the importance of real-life interaction. While the hand-wringing over young people losing valuable social skills isn't entirely unwarranted, there can be a tendency for some to throw the baby out with the bathwater. While excessive gaming is associated with less sociability, there are social positives for many in the gaming world.

Real friendships can be—and frequently are—made through gaming. In fact, relationships forged through online gaming were a lifeline for many people during pandemic isolation periods. My 76-year-old mother plays World of Warcraft and has a group of friends she's played with for years. They know about one another's jobs and families and support each other in their real lives in addition to their gaming lives. I've seen how much these friendships play a role in her life and it's very sweet.

A video of a surprise gaming friend meet-up perfectly exemplifies how real these relationships can be.

TikTok user @lunaanddiogi shared the video with captions that told the story.

"My boyfriend has had an online gaming friend for over 10 years he has never met," she wrote. "At first I thought it was super weird. Then I got to know him over FaceTime."

"He ended up being super cool so we planned a surprise weekend," she continued. "He lives four hours away."

As the captions appear, we see the boyfriend lying on the couch when there's a knock at the door. "Someone's here," says the girlfriend. He sits up as she goes to the door and opens it.

"I heard you're having a bad day," said the gaming friend, as the boyfriend rose from the sofa in disbelief.

The joy. The hug. The tears. It's just the best.



Besties #gamingontiktok #gamingfriends #callofduty #90dayfiance #bestfriends #imjustthinkingwithmyd #fyp #euphoria @Parker Hann

People loved the men's reactions to meeting in person and how happy they were to be together.

"Brings good tears to my eyes," wrote one commenter.

"I can confirm this is so cool and I’ve done the same except I flew from UK to LA to meet my friend was a BLAST for an experience," wrote another.

"This is everything honestly," wrote another. "Don't let anyone tell you that your online friends aren't real friends."

At least one commenter shared that they met their husband through gaming. (My mom shared that marriages have happened in her gaming community as well.)

Online friendships might be new in the course of human history, but like pen pals before, people can form real connections with one another long-distance through the internet. Meeting people via the internet has to be done safely, of course, but human relationships don't have to be limited by time and place. The bottom line is, when you find your people, geography is just a minor detail.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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