I don't have a lot of friends. I used to have a pretty large "social circle," but I've become the kind of person who prefers to stay at home with a cold beer and game than to go out to bars and such.

When I think about friends, I think about the scene in Tombstone where a guy asks Doc Holliday why he would risk his life to help Wyatt Earp. Doc replies "Because Wyatt Earp is my friend."  The guy kind of scoffs at him and says "Friend? Hell, I've got a lot of friends." Doc looks at him and, after a pause, says "I don't."

That's how I think about friendship. There are a lot of acquaintances that are a part of my life, but there aren't a lot of people I consider friends.


One day I was mowing the grass near a tree in the backyard when there was this "crack" kind of sound and I saw this little rabbit run out from the area I was mowing. Relieved that I hadn't run him over, I went over and picked him up. He was so small and cute; my daughter came outside to pet him - it was a nice little moment. It was only when I went back over to where I was mowing that I saw that there was another baby rabbit in the area and that the "crack" sounds was me running him over with the lawnmower. It wasn't a pretty sight: there was fur, blood, bone. It really sucked and I was really upset. I told my wife what had happened and she told me it wasn't my fault, I couldn't have seen him, they're so small. She's my best friend and I can talk to her about anything. So I felt a bit better, as I always do when I talk to her about something that's upsetting me.

Some may say "Sheesh, it was just a rabbit," but the point is that night I was feeling sad. I was considering going to bed early, but I decided to sign on to Xbox Live and play some instead. Soon after signing on, you guys sent me a party invite, which I gladly accepted. Joining the party lobby, we had a great group going. You know who you are. So we played some Gears 2, and it was one of the funniest nights I've ever had on Live. We laughed at bots shooting into corners where nobody was and walking in ways we had no idea how to walk. I listened to you guys good-naturedly calling each other names, talking about games, movies, the Forums, whatever.

That was most certainly not the first or only time I had fun playing with you guys. In fact, I enjoy every time I play or interact with you guys. And I've had times when I thought about how much I liked the people I've met here on GIO. But I remember that night thinking about how much I appreciated you guys and that you're my friends. To sign on to Live feeling sad and to have a blast playing and laughing with you guys really meant a lot to me.

There are some who say that the relationships you form with people online can't be as meaningful or important as those you form in "real life." I disagree.

Here's to you guys.