Hi CJ! I am really excited about this chat, so I am the one thanking you for the opportunity.

I have been playing video games since I can remember, and I have been a relatively early adopter of the internet. However, funnily enough, these two elements have very rarely overlapped.
I prefer single-player games, and I always loved point-and-click adventures and RPGs most of all. For me, the "social" element of video games involved "real life" interaction.

I spent a lot of time sitting with my friends in a dark room playing resident evil, comparing playthroughs, or having long brainstorming sessions to solve puzzles.

There have been, however, two exceptions: I've been part of a guild of players of Ultima Online. Inside the game, I would script adventures and NPCs, or paint digital skins to enhance and modify the characters; while outside the game I would organise meetups with other guild members. I made many friends across Italy at that time!
The other one is a Neverwinter Nights fan club I ran with two other girls over at Deviant Art. We would organise contests, draw, write stories, and script mods that we could play together.
One of my co-admins of the club is now a published author of urban fantasy and horror novels.

For me, the common element between the internet and games had more to do with the way both would stimulate my creativity and my desire to learn how things work behind the scene. Though it is true that there is something magical with the way the internet back then allowed young people to connect with others all over the world that would share their interests, no matter how "niche" they were.
(At that time, Dungeons and Dragons and fantasy novels weren't "cool").

It is a shame that the internet has lost its magic now that users are a product and meaningful interaction is discouraged; though I have seen many communities recently working on projects that aim at getting that magic back.
Write.as is a great example, as it encourages long-form replies across blogs over just clicking a "like" button or a smiley face.

Melyanna Laurindil