To help keep the flow going while I finish up a few shorts and articles for various places here's an anticle I wrote for an old online publication a while back. Read and enjoy(note the article was originally made for a site I still frequent on occassion).
Scripts can dictate many things. In games, they dictate the games responses, and how much damage that blow to the skull actually does to a person. Online, they guide us to the places we want to go, and format things to the way the pagemaster wants. In various MMOs they dictate what kind of clothes we wear, how our responses look, and how the site itself looks. However, the one thing a script can't dictate, are the kinds of connections we make, to the people we meet here. All across the Internet, people have bonded with those they may have never even considered, offline. Gaia is certainly not an exception. General Discussion, Extended Discussion, Anime/Manga/Comics, all of them are merely gathering places for people to chat amongst themselves, and seek out people they could consider friends, and in some cases, something more. While it is true there are many deceivers out there, the anonymity the Internet provides have allowed people to become more open and honest, than they may even initially realize. And with the facelessness, can also come the courage to reach out for help, in ways real life circumstances may stifle.
If you want proof of this, take a look at any place within Gaia. In General Discussion, they are bonded by the chances they are given to bond, and share their lives with the people they come to know and love. Some even speculate it's much like hanging out with your friends in high school(if hanging out with your friends meant having someone randomly show you a mentally scarring picture, of course). Within the Extended Discussion, is a place for any and all people to express their views, and to perhaps seek enlightenment from people who live a different way of life. In the Art Shops & Requests, you can find fellow artists, and find ways to improve your own art, or find new ways to draw and render your pieces, and perhaps purchase some of their art, for yourself. But within these forums, and all others, lie a common theme: Allowing yourself to speak to new people, and letting yourself connect to the people that wish to know you better.
Offline, people face hardships and challenges on a daily basis. Home lives, where the parents constantly bicker and fight. Working jobs that take much more, than they give. Inner demons we battle everyday we wake up. With places like Gaia, we can turn to people we couldn't normally find, and come to them for advice and perhaps a shoulder to cry on, in their greatest time of need. And from this, can emerge the people we come to call the things we cherish most, as seen in this statement from Blissful Oblivion. "There are people I would gladly die for, who I've met online. x) Some are real life friends, some are correspondents from around the world who share things in common. Some are even role models that I may look up too. Surely one may lie and totally be a faker, but I believe them to some extent XD (If I wanted to I can write a long book on the ones I'm really close to , on these sorta sites x) )" It's common knowledge the reason anything online, that thrives and prospers, is because of the community that place builds, and Gaia is certainly not an exception. In time, people we come to see here as strangers, we may come to see as friends. Friends as confidants. Confidants, as the people we cherish, more than anything in this world. And with the strength and courage these people provide us with, we may be able to discover the strength within ourselves to make these online bonds something more. Something we're to see face to face. Something we can hear and feel. Something we can call our own, and have nothing rob us, of the unscripted connection we all share.