Gaming is awesome, in more ways than one. Not only do you get to while away the wee hours of the morning, shooting new players on De_Dust, but you also meet people, and chat to people, gloat, taunt, and for some people, fall in love. Thankfully, I don't think I've ever done the latter, but I've definitely done the rest. Cultures in the 'fake' games world exist just as they do in the 'real' world (whever that place is). In the world today we have many different races, religeons, dress senses, accents, Broad cultures. In the games world we have consumers, n00bs, l337's (elite players), modders, developers, fan boys. They all exist, and can be seen in many of the different games played online today.
I personally feel that online games have the best cultural variety. On most single player games, we never really communicate with other people, and so we aren't able to express our views, and find our niche that we fit into.
Peronally, I consider myself a modder, when I play games, I want to put new stuff in them, I love fiddling with things. I'm part of different mod communities, I spend my freetime modding games, just as much as I play them. I'm definitely not a 1337 player, and I'd be shocked if you called me a n00b.
Modding occopies a lot of my life, dangerously consuming my time avaliable to do uni work, but I enjoy it, and its my leisure activity. its safe to say it takes up most of my freetime.
Through my time on the net, whether it be playing games, or modding games, I have met many 'virtual friends'. People I only know through the chat pane of MSN, some I have met while playing games. Take one of my friends Jack for example. Jack and I met on Counterstrike when I was fourteen years old. We stayed in touch all this time. Jack lives in Leicester, and when I came to university here, we met up and went for a drink. We're now good friends.
But most of my internet friends come from modding. We work as teams, on the internet to create content, but most I have never met in the flesh before. Its strange that I consider them my friends, when the only contact I have ever had with them is via text being entered onto a screen.