Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails shaking hands as friends.

Gamer Meets Groomsman IRL For The First Time On His Wedding Day

This Xbox player invited a fellow gamer he’d been playing with online for nearly 15 years to be the groomsman at his wedding.  They’d never met.

This is a story for those who have struck up genuinely strong online relationships with fellow gamers.

28-year-old Charles Powell from Cincinnati met Joe Walters, who lives in Detroit, in 2003 when they were both playing Phantasy Star Online on the original Xbox.  He was just 13-years-old at the time.

What started with a conversation about an item he needed, blossomed into a close friendship over the years.  Through Walters, Powell met two other players, William Brown, from Tennessee, and Joey Morris, who lives in Baltimore.  The four had a lot in common and quickly started sending each other messages and coordinating times to play together.

Over the years, the group had made plans to meet but were never able to make it work for a number of reasons.  When Powell invited them to his wedding, they decided this was the perfect opportunity to meet in person.

Despite having never met him face-to-face, Powell felt that the bond with Walters was so strong that he asked him to be his groomsman, standing next to him at the altar.

I met my wife online (away from gaming) and she relocated from America to live with me in the UK, so I know that online relationships can work.  With that being said, the commitment to keep friendships strong through the years is a real challenge and it is a testament to this group of online friends that they’ve kept the bond alive through the years.

You can read the full interview on BuzzFeed News.