Upon my now bi-monthly visit to my parents' house, they inquired if I had done anything social with my friends in the last few weeks. "Of course," I replied, "we started raiding Karazhan about a month ago, and defeated the Curator, Aran, and the chess event!" They looked at me strangely, and I immediately realized that I was talking about people I've never met in person and whom I spend time with only in a virtual setting. I began wondering if I was losing touch on reality, that a video game was becoming a real setting for me to socialize. I soon realized that it was not just me, but instead it is becoming a phenomenon that is quickly becoming the norm.
Every day I work with people all over the world by phone and by email, and every night I do the same thing. Some may say that it does resemble more of a work environment than a friendship environment, but I say it can be both. I log into our Ventrilo server and chat it up with everyone who is online. I have my friends, and my not-so-friends, and sometimes we work hard, and sometimes we goof around.
I believe that if you take it to a level that you desire, the WoW realm can be just as much a social environment as a party with friends, a date out with your sweetie, or a business trip. Granted I've never slaughtered the undead in my sales trips, but I'd love to claim a Karazhan raid as a business expense!
What social event do you take along with you into World of Warcraft?