Accidental Tangent coming in: These forums are an extension to the bi-weekly group that meets in my area, the Jnet Team League we are running (my team is currently losing by 12 points, grrr), and the folks I play with at the kitchen table.
But even with all that “baked into” my experience playing the game, if I didn’t feel an emotional connection to those I’m interacting with (be it IRL, digital, or both), I don’t think I would care about the game as much–especially as it it’s a niche dead card game.
I’ve gotten into playing LightSeekers on my phone (which I find funny, I really don’t like the theme of the game, but I’m really enjoying the mechanics of it), but other than me enjoying the game–I feel no love for it. When I play against someone, I don’t know them and they don’t know me so I might as well be playing against AI (and maybe I am for all I know).
OTOH, I’ve interacted with so many folks on Jnet for years (!!!) that it’s neat to see familiar “faces” on there when I log on to play a few games. Some folks I know personally, most I don’t–but it’s good to see them nonetheless.
Sorry–I’m amped up on coffee and my optimistic sense is that @PizzatimePlayer is asking some good questions (in essence, “What is this for in the first place? Is it just a bunch of self-congratulatory ego massaging?” [my words, not Pizza’s]
I think it matters because it matters to me. And our mileage may vary.