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This Guy Met His Groomsman IRL For The First Time On His Wedding Day After 15 Years Of Playing Xbox Together

"It was like we were already family."

Posted on November 20, 2017, at 2:23 p.m. ET

Charles Powell is a 28-year-old from Cincinnati who just got married to his wife, Myra, on Saturday. The happy couple met on OKCupid a few years ago, he told BuzzFeed News.

Charles Powell

However, Myra was not the first person that Powell met online who became important in his life. When he was 13 he met three other guys while playing Xbox Live. The four of them had been friends for 15 years, but never met IRL.

It all started in 2003, when Powell was a teen playing a game called Phantasy Star Online on the original Xbox. Players could communicate with each other in the game if they were in proximity to each other.

One day, he struck up a conversation with another player, "Sinjo," aka Joe Walters from Detroit.

"We just happened to walk by each other and I asked him for an item," Charles said.

Through Walters, Powell met two other players, William Brown, aka "Free2spin21" from Tennessee, and Joey Morris, aka "Grimmjo" from Baltimore.

The group had a lot in common, and soon began chatting and playing all the time.

"I would come home from school and they would be online and I would be online," he said. "We just liked the same things."

Their friendship has lasted 15 years, but the group had never been able to meet, until now. Last weekend, Powell's three online buddies (and their dates) traveled to his wedding and they all met for the first time.

Charles Powell

Powell said the group had discussed meeting up before, but were never able to logistically and financially make it happen. But when he invited the group to his wedding, they promised to be there.

"Every part of my life they were there," he said.

Powell had even asked Morris to be a groomsman in the wedding, without ever meeting face-to-face.

When Powell picked up Morris at the airport, they jumped to greet each other immediately.

Powell said meeting in person for the first time was surreal, because he felt like he knew them so well.

"We already knew each other," he said. "It was like we were already family."

When they got back from the airport, Powell's wife snapped a photo of the two together. Powell shared it on Twitter, writing, "online friends are real friends."

Charles Powell

His tweet went super viral, and many people shared their own appreciations for their online buddies.

@ChuckNyce116 Hell yeah! Online friends have saved my life!

One woman said she even met her maid of honor online.

@ChuckNyce116 I can relate. My best friend and I met on a forum ten years ago this year. First day we ever met in p…

Others shared stories of love connections they made online.

@ChuckNyce116 So sweet! I met my fiancée on Twitch. Gaming brings people together!

Here's to the next 15 years!

Charles Powell

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.