This is SR. blogger here. I find it interesting in your post JR. that you have become "friends" with a character in an online multi-player game. I say that because I come from an age...era some say...when the "friends" we made had baseball caps, torn jeans, dirt under their nails and sometimes dirty greasy hair. Those "friends" were quite different to some of the friends you and your generation are making. I guess that is progress and the effect of new "technology". Maybe the new description of "friend" should include both the living breathing "real"--flesh and blood type friend and the virtual friends players make on sites like Wizard101.
For me an important quality of a friend is someone who is always there for you. Someone who cares about you and wants to share both the ups and downs of life with you. There is a saying which describes a type of friend who is only there for you when times are good. This type of friend is known as a "fair weather friend". When things are good they will share them with you but when times get tough they are not to be found.
There is also a difference I see between JR's "virtual" friends and SR's friends. After a battle SR's are sweaty and dirty and JR's are still crisp and sharp looking and certainly don't "stink" lol lol. But then again technology may make "smell a battle" the next innovation for Wizard101.
I see many differences between "real" and "virtual" friendships but maybe there are many similarities too. I will try and make a "virtual" friend on an online game and report back. But I don't know if I have the qualities to be a good "virtual" friend but that's just MY2Cents on the subject.