I don't think online gaming is a good place to make new friends, honestly. There's too much cursing, quitting, deceiving, etc. I only play multiplayer with people I already know via some other venue or if there's no real chat of any kind (text or voice). The online anonymous nature just makes people awful. At least with online discussion boards you have mods, you're talking about subjects and not dealing with "video game rage", etc.
This is honestly one of the reasons why my brother has slowly been leaving video games and getting more into card & board games. You're playing with people you can see, interact with, really know, etc. My advice would be to use video gaming for times of solo relaxing and have a "real life" community -- your church, your neighborhood, whatever-- for socializing. Just IMO.