A League of Wonders

Let’s Play a Game

Posted on: September 3, 2009

Let’s play a game.

Close your eyes.

Tell me what you see.

“Darkness” and “My eyelids” are not helpful.  I can see I need to
explain.

A lot of the posts and comments on here are about a building, and I
think that’s a shame.  While the Community Center is a great idea, I
think the organization that uses the building is a better one.  A
building is brick and mortar, a thing, but nothing more.  Oh sure, it
can be a very useful thing, but in the end, who cares?

But an organization, fueled by ideas, now that is something I can get
behind.  Something I can fight for.  So let me tell you what I see when
I close my eyes.

I see school buses, bringing in kids for afterschool programs.  I see
robotics clubs and cultural workshops, anime viewings and game sessions.
I see teachers getting to run some of the enrichment and arts programs
that our school funding lacks.  I see the next generation of fandom,
being brought up in a place that is open and accepting, even nurturing.

I see cross-cultural initiatives, artists and actors and writers and
costumers and all these related but disparate groups being brought
together to create something greater than they could do alone.  Taking
their ideas and their disciplines to a level they hadn’t even begun yet
to dream.

I see something larger than our selves.

I see community.

But that’s just one vision.  One voice.  And a community cannot thrive
on a single voice alone.  I understand Jon and Michael and everyone here
has a vision too, a vision that’s more than just a building.  But they
also understand that they’re just a part of what they’re trying to
create here.  They’re smart enough to know that for a community to work,
you need many voices.  And so, they’ve held back.  Because they want to
foster the discussion.  Because they don’t want to impose just their
vision.

I’ve heard people say that this could never work, because fandom is just
a hobby.  I disagree.

Those of you who know me know I work on Anime Detour, and have been
involved in that community for some time now.  And Anime is just a
hobby.  But, like many other branches of fandom, it is a hobby that
revolves around a medium which celebrate ideas.  That has heroes and
morals and lofty ideals.  Ideals we, as fans, aspire to.  Ideals we,
when given the opportunity, will embrace and ennoble.  Because we want
to be those heroes.

And that’s what’s being offered.

The chance to work towards not just admiring those ideals, but living
them, passing them on to other generations.  Heroes breeding heroes.

Community building like this is, in small scale, a form of saving the
world, a person at a time.  It is giving people who have no place a
home.  It is giving people who have no friends a family.  It is coming
together to celebrate what is best about all of us.  It’s about
understanding what makes all of us stand together.

But to do that it’s needs all our voices.  It is a song that needs not a
singer, but a chorus.

So.

One more time…

Close your eyes.

Tell me what you see.

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12 Responses to "Let’s Play a Game"

The is excellent. It sums up well a thought that’s been floating around in my head but I haven’t been able to put words in writing to very well. Thankfully other people are better writers than I.

I love the idea of a community building. It’s a great, tangible thing to point to and say “Look, this is what we want to see.” But in some ways it’s only one step in the whole building a community thing we’re talking about here.

Communities don’t have to have a single building to be a community. Communities are made up of people (Soylent Communities?) and where ever people gather we form communities. We already have many of these places available to us. Conventions like Anime Detour and CONvergence, along with the more intimate & personal conventions like Minicon and 4th Street, bring people together in a community. Business’ like Dreamhaven or The Source provide goods to that community that we want to buy and give us some places to gather. Local events, bands, movie releases, author readings bring people together. But right now all of those things (and many more) are mostly disconnected, independent, and reaching a relatively small audience.

We can do so much more. We can reach so many more people.

I want to do more.

A bit of work, a bit of agreement to work together towards the common goal of building our community. That group of people that share interests, values, beliefs, passions.

Of course we all won’t agree 100% on everything all the time. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do more than we’re doing. It just takes the willingness to work for it.

I want to do more.

This is the first I’ve heard of this, and now that I have, I want to help! How do I get involved? What can I do to help make this dream a reality? I’d love to teach drawing classes, and I know several people who could teach Japanese classes (including myself, probably, once I return from Japan in a few years).

Sign me up!

The first thing you can do to help is to add to the vision! What do you think of when you think ‘Geek Community’? Obvoiusly the drawing classes are part of it, but what else?

Help build the dream!

Well put, sir.

Thank you, sir.

That was so beautiful Kale. I’m beyond words. I agree whole heartedly.

Sorry – that comment (#5) should have attached to this…

Lol. Thats okay. You know, growing up I’ve always heard of people talk about the word ‘Geek’ as a stereotype. The kind of person who looks a little dorky, watches Anime, plays video games, D&D, Role play, Acting, Art, Etc. Etc. I’ve always -hated- the negativity people put on that stereotype. Kids are picked on at school because they enjoy these things, and not necessarily whats main stream.

I’d like to see a support group in a community, for the kids who enjoy these kinds of activities to know that it’s okay. It’s okay that they’re not athletic or good at football. It’s okay that they don’t want to be part of some peer pressure group of kids. A community that’s accepting, warm, reassuring, and supporting. Like a family.

I want to see one giant big Geek family. :)

I *LOVE* this idea. I always had the outcast thing going in school – I had a hard time telling anyone I liked RPGs, sci-fi, even video games.

Exactly. I had alot of friends I knew like this in middle school and highschool. I was pretty open about what I liked, and it was difficult for me to connect with other gamers in school because there were kids who were skittish around the topic of videogames and anime.

Thank you – I just wanted to get my part of the vision out there. While a building is a nice idea, people won’t fight for a building. they fight for dreams – and I think we need to start contributing to make sure this will be a dream people want to fight for.

So what else would you want to see in Geek Community building?

All I know is that I’m in on helping where ever I can. I know when we all put our minds and resources togather, we can do anything. Isn’tthat what our community is all about?

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A League of Wonders

A league of wonders is one evolving vision of hoped-for community building. The focus here has begun as a product of Twin Cities-based fandom and geek communities. There are desires to grow this vision regionally.

Participation in this project is voluntary and is not officially endorsed at this time. Participants are also welcome to be contrary, provided they are respectful.
leagueofwonders@gmail.com
This lists authors who have recently made posts. Also see Contributors for a full list.

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