Why Generation Play works.
Community is what it’s all about. For some reason in today’s modern society the idea of coming together with people you don’t know can be terrifying. But from the perspective of someone who has always moved around the planet, arriving to new places, knowing literally no one at all (let alone your age, or who share the same interests) was the norm. I’m a Navy Brat, born and raised on the back end of biannual postings all over the globe. There has always been one thing that made it easier when you got to the other end of a move to a new and unexpected place – Community.
Now in my context that is the community of Defence personnel who live in an area, who swarm to a newcomer and offer as much information and friendship as they can – having done the same transition anywhere from weeks or years earlier. It had always been a comfort knowing that you’d get somewhere and at some point someone would invite you and the family around to the local barbeque, where you’d meet new people, make some friends, and all of a sudden this new place wasn’t as terrifying. You suddenly thought it could work out.
I moved to Geelong in early 2015, and for the first time there wasn’t a Defence community that I could tap into and get all those local know-hows. This time I found it hard to lock into a social circle beyond the folks who were nearby due to employment proximity (not that they’re a bad bunch, but I see them ALL the time!). So you can probably understand my reticence in celebrating the move immediately.
Then, out of nowhere, while cruising the internet I come across this little YouTube clip of a website designer who wants to start a gaming community here in Geelong. There I was thinking, “hey! I play video games. I live in Geelong. I’m over 20!” And quietly did the happy dance. Chris will tell you that he was skeptical about actually meeting up for a coffee for the first time he and I met up. What he doesn’t know (well now he does!) is that he wasn’t the only one unsure if the idea would work. I envisioned ideas of grandeur, good intentions, and a lack of follow-through seeing the entire concept fizzing down to the depths of an unused corner of the internet.
It didn’t take long before we actually met up and got to talking before I felt that same sensation that I did when I was moving around as a Navy Brat – this could work out.
I mean, no one is naïve enough to think that all Generation Play members will become best friends, or get beaten at Mario Party by a fellow member’s 4 year old son, or plan hiking trips to the middle of nowhere, or randomly go Pokémon hunting on days off – but at the very least, you bring people with similar interests together and you’re bound to, at the very least, get some of that local know-how – be it a place we didn’t know was in Geelong, a game that we hadn’t thought of playing, or find that you’ve actually made some really good friends.
One way or another; Generation Play is a community in its most generous sense. People coming together to share ideas, good times, and common interests. And because of that;
Generation Play works.