Each of us belongs to a wide variety of communities. From the community we live in, our workplace, our families, our places of worship, or just the group of people we hang out with, each has an impact on our lives and provides us with opportunities to impact the lives of others. Over the last two plus years, it has been my pleasure to be a part of the awesome community of board game designers, and taken on the challenge of building a new community around my board game The Hackers Guild. However, the survival of this awesome community is dependent on each of us making positive contributions to the community. Today I want to look at what it means to be a good citizen of the board game design community.
Find ways to give back to the community
One of the reasons I feel the game design community is so amazing is due to the willingness of those in the community to help each other out. You will be hard pressed to find another business minded community so willing to help those who are basically their competition. It is this willingness to share expertise and help others out that makes me grateful each day to be a part of this community.
However, no one likes to feel like they are being taken for granted, regardless of how generous they are with their time, skills, and experiences. Make sure that this exchange of time and talents is a two way street. Try and give as much as you take by finding ways to give back to the community. Here is some suggestions on ways you could give back to the community:
- Write a blog
- Host a podcast
- Play test other designers games
- Read and comment on other designer’s blogs
- Share with your circle of influence some piece of content that you’ve recently consumed
- Respond to questions and help the members in one, or more, of the many game design Facebook groups
- Find another designer to mentor
It doesn’t really matter how you do it. The important thing is that you do, and do it consistently and genuinely.
Find opportunities to say good things about your competition
Any one can talk positively about themselves and their products. The challenge is finding ways to do the same for others, especially those who are in direct competition with you. Talk about the games you love to play, and why you love to play them. Share the games you are excited about purchasing, or those that you are waiting on being released. Support other designer’s crowd funding campaigns. The more you do it, the more likely others will do it for you.
Show respect to the other members of the community
We are all entitled to our views and opinions. No one is ever going to agree with everyone else 100% of the time. It is the exchange of views and opinions that helps us learn and grow as designers, but only when it is done in a respectful manner.
The game design community really is a great place to be. Let’s do our part in keeping it that way by being good citizens. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what it means to be a good citizen of the board game design community. Until next time, happy designing!
Creative Commons Image Credit: Community Bulletin Board