The Power of a Community

 

Finding like minded peopleĀ is one of the most rewarding things you can do, it provides networking, friends and sometimes opportunities arise from them. I’v been apart of and ran my own and want to explain how powerful one can be if you invest enough time.

MINjas – 2012

 

A student organization at Northern Kentucky University I took over specifically for my major with aspirations of content creation and just trying to figure out what exactly a community can do but more importantly what sort of good can you do in the world with a group of people who agree. I started a charity event that has since been held every year playing games in Griffin Hall (Technology building) for 24 hours. We had entry fees, tournaments and raffle prizes from various companies wanting to participate. Most people talk about how great it was to play games with their friends on campus on a 20ft screen in the Digitorium but because of the 300+ people who attended we raised just over $2,000 to the Childs Play Charity organization. Since my first two events the group went on to benefit the Aubrey Rose Foundation, Able Gamers and Extra Life.

IGDA Cincinnati

 

I’v been the Chairman for the International Game Developers Association Cincinnati chapter for the past 5 years. I’v seen students come in wide eye’s wanting to learn more about what it really takes to make games. All while being surrounded by experienced members willing to guide them along, just to find out the student has an internship through a mutual connection in the group by the end of the year. Members who come in with a great idea and willingness to execute just so see themselves starting a studio with fellow members\friends\colleges in the next few months.

Events are a whole other beast. A lot of our events are networking or educational and I think there is an immense value in just having the opportunity to have a drink with someone to learn what they do. IGDA holds the Global Game Jam every year and is by far one of the largest events we put together. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a group of strangers get together and just unleash these crazy ideas for games and by the end of a 48 hour period they have a fully playable game.
A lot of this may seem like “Yeah of course we know what a networking event is” but to some it is very new to them or just finding out that they can find a group on the small obscure thing they love so much and can share that with others. So to that I say,
Look for various communities of similar interests you may have, you never know who you may meet and sometimes it may lead to your next job!
Don’t be afraid to start a group either – you’d be surprised how many will rally to a group once they know of its existence.