One thing that I have been able to do with my knowledge of people and how to interpret & influence social relationships is running a group, StreetPass Boston, which is essentially Boston’s biggest Nintendo fan club. We meet up at least once a month to play 3DS together, and also play 3DS & Wii U online. Today, I wrote this on the group’s Facebook hub:
“Inspired by something I saw [a Facebook friend] do once, I’ve decided to tell everyone a little something about why I value each person in my friend list. On each day I that I end up doing it, I will pick someone in no particular order & explain why that person has a spot on my list. Unless I can’t remember in which case maybe I’ll ask!
I’d like to start out by... cheating, actually. <lol> My first “Thanks for your friendship!” goes to StreetPass Bosto. I will call out a few individuals separately, but every single one of you means worlds to me. It was summer 2011 when I first met Karl, but our group really started with the Kid Icarus day meetup 3 years ago. I’m not sure how I ended up in charge, but I think it has something to do with being an impatient loudmouth. When we couldn’t get a minimum 3 people to agree on a date to meet again, I picked one & said I would just go, I think 7 showed up altogether. :-) In the face of the same problem again & again, I just decided to set them up monthly.
2 years ago at PAX East 201, I attended a panel by StreetPass NY, StreetPass Long Islan, & Streetpass Princeton N & basically made a nuisance of myself... about a third of the time went to me talking from the audience. :-p In response, a group of you declared you were behind me, & as we took on this name, I set up our social media presence, helping us to grow as I knew we could. Having a place & time to get together & appreciate the medium together is great, but more than that, it’s been so surprising & rewarding to have people trust me & follow my lead.
And listen to me, & miss me/worry when I haven’t been around. When it comes right down to it, anyone is welcome, as casual or committed as s/he wants to be, & we all keep coming back because we love the players as much as the games. I’ve spent 3 awesome years not just finding myself, as I talk about on my website at http://DontReadThisYet.net & across social media, but also watching other shy but awesome people find each other & find their footing in a world that has a tendency to trip up those who’re uncertain. I’ve seen you forge bonds & cover for me & each other as needed, such as when I took a sabbatical last year & left Michael Wilcox in charge, with his awesome fresh meetup ideas.
Art has the power to bring people together, so groups like ours constitute living proof that games are art, & it’s been my pleasure to help bring this together. I got a lot back, & I learned that not only does everyone need someone, everyone in this world has personal strengths & weaknesses, and each of us deserves to openly have his/her strengths recognized & relied upon, & his/her weaknesses known & covered without hesitation. StreetPass Bosto has helped me recognize my strength to inspire people & direct them effectively, & my weakness in needing to tell people how hard one has to work to maintain such a group, & about my personal struggles in being autistic.
Being a good leader includes knowing what one can & cannot handle. I’ve been praised for my ability to delegate well, I hope there’s as much appreciation for knowing when to step down. I’m resigning today, & leaving it to Rydia[ yes, we actually have a member named that, now our leader, although she stresses the middle syllable] & m̶y̶ her other helpers to figure out what the future should look like; because I know I need to focus on bringing to life my dream of a world more like our group, with people who appreciate each other & stay strong together.
Thank you for relying on me. Thank you for covering me. I can’t wait to see what you teach me next.”
[To comment, for now at least, click over to this post on the main D.R.T.Y. blog. Sorry about that!]