BTS & the power of community

Happy New Year! As we head into 2021, I want to share a personal story that I hope sparks some community-building inspiration for you.

If this past year has taught us anything, it’s how much we all depend on our communities — and what happens when those connections get disrupted.

This year, we’ve had to rethink and rebuild our social connections, & move them online. We zoomed with our colleagues — with our families…. our friends… even with farm animals.

We piled online and played social games like Among Us, Fortnite, and Minecraft — causing gaming to skyrocket to it’s biggest year ever, surpassing movies & North American sports in revenue.

We attended concerts inside of games — including my personal favorite, Li’l Nas in Roblox — and caught a glimpse of the future.

And 2020 is the year I went full ARMY, and joined the fandom surrounding BTS — the Kpop boy band turned global phenomenon.

BTS is an immensely talented 7-member group from South Korea — where my husband’s family is from. And they are SO MUCH more than a boy band.

They sing about emotional struggles and radical self-acceptance;

They dress in a colorful, gender-fluid style — wear makeup — and show ongoing physical affection and respect for each other.

In a dark and anxious year, BTS has brought me countless moments of pure joy — including their breakthrough hit — Dynamite — an infectious piece of retro-pop delight.

The ARMY fandom resonates with this positive, life-affirming message. And unlike so many fandoms — ARMY has the power to get things done.

In 2020, during a global pandemic, ARMY
- helped push BTS videos to the top of Youtube’s charts.
- raised 1 million dollars for #BlackLivesMatter
- jammed the online communications channels of white supremacists
- and trolled Trump rallies by mass-buying tickets & not showing up

For me, ARMY embodies the true power of fandom: coming together around an inspiring message, & making a difference in how the world operates.

So… how will YOU make a difference in 2021? How will you band together with others to make a dent in the world?

As you reach for your dreams, I hope you find inspiration & support in our Game Thinking community — join us at gamethinkinghub.io

Game designer, startup coach, author, entrepreneur gamethinking.io