I get to do something pretty cool next week alongside some people who matter a lot to me.
My dear friend’s daughter is the speaker for an upcoming Mir Peace Cafe session called “Building Empowered Community through Play”. Avery Alder is the speaker and we will have an opportunity to co-create our own ad-hoc game communities following her talk by playing her game, The Quiet Year.
I have been lucky to have known Avery a long time. I think we met when she was about 6(?) years old. She cared for our boys when they were little, and I have grown deeper into my adulthood while having the privilege of watching Avery grow into her own. To me, in many ways, Avery exemplifies community. I can remember sitting together in my backyard when she was 11 or 12 and her telling me that I should be sure to stop by the house for tea the next time I was going by on the way to the ferry – something that touched my heart then as much as it does today. She came up with fun and funny games that our children loved and she played make-believe as long as they asked it of her.
In her youth she was involved in community-based projects through our local youth society. It was important to me that our children were exposed to her as a role model (and now, due to another talk by Avery I see her as a ‘possibility model’, thank you, Laverne Cox) because she demonstrated such kind, empathetic, inclusiveness at ages when other kids were doing the opposite. When striking out on her own, she has always built and responded to community.
The Quiet Year has had a place on our game shelf and on our table for many years now. Through playing, we’ve built our maps and projects with care knowing the Frost Shepherds will come – so every moment together counts.
Part of what makes this coming event so beautiful is that I get to see Avery in her strength talking about the building of community, while I’m there with my community, her Mom, and my younger son. I’ll get to host a table of players for The Quiet Year while my son hosts another one. I love that we are building another layer of game, a web of community, on top of all the other games and connections we’ve had before. And this time we’ll share this experience with new people, extending that web even further.