Communities spring up from nowhere when games are involved. Fall in love with a game, and you can find people connecting over it everywhere – on subreddits or Tumblr, in guilds or on forums. What could be a solitary pursuit becomes an opportunity to build connections.
Unravel is out next week, and the puzzle platformer is already helping players around the world make new bonds. Most of that is thanks to the game’s creative director, Martin Sahlin, who charmed audiences by bringing a handmade friend up on stage at E3 – Yarny, the protagonist of his studio’s upcoming game. Yarny is a little fellow made of yarn, and he uses that yarn to connect people.
He’s been connecting people out of the game, too. A couple weeks ago, Sahlin showed fans how to make their own little yarn friends–a good evening project, if you have some red yarn to spare.
The Unravel team has put together a map of many of the Yarnys that have sprung up around the world, linking a global community of Unravel fans together before the game has even launched. Dozens of little handmade friends are keeping people company around the world, reminding them they’re part of something bigger.
This is what it looks like when fandom is working–when it’s not about fighting over our hobbies, but about sharing the love and feeling a little less alone.