Communities form through behaviors and decisions, not by accident. A functional community requires members who regularly practice behaviors that sustain it. Spontaneous individual actions that demonstrate or reinforce a feeling of shared context, shared experience, and belonging make community formation possible. These same behaviors also enable individuals to recognize their shared sense of belonging and act intentionally, not merely spontaneously, to benefit the community. The community-minded tend to recognize a shared interest in modeling those community-forming behaviors in education or recreation.

Role playing games exemplify a number of core community-forming behaviors. Whether a game lasts for one session or many years, the players must collaborate to establish and sustain the game’s narrative and bring it to a satisfying resolution. The hobby’s emphasis on these behaviors enables players to feel a sense of belonging and can form the backbone of a long term gaming group’s social life.