Singapore began its gradual exit from the Circuit Breaker on 2 June. Although it has been six weeks since the easing of restrictions, many of us are only just starting to rebuild our social lives (face-to-face) with friends and loved ones.
What has kept us together during the past few months of stay-home life?
PRESERVING A SENSE OF COMMUNITY DURING LOCKDOWN
In our previous blog entry, we shared why Animal Crossing: New Horizons became a big hit during the global lockdown period.
Even now, as many parts of the world exit lockdown, the game is still wildly popular.
Why this is so?
Because it has succeeded in growing a strong and loyal community.
Producers of Animal Crossing, Aya Kyogoku and Hisashi Nogami, say that the game is designed to be shared, allowing gamers to connect with each other in their own unique ways. Like-minded people can find each other in the virtual realm and the rest is history. It is probably this sense of community that contributes to the game’s runaway success.
HOW IS THIS ‘SENSE OF COMMUNITY’ BUILT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
The best and most long-lasting communities are often those that sprout organically in spaces that are inclusive enough to host them.
Apart from Animal Crossing, many brands and companies have also successfully increased the number of members in their communities during the circuit breaker.
Absolute Cycle is a popular rhythm cycling studio that launched home packages for its bicycles so members could continue taking classes throughout the circuit breaker. Despite the fact that a month-long package costs a hefty S$790, demand within the Absolute Cycle community was overwhelming. What’s more, the community grew even bigger as members started introducing their family to this sport.
Meanwhile, The Projector, Singapore’s only independent cinema, continued to see strong sales for its online merchandise and digital screening events. Its loyal following was painstaking built over the years since 2015. Fans are drawn to the cinema’s independent programming and careful curation, which caters to folks who enjoy an alternative film experience.
At Google and DBS, employees came up with innovative activities such as book clubs, coffee chats, and performances delivered via Zoom. The goal was to strengthen teamwork and a sense of togetherness as working from home became the new normal.
In any tight-knit community, members stick together rain or shine. In times of crises, you can trust them to provide a much-needed bolster to morale. This centuries-old wisdom has always been with us; living with COVID-19 has simply given it a renewed significance.