6th Reign: A Family That Games TogetherDecember 17, 2015
I never understood the phrase “You can choose your friends, but not your family.” It always seems as though someone makes this reference as a means to reinforce that you should be closer to family than friends. To me, the phrase suggests the opposite. Wouldn’t I want be closer to those I choose to be around?
That’s not to say that I don’t have a special relationship with my “actual” family. I am merely supporting the notion that there are other forms of family, no greater example than what’s portrayed in the Fast series.
By definition, relationships turn into a family once children are involved; it’s a relatively standard definition. Dominic Toretto doesn’t care about your standard definitions. Far before young Jack was in the picture, Dom was enjoying a nice summer cookout in his backyard with his family. Few were of actual relation; half of the members weren’t even childhood friends. They were a family by choice, not by genetic happenstance.
Not every families foundation is rooted in summer cookouts, for 6th Reign, it was raids in Destiny that originally brought them together. “6th Reign was originally what we would jokingly call our raiducation group in the clan we all originally met in,” said Zykon, a co-founding member. It was Yang who took the initial step to make their raid group an official clan: “I realized there was a need for a small, close-knit clan to keep everyone together, and provide a smaller group a place where we were more concerned with individual emphasis and like-minded camaraderie, rather than a “what’s good for the group” mentality.”
That type of organic growth eventually led to conversations about more than Destiny or even gaming: “So for me, 6th Reign feels like a tight-knit group of people – or family, if you wanna call the clan that – whose interests align in- and outside of gaming, ” was Anket’s, one of the first non-founding members, response to my inquiry about why 6th Reign is more than just an online gaming community. Nearly every member was a part of at least one clan prior to 6th Reign, but it was the friendships that really made it more than just a clan for Cowmine, “I had been a part of clans before, but this grew to something more; we formed friendships and from there we created an accepting environment where not-gaming (conversation) was as big of a part of it as the game (Destiny) that brought us together.”
Every member in a family views its dynamics differently. For some, it’s about equality: “Here we can geek-out, and laugh at and with each other – no difference between gender or ethnicity.” – Inglorious. For others, it’s formation is a testament to modern technology: “Keeping up with 6th Reign clanmates through text chat, sharing stories and jokes in party chat, and gaming together in a positive and encouraging environment is a perfect example of how technology can connect people in a meaningful way.” – Sauves.
Based on Dom’s definition, the only one that really matters here, 6th Reign is indeed a family. Truthfully, families shouldn’t be defined by component parts; it’s more about the role they play in one’s life. For Disney, also on the Mount Rushmore of 6th Reign founders, it’s become a facet of his everyday life, “It’s because we legitimately care about one another. I’m almost sure if a day went by without me posting something, Zykon would be message me on Facebook just to say, “Hey Buddy, how you doing?” and if I didn’t see Yang online when I hop on at 1am, I’d be sending a message to make sure everything is good. We are at the point where it’s more than just gaming…We have a vested interest in each other’s lives and like spending time with each other.”
His wife, Riceball, echoed those sentiments with a motherly touch, “…if someone goes missing, someone will notice. Someone will go, “Where’s X I miss them?”…It’s just really great to know that if I get into a group, either by myself or with Teemie (daughter), there’s a group of people that will accept us both, with all our quirks.” But perhaps the greatest testament as to why 6th Reign is a family, is that it’s simply impossible to accurately describe to someone that’s not a part of it: “There’s one specific aspect that I enjoy the most, and that’s our ability to be some weird dysfunctional family.” – Nerd.