Connection? Connection to what?
The French Connection? Love Connection? I am definitely particular to the Rainbow Connection?
Ooh wait, that's for me to decide. I see. I didn't see the Connection at first.
If I am being absolutely honest, what pops into my mind when I think about RPGs and the word Connection is the weird paradox of being 'Connected' to other fans of the hobby.
Supposedly we are Connected not only by our love of games but also the games themselves. You may be playing a game right now with rules, monsters, spell names, and other elements that are essentially identical to someone else playing their game a thousand miles away! Gamers in different countries are playing the same game you are in different languages then yours! We are the world! We are the children!
In all my years of gaming I've never played a game 100% 'Rules as Written', and I am well aware that my approach to certain RPG settings and genres is quite different from most of those who likewise partake in those systems and worlds.
Do I have a Connection to all the other people playing Traveller even if I use my own variation of the game's canon universe? Am I Connected to those running D&D if I run my D&D-But-Not setting of Aerth, which has a closer Connection to those running Superhero games?
It is the great Catch-22 of gaming. If we are all running our games our way(s), if everyone has at least one houserule at their table, how can we all be considered to be playing the same game? In a broad sense we are a 'community of individuals', each group it's own island with unique cultures, terrain, and weather, but we form an archipelago, the 'Gaming Islands' if you will.
I guess what unites us...what forms our true Connection...is that we all enjoy a hobby where you are free to customize things to your liking, to make the experience our own. Even if doing so means playing a game RAW or changing it so it's barely recognizable. We can do that. We share that ability and the same end goal. To make/run/play the best game we can come up with.
I feel so...Connected.