I just read an amazing article on Kotaku titled "I,Gamer".

This article really spoke to me, because I find more often than not, I am more interested in the community behind a topic or trend then I do the actual topic/trend. It's not that I don't enjoy and love said topic, because otherwise I would never have initially gotten involved with the community.

Some examples of things this has happened:

Linux: first NBLUG then CPLUG

World of WarCraft: The diversity of people, guilds, and the forums. I'm more of a watcher of this community, mainly because I'm not nearly as hardcore as most, but I enjoy the culture non-the-less.

Jedi Knight II: O how I loved this game, in fact it's probably the game that got me hooked on FPS, and I never beat it. Want to know what happened? I fell in love with The Jedi Academy. This was an amazing place that promoted teaching others cool things in the game. In my mind it was basically a never ending online Bar Camp.

Web 2.0/Social Media: Bar Camps, Twitter, the whole community behind it. Here's to someday maybe getting invited to FooCamp.

Wordpress: This is what actually got me hooked on Web 2.0. Back when 1.2 hit I spent a lot of time on the plugin forums learning about PHP and helping others.

Case Modding/Computer Hardware: Let's not even talk about this. I was very active in a few communities, namely Hardware Geeks, but I visited and posted on probably around 20 different forums and followed around 50 different blogs.

There have been a few other communities I've been active in, namely MegaTokyo and Penny-Arcade,  but my involvement there is similar to my involvement to WoW. I follow what happens in the community, but I rarely participate.

Anyways, I'd like to end with a quote from the article:

"it's not because we're gamers. It's not even because we're hardcore gamers. It's because we're such fanatical culturalists that we forget about the middle ground."