Ideally players can make a world more real by helping to build it. Whether it’s creating organizations as background material for their characters or building out the finer aspects of an existing religion for use in the game, having players contribute to the campaign can be a tremendous boon. It distributes the creative responsibilities, easing the load on the dungeon master and providing the players with more buy-in.
Even those who aren’t interested in world building by simply answering questions about their character’s background or even just rolling up their history using a book like Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Collaborative world building’s gotten harder as we’ve gotten older. Free time is a challenge because of work and family; free time to work on a campaign is an even bigger challenge. Still, there are other ways to contribute. The easiest of these is to simply be focused on the game. Turn off the phone. Minimize side conversations. Look up rules before you need them. Stay engaged with the story. All of this allows everyone to immerse themselves deeper into the shared world of the game … and that in turn makes the game that much more real.