The Tap Essay

- Or How To Avoid The Rant -

Recently, I have been developing a tap essay for one of my digital media classes. I chose to write this tap essay on “girl gamers.” Boy, was it difficult.

Every google search for the two particular women I was focusing on brought with it more anger and disgust than I was expecting. People have turned the narrative of gaming away from the issue of misogyny in games, and towards the sort of rash, hate-filled overreactions that cause critics to cry misogyny in the first place. (And that is all I have to say about that right now.)

It is incredibly difficult to write about something you are passionate about and remaining calm and rational. The first draft of this essay was more like a beat poem than anything else, and was filled with quite a bit of rage.

Rage is not going to improve the environment that I am throwing this Tap Essay into. More hatred is only going to bring hate down on my head, and add to the issue.

I legitimately do not care if you like or dislike the women I talk about in my tap essay. I do not care if you think they are devils or saintly. What matters is the recognition that something is deeply wrong with the reaction of a group of people that, in my experience and in person, is one of the more welcoming communities I have encountered. On the internet, the loudest win. I simply wanted to argue that those who where as horrified by the reactions of ‘gamers’ needed to stand up and get louder.

So, I accomplished this task by sticking to the facts and remaining as removed as I could (which wasn’t very removed). It’s an interesting and challenging task to remove yourself a few degrees from something you are passionate about. I believe my essay is better for it.

Lazy days mean lazy blog posts.

Is usually make the effort to log into WordPress and blog from my computer, but today is a lazy day. The weather in Blacksburg is definitely October-esque, and what better way to celebrate that than by writing on a blog while eating peanut butter and sitting in your pajamas at home?

There is no better way in the entire universe, I checked for you.

Recently, I’ve been drafting a tap essay using the Tapestry app. Writing a tap essay feels novel in a really interesting sense – it’s not just me learning a new medium, it’s me learning a new medium that the world has never really encountered before. Robin Sloan’s “Fish” really opened the door for the Tapestry to exist as a form of communication rather than just art, and I think that’s kinda neat. It’s just really interesting – you can group a lot of social media together under a “status update” umbrella category, but the tap essay sort of made its own category.

Facebook and Twitter have become so big, their names became the standard? In the same way that we say “can you grab me a Kleenex” versus “can you grab me a paper tissue,” we now say “Facebook it to me.” In that last sentence, it took me a while to even remember what to call a tissue without calling it a Kleenex.

Since Tapestry is kind of sitting there on its own, I think the tap essay could turn into something big. The thing is, it’s been in existence for a while. How long did it take for Facebook and Twitter to bow up? If something doesn’t become exponentially popular in a year or two, will it sit forever unused? Tapestry definitely holds the potential to be a beautiful, effective learning tool, but as I use it today I can’t help but wonder whether my message will be received without using one of the supernova social media tools.

And that leads me to a question – how important to we need to feel before we share a message? If you only had one Twitter follower, how would you tweet differently? If you had no Facebook friends, what would you post?

Then again, I don’t think anyone reads this blog, and here I am. My challenge to us both: just tell your story, and let social media figure itself out.