I considered –briefly- writing an essay about why I’m not playing Pokémon Go despite it seeming to be nearly perfectly designed to appeal to me: a breakout, hyper popular Augmented Reality Game (ARG) that is currently dominating the overall geek conversation that all my friends are playing *and* you catch + battle Pokémon? That checks off so many of my ‘interest’ boxes it’s almost obscene. But simply put, I’m not playing because -at this point in my life- I have to be almost Spartan in my selections of past-times & hobbies, and I’ve decided that I don’t want to add any that involve a screen (since so much of my life is staring at one anyway) even if the screen in question is mobile and is actively aimed at getting me to interface with (a mediated version) of the larger world. I can’t do everything, I can’t play every game; and endlessly chasing the new hotness means I’d never get to enjoy anything.
However, I did want to touch upon the great promise of Pokémon Go as the first ARG to hit critical mass and so fully breach into the popular imagination. I also wanted to explain what it is about this promise that I believe makes it one of the most helpful trends I see in the world right now. That is, I wanted to write about Pokémon Go and all the ways we are getting better at inviting ourselves and one another to play. Continue reading
A couple of weeks back, there was another spectacle of mass murder here in the United States. This one happened to be the worst in the country’s history since the template was established with the University of Texas Clock Tower Sniper shooting in 1966. This particular tragedy plugs into the rampant homophobia of our culture, homophobia that is perhaps in a reactionary uptick following the notable moves towards equal rights of the past few years. Like other televised, firearm enable spree killers, this horror-show incites conversations about mental illness, about toxic masculinity, about ISIS and the potential for self-radicalization (irrelevant to the particular case in my opinion, although absolutely integral to people with radically different fears than mine), about a lot of issues that we’ll argue as to how much they matter and what we should *really* be thinking about Continue reading
When it comes to parenthood, first and foremost let me say my daughter thrives and nothing makes me happier.
I recently reread my earlier essays Fatherhood: 7 Months In and A Letter to my Unborn Daughter and –much like looking at earlier pictures of her- they plugged me back into who she was, who *I* was those months ago which had somewhat though not quite been overwritten by who she is, who I am. I am beginning to experience that unique lifelong schizophrenia of the various versions of her playing almost parallel in my mind, running together and overlapping one another. The ‘What you can’t have a date for prom, you were just learning to walk.’ The struggle to stay present, to fully plug into *now* faces unique challenges in rearing a child.
So here’s what’s now; Elliott is walking-climbing-running-tantrumming-cuddling-crying-laughing-joking-exploring-fighting-sharing-thanking-loving-living-breathing-being. She has smashed past every expected developmental milestone we’ve cared to track, early and eagerly. That, plus her height, leads most Continue reading
On Wearing Disco Booty-Shorts
*Disclaimer* In this essay I discuss the fact that I have a penis, and how that influences the etiquette and logistics of wearing extremely tight clothing. If you find that distasteful, feel free to skip this piece.
Halfway through 2013 I was 29, just about to turn 30 and my wife were having the time of our lives going to some most excellent parties and music festivals.. One of the prime components of this scene was the incredible costumes; the more garish-ridiculous the better. Swept up in the glamour, and wanting to be more fully a participant, I supported a kickstarter to gain an article of clothing more revealing and absurd than any I’d ever owned (or will probably Continue reading
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