When I was 16 I volunteered at Teen-Link, a crisis line for teenagers to call into and get a listening ear or helpful resources. We dealt with calls about sexual assault, homelessness, and familial abuse. You know, light and airy topics. It was tough and draining work, but also incredibly satisfying. I bring this up because when I was applying for the position and going through the extensive interview process I remember answering the question, "Why do you want to work here?" I thought for a moment and then said, "Well. I just really like hearing people's stories."
The stories that come out of Tapestry are nowhere near as heavy as the stories that I heard while volunteering at Teen-Link. But some of them have a similar quality to them, "here- I don't know you, but you've just asked me for a story about love (or adventure or food or whatever), let me give you this honest little bit of myself."
The privilege and honor that I felt when entrusted with people's stories at Teen-Link is the same thing I feel when a profound story shows up in Tapestry. Sure, a lot of the stories are silly or throwaway, but some are heart breaking, and some make you light up, and some can only be responded to with a belly deep, "awwww"
So. That's Tapestry. And I'm raising money to fund the project (materials, transportation, snacks and water for my volunteer crew) through Kickstarter. If you'd like to be involved (and I'd love it if you were!) please follow the link and pledge whatever you feel willing and able to. Even $5 helps! Thank you so much.
Also, if you're in the Seattle area this Sunday (the 3rd of June) please stop by and play! At 1:30pm, I'll be running Tapestry in the field next to Wedgwood Presbyterian Church at 35th and 80th NE
Yesterday was Tapestry's first official outing. A big, huge, gigantic thank you for everyone who came out to play! We learned a LOT about what works and what doesn't work for Tapestry and I am *thrilled* that it ended up being fun and enjoyable playable for over and hour, even with the tricky crowd conditions we were working with.
You see, Tapestry works best when you are in an environment where it is easy and even encouraged to go and talk to strangers. A Saturday around a busy park where people go to exercise with their earphones firmly pushed in is _maybe_ not an ideal test environment for a social, community interaction game...
When players arrived I slapped "Hello, I'm playing a game. May I ask you a question please?" stickers on their chests. I got many wide eyed, "do we have to talk to strangers???" reactions. Here's the answer: No. No you don't have to talk to strangers. You can play Tapestry with two people trading stories back and forth and never moving from their spots on the picnic blanket. We had a couple players play like that at the play test, and you know what? Their stories were amongst best we had.
Other players were bold and talked to people sitting around the basketball courts, the children's playground, and people walking down the path. We even got a couple of stories from political canvassers (who also helped two of our group who had recently moved to get their voter registrations set up at their new addresses. Vote! It's good for you!)
My favourite part of the day was when players would come running back to the Tapestry wall,hand extended and reaching out for some markers and paper, while exclaiming excitedly, "I just heard the most amazing story!! Let me tell you..."
My father once tried
for dinner, squid ink pasta.
"Never again. Ick."
Tapestry has just been confirmed for its first outing! A playtest is of course in order, but our first official run will be at the wedding of The Haberdashery Collective's own Nick and Alexa! (Okay, The Haberdashery only lays claim to Nick, but you know what I mean.)
The whole game will be skinned for their wedding-- with their friends and family as the people categories and stories involving them and oh, I don't know, embarassing moments, how you met, games, food, alchohol, etc. as the story categories. It will be, essentially, an interactive guest book.
I've been hoping that this game would have legs and the ability to be used in a variety of settings by different sorts of communities. So I'm thrilled that it will start out at such a lovely occasion as their wedding.
Very, very exciting things! And now I get to design the stickers to coordinate...