Tag Archives: secrets

haunting secrets

I organized a SXSW panel on global and local social play. A huge chunk of it consisted of getting people to play a game that Jane McGonigal (and Irina Shklovski and Amanda Williams and i) conjured up. The game was simple: pass on a secret that no one else at SXSW knows; that then becomes your secret; keep passing. The idea is that when i called stop, you’d have someone else’s secret as your identity and you would write this on a sticker that you’d stick to yourself for others to see. This made for some strange interactions. You ended up with men having “i had an abortion” written on them. The thing is… a month later… one of the serets still haunts me.

I steal Adderall from my kids.

I have no idea whose secret that was, whether it was a father or mother, whether the kids were young or old, whether or not it was a fabrication. Does the parent use the drug to work or to party? Does the kid have it to study or because so many kids have it when they don’t need it? I’m so used to kids stealing prescription drugs from their parents that it never dawned on me that parents would still them from their kids.

There’s also something interesting about the guilt embedded in that secret. And the idea that the Adderall is the possession of the kids and that when a parent takes it, it is stealing. (You would never say that you steal food from your kids even though you buy that for them too.)

Anyhow, i just had to share this secret because there’s something intensely personal and utterly fascinating about it. God i want to hug that mother/father and make sure that s/he is ok.