Discourse communities that I can think of off the bat are the gaming community. I first think of the gaming community because that is the one I feel most connected with. For a long time I played games since I was a kid, whether alone or with friends, but until I got my PlayStation I felt like a true gamer like I was a part of something greater. Sometimes I would look in the communities and join other people in games and would hear some out of the world ish terms. Some would say I’m going “afk” and as a beginner I had to know what that is. It meant “Away from keyboard” and it didn’t even make sense because there was no keyboard but it didn’t even matter because that was the lango they used. The communication and language they use coordinates with one another, so that meant I had to learn gamer slang. They created shorter, faster words and acronyms to indicate ongoing events in the game. As a gamer you need to know what they mean or else you may fail the team. Going into a game and not knowing what a “rez”, “camping”, ”spamming”, ”smurf” is may lead to the team’s downfall. It’s more effective than yelling long sentences in the middle of the game. Thinking back to it, these languages helped me fit in just fine and personally I use this gamer slang so often I never noticed that I was finally a part of the in-crowd. I’ve taken what I’ve learned and was able to use them in real game situations which made playing and communicating much easier and fun. This gave me the opportunity to connect with my friends outside of school and understand what they were talking about when they would mention gaming. The gaming community is a real way to meet new friends and stay connected with old friends.
ENG 1121 is all about you in the world. If ENG 1101 is about you getting more comfortable with your own process, and with some of the tools writers use, then ENG 1121 is about seeing how all that knowledge works not just in academics but also in the world of work and community.
I’m Jackie Blain, and you can find me on our Slack workspace or via email DBlain@citytech.cuny.edu.