36/365 – Meditation Games #36 – Reflective Stops

Developer Credits: Federico Fasce, Malbers Animations

Launcher Quote:  “I was born winter.

Snow on the seaside is not very common here
So am I.

Little moon dancing in front of you.
You look at her. She’s awesome. You fall for her.
Still, you just keep looking. Until…

…she just pops away.

I look at the train stopping by. And I always hope to see a certain someone getting off. It almost never happens. But when it does, I melt.

A gap tells you many things. It might not just be that you’re missing something. But rather it tells you that you were taking something for granted, and you can know how important it was now that you’ve lost it.

Growing up. Growing pains.

Space to walk. Take your time. Stop when needed.”

Life lessons are a common sort of theme in games. Some of them are subtle, not really obvious, and only present themselves through the journey of the game. Others are extremely direct and in-your-face about what they are seeking to teach you or show you. The depth of the lesson can also be dependent on where and how it’s presented in the game. For RPGs, for example, the plot is a big mover and shaker as far as trying to show you something about life, while action and adventure games may rely on the journey or quest itself to show you what message they’re trying to send.

Even though the Meditation games project by definition means developers have a limited time in which to present a message or a lesson, that doesn’t really stop them from being able to deliver it effectively. Federico Fasce and Malbers Animations’ presentation today is in many ways a more subtle and natural one when it comes to giving advice, but it’s nevertheless still something that leaves a lot to interpretation as far as what lessons it’s attempting to send. The choice of an animal such as a fox walking through a snowy night is appropriate on many levels. Foxes aren’t domesticated animals but are creatures of the wild, making the journey one you could say potentially takes place in the context of nature (urban setting aside). The restriction on text means that you are made to see, feel, and hear the short journey that you direct the fox on, allowing for the message to be sent in a more organic manner. This also means the environment is relaxing and  quiet, which plays to what message is being sent.

There are a lot of ways to interpret the pivotal moment of the game, where the fox stops, sits, and decides to wait a moment to look far and wide at the lighthouse ahead as well as part of the urban landscape, but I like to think of it as a life lesson that tries to teach the value of stopping, reflecting, and taking your time on the journey called life. There are times when you may be caught up in the journey, in getting to the destination, that you may forget to stop and think about how you got there or what lies ahead. The value in looking at the bigger picture, stopping and taking stock, and then continuing may on some level get you to where you’re going a little slower, but the importance of thinking and reflecting when you can, and in a setting of your choosing, shouldn’t be understated. Your method of doing so can be yours – a time each day for meditation, a way to organize yourself before you start the day, or a dedicated mini-journey to get a good view, as the fox does – but the important thing is that you do it, and that you’re better for it. It’s not the worst thing to do as far as life goes, and if that’s the message being sent today, is a nice reminder amongst the somewhat hectic schedule many of us keep.

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