53/365 – Meditation Games #53 – Shooting Star Day-After-Birthday

Developer: Emiel Kampen

Launcher Quote: “When you are surrounded by friends and family it’s not hard to imagine feeling special on your birthday. There is positive recognition for the fact that you age. Whether you like the attention or not: It is likely people congratulate you, sing for you or even give you presents. It can transform what would have been an ordinary day into a special event that is to some extend all about you:

This game (or: vignette) is NOT about that special day. It is about the day AFTER your birthday.

It can be weird getting up and realizing that everything is like it was before your birthday except you are now one year older. There can be a certain mix of positive and negative emotions (depending on your new age) and you might be aware of the fact that you have entered a new phase in life. For me, this new phase always triggered all kinds of existential thoughts.

What does it mean to age? What does it mean to be older? Am I maturing and developing enough? What are other people doing with their lives?

Does any of that even matter?”

Everyone talks about the special days in one’s life, such as the holidays, the graduations, and of course the birthdays. Rarely, however, is the day after talked about, where you’ve gotten past the occasion, the party or the celebration is ended, and you’re left with mostly just your own thoughts, thinking and reflecting about how you got here and more importantly, where you’re going to go from here. That’s sort of the point of today’s entry from Emiel Kampen, as you look out onto what looks like a horizon or planet with control of a shooting star that you can zip around the screen as slowly or as quickly as you want.

The practice of hearing the sounds and moving the star around the screen becomes very relaxing, putting you into that reflective mood that is intended to elicit some kind of thought about what you’ve been through in the last day or so. But there’s also a slight bit of darkness to the presentation too that I saw. Occasionally, some of the stars fall out of the sky as skulls to the ground, and moving your shooting star down towards the land/planet darkens the entire screen when you do it. There’s a lot of different ways to interpret this, but what I saw was that there is to every sort of reflection a kind of mortality to things, a kind of reminder that things are finite and that every day-after reflection isn’t necessarily after a joyous occasion.

Some people might find that a sobering or depressing thought, but to the point of the launcher quote, I find it to be a bit more down to earth and realistic as far as life is concerned. Not everything is going to be a happy occasion that you think about, but the key thing to remember is that good or bad, the experiences and the reflection afterwards are the things that ultimately shape your life, and put you down whatever path that you’re going to be choosing to move towards. In that sense, every day, and not just the important or significant ones, are ones to think about and work with. It’s a nice reminder that life is more than just events,and is also the day after, and the day to day after that as well.

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