94/365 – Meditation Games #94 – Lost At Home

Developer: Picogram

Launcher Quote: “Find your friends in your increasingly unrecognizable hometown, and take TheBus to come back next year.

Being born and raised in Hawai’i, I try to make time to visit home every spring. With each passing year, I have seen Hawai’i change rapidly to keep up with demands for tourism and high-end housing. As more and more people move there in hopes of finding paradise, it has only pushed out the people and cultures that actually made it special. Now, when I go back, I try remember what’s gone and appreciate what’s left.”

I’ve been lucky in my life because I’ve not had to go too far from home, nor have I felt a desire to do so. Home for me has always been where I have been, but that isn’t always the case for everyone. Some folks have to travel far from home or are away from where they were born and raised for extended periods of time, for whatever reason, which means that when they do come home, it’s a bit of a reverse culture shock, one that funnily enough is based in coming back to a place that they thought they knew but don’t anymore.

Such is the point of this Meditation Games entry, where you’re left coming off of a bus and wandering around a town that you appear to be less familiar with the more you wander around. There isn’t quite that comparison of what the town is like beforehand to what it is now, but as you wander around, there’s a kind of aimless feeling that seems to permeate things as you look around at the buildings, the streets, and the people. Luckily, you’re able to pick up a few people who will end up following you around, old school-JRPG style, as you look around for more companions. The only thing that seemed to be missing were the inevitable story and dialogue beats that deepened your bond with your new friends, but that togetherness was there.

Perhaps being able to pick up people to accompany you was a way of the game telling you that you don’t have to be alone and feeling lost in a place you thought you knew as home. To lean on people who are local or who are your friends who know more about what’s changed and what is supposed to be home, is something that lessens the impact of having to feel unfamiliar in what is supposed to be a familiar place. More than anything, it’s the other, the friend, the support structure that, if cultivated, sticks with you no matter where you go or how much home changes, and it’s something we should remember when we’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed with change.

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