Developer: Steven Tu
Launcher Quote: “In the Karoo desert, atop Xam, an exchanged temple of twigs and twine, I was showered in moonlight and drenched in starbright.
There, with a special spirit an arpeggio of unseen tweets, I discovered that Karaoke is my culture, in my blood.”
There’ve been a few Meditation Games entries that have taken the outside/nature element to include in their games, sending a message that an epiphany of sorts is waiting for those that go out into the natural world and take in its wonder and beauty in order to gain that insight. But the 122nd entry in the series kind of turns this the opposite way, putting forth that sometimes it is something that is manmade that brings out that sense of insight and self-reflection about one’s nature.
The developer picks a remote temple in a desert in South Africa to portray this kind of look inward that they experienced during one particularly clear and moonlit night, something you can experience by playing the game. You can kind of hear the tones and sounds that they’re referring to in the somewhat indirect launcher quote that they contributed to the game, but most of my time was taken up looking up and around, trying to imagine myself in the middle of practically nowhere in a remote country, with nothing but the moon and the silent and monolithic structures to keep me company.
In many respects, this is the other part of why people sometimes travel (the first being the aforementioned re-connection with nature). Being in another culture, another place that was constructed by a people that you might not be familiar with is something that takes you outside of your comfort zone, outside of your little box where you were raised or influenced by, and introduces you to other people, customs, and architecture. In the case of the developer, there’s history to be considered as well. It’s no wonder that they found some kind of thought or truism in what they were viewing, hearing, and doing that night amongst the temple in the desert, because while nature has its way of providing its own level of perspective change, it’s sometimes knowing that something built and experienced by other humans that makes you think about what they were thinking and feeling, and like a mirror, reflects back towards your own set of emotions upon reflecting on that architecture.