214/365 – Meditation Games #214 – Idyllic Summer

Developer Credits: Elijah Cauley, Amit Rai Sharma, swordofkings128, cognitoperceptu, InspectorJ

Launcher Quote: “STRAWBERRY SUMMERS

when i was younger, after my grandma died, my parents would send me to spend a few weeks of every summer with my grandpa. the best part about my grandpa’s house is the dock. in the sweltering heat of the alabama summer we would walk out along the dock, through the marsh, and to the very end where the swing was. with us we’d bring strawberries and share the tops with the turtles.

we didn’t talk much out on the dock. mostly, we sat on the swing, listened to the swamp, and fed the turtles.

this is a game about those summers.

– elijah cauley ~ @small_signs”

Summer, for me and for a lot of other people, is filled with memories when it comes to our youth. Not only is it for most of us a time when we’re away from the busyness of school, and the humdrum of everyday life, it’s also got a way of creating memories through time spent in other places besides indoors. Whether it’s with family, or on an annual trip someplace, or even in a place where you work for the summer or otherwise change up the routine with the weather change, summer is a bit of a memorable time in many peoples’ formative years.

For the developer, the memories from summer aren’t that complex, encapsulated into a regular set of mostly silent moments with an elderly loved one, appreciating nature as it is and providing back to it by interacting with the turtles who ate strawberries. Little to no conversation took place, as a wordless appreciation of the setting, the weather, and the carefree reflection that resulted was all the memory that was needed. Controlling the character through this game certainly seemed to reflect that, even when I, like perhaps the child that the developer once was, got impatient and decided to get to the end of the dock and the swing early, the payoff coming when your grandfather finally arrives there.

My summers weren’t quite so grounded in nature or in the middle of nowhere, but they were nevertheless peppered with outside urban explorations, bike rides, and volunteer/lightly paid work which provided the foundation for work ethic that I still adhere to today. Even as I’ve become less of an outside-y person, I still remember some of these idyllic summer memories as ones that should be treasured, and which I would hope today’s kids still participate in. We get a little caught up in our ability to use technology, connect in ways that don’t involve being outside, and turn inward rather than outward for those summer memories, but I’d hope that at some point, today’s younger generation takes the time to take a break from that and enjoy summer for what it is, or at least what it could be.

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