259/365 – Meditation Games #259 – Natural Photography

Developer: Rick Hoppmann

Launcher Quote: “Photography has led me on many lonely journeys.

This day a friend cancelled on me. Ill, they couldn’t come.

But my camera didn’t oppose.

Seals, a secret hideout, wild fruit — I found many wonderful moments in solitude on this day. It reminded me how lovely a solitary adventure can be.”

In games, I’ve never found any stigma associated with activities that are normally group events but could be potentially just soloed on one’s own. Like going to the movie theater on your own, the choice to engage in such an activity by yourself does have a certain sense of value, even if normally you wouldn’t expect to do so. When it comes to nature, and nature outings, this becomes even more apparent, as was evidenced by this entry.

The developer gives us 5 photos to take and a multitude of sights and visuals to work with to take pictures. The setting is a forest on a clear day, and because of that, there are a bunch of opportunities to take pictures from a variety of perspectives and sights that tickle your curiosity or which you think would make good photos. The interesting part about this, and perhaps part of the message, is that being by yourself doesn’t mean that the activity of taking photos meant to be taken with someone else has less value. In fact you sort of have your own choices about what is worthwhile to take pictures of, without the need to worry about someone else’s pace or opinion.

The result, I think, is a sense that every 5 photos that someone takes with this game would be unique – that no 5 would match any other 5. That’s a kind of nice thought to put forth – that the agency to make decisions on your own for a relaxing activity is in and of itself unique and perhaps one of the fastest ways to feeling satisfied with what you’re doing, proceeding at your own pace, and making your own decisions. That kind of value shouldn’t be lost, and perhaps lessens some of what you might not have by having the activity shared with someone else that you enjoy spending time with.

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