280/365 – Meditation Games #280 – Crossword Improv

Developer Credits: Michael Cook, Kevin MacLeod, soundslikewillem

Launcher Quote: “Rituals are useful not just for repetition, but because the repetition lets us acknowledge what is changing outside the ritual. Every day during our studies, my wife and I went for coffee near our university with a crossword. Every year on October 10th we celebrate the day we first met by performing that ritual again.

Crossed is a meditative game about connecting thoughts. YOu can play the game however you like, but here’s one possible way: first, make a hot drink or get some comforting food. Then, choose a pair of opposing themes, one that worries you, one that makes you feel better. For example, fears and hopes for the future.

Let words come to mind about your chosen theme. When you have a word, left-click on a square in the crossword. The row or column will highlight and you can type it in. If the word is negative – a worry, a fear, a stress – type it in a row. If it is positive – a hope, a dream, a happy memory – type it in a column. If a square is in both a row and a column, you can click it multiple times to switch.

Leave gaps. Sip your drink.”

I put a high value on structure and logic when it comes to some things in my life, which is why unsurprisingly I’m a daily crossworder. With the help of some co-workers, we work through one every day, then go to more if we have time. The idea behind crosswords is nice to me not only because I’m enriching my own vocabulary and my vernacular, but I’m also solving something that has logic and organization behind it, that has clues that connect together to form interesting sets of words. The construction of these crosswords has been almost as intriguing to me as trying to get them solved, because it’s definitely a lot of effort to get them there.

This is why for today’s entry I had a bit of trepidation associated with trying to look at it. It’s a crossword, which is something I’m used to, but the developer has thrown a curve ball, saying that while we have the basic structure, the entry of the words is up to us. Working kind of blind like this filled me with a bit of a sense of dread at first – this was, after all the opposite of a structured and organized puzzle that fit together. I had to be the one to construct the logic, and in a format that usually has it done for you, it got a bit intimidating at first.

But as I continued to work on it, eschewing the suggested method the developer put forth to work on it and instead just trying to connect words together, it felt a lot more relaxing to do so, like I was creating something that was to my standard of how I was used to crosswords appearing in the daily puzzles that I tackled. When I was done, I had something that fit together pretty nicely, and probably would have maybe challenged at least someone who hadn’t done crosswords on a regular basis. That sense of satisfaction over creation is probably what the developer was partially going for, and is part of why I ended up getting over my creativity anxiety.

 

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