Developer: Heather Robertson
Launcher Quote: “The place back home where I like to walk to clear my head is very close to a place I don’t want to remember. Parts of my memory are static, completely void. Without a past, I must focus on the present. That is where I can grow something new.
Whoever you are, I hope these couple minutes of silence bring you peace.
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for ASCII in my travels around the internet, even though it’s sort of a simple way of presenting things. It’s not going to win any awards for graphical presentation or wow you with its fine tuned resolution where you can see a ton of detail, but what ASCII will do is show you how much it can do with so little or with such limited resources. The fact of the matter is that even though I think I’ve seen it all when it comes to ASCII presentation, there’s always someone out there who will do something surprising with it that I never thought would have been possible, and making a Meditation Games entry out of one is definitely up there.
In many ways, the ASCII experience this game provides is entirely appropriate for the subject matter. The developer doesn’t really recall many specific details of the walk in question that she is depicting. There aren’t any significant moments or things that seem to jump out at her when it comes to showing how this head-clearing walk went down. But that’s sort of how memory of mundane things seems to operate sometimes – you recall hazy details or half-formed images in your head, and you have a general recollection of things but not something that would necessarily be altogether memorable. In this sense, a text-based art depiction works, especially as you’re not really supposed to be seeing anything more than a way that the developer tends to try to re-center themselves.
That being said, just because the activity isn’t something that is actually memorable doesn’t mean that it isn’t valuable. We all have things that we do in order to clear our minds of things that can distract or confuse us, and there’s also an idea that doing simple things that don’t take a lot of thought is the best way to go about doing this. For that, a walk that takes you someplace is pretty much perfect for this, and at the same time is a nice metaphor for literally moving forward with things once you’ve decided on a course of action.