I’ve always been a person who, when planning for something super important, sees the lead-in to it finally happening as one of the worst, most nerve-wracking times. Everything feels to me like it’s going to fall apart at the seams, the nervousness gets turned up to an 11, and it’s just not a fun time for me mentally or physically. Regardless of how well I’ve prepared or planned, the fact of the matter is that I’m always going to feel the worst about something I’ve planned right before it happens.
On a certain level, I get a bit amused at the term “comfort food”, because while it’s nice to have a fancy term to refer to it, I really feel like it just refers to food that we just like a lot, and tend to go back multiple times for. While the idea of comfort food seems to imply a food that you’re have a certain degree of Nirvana-like familiarity and emotion with, I also think that it’s a lot simpler than that on a variety of levels, mostly surrounding the fact that food that we like makes us more than comfortable – it also makes us content both physically and mentally.
Distractions abound in today’s every day life, and even moreso with the advent of technology that is more mobile and more feature-heavy than ever before. Whether it’s in the palm of our hand or at work, or at home as we scroll through social media, becoming distracted is one of the biggest detractors from being in your own headspace than anything else. I can tell you that for doing writing for this series of blog posts, I’ve been inundated by things that threaten to unbalance me, whether they are desktop notifications, people trying to get my attention, or the latest and greatest that is happening in real time.
Stargazing is a practice as old as ancient times, when scientists and other luminaries used observation of the stars for everything from divinity interpretations, charting the position they were in based on the place the stars occupied, navigation, and other such uses. In a way, the multi-dimensional use of stars as they sit in the night sky is part of the appeal of why we stargaze today, although some of it has become a bit more recreational amongst your average person and perhaps not as much practical or scientific.
It’s fairly safe to say that many people do not stay in one place all their lives. They create different memories over the years in one place before moving on to another, whether that is through school, through different homes, or through different jobs. In all of these places, you leave imprints of yourself, influences, or memories, all of which contribute to you being able to remember what impact you had.
Cultivation of other things living is one of those skills that many of us get exposed to in our lives. Whether it’s helping a tree grow, or caring for a beloved pet, or other such practices, it’s perhaps one of those things that we learn but then tend to put aside until later in life. For those that become parents, when their world suddenly shifts and changes, this is a skill that is all too needed when it comes to cultivating their family.
One thing that I hear every so often as someone who has a number of years under the belt as far as work in the games industry is concerned is that this isn’t an easy profession to get into. It takes a lot of pain, suffering, blood/sweat/tears, and endurance to be able to try to do good work or sustain oneself in games. There’s also the darker side of the industry in which people often talk about working conditions, studio environment, and work/life balance, all of which contribute to an environment that’s continuously threatening to unravel you. At times, it’s difficult to try to depict what this feels like, but this Meditation Games entry does it with such a simple portrayal that it’s almost painful in its truth.
We’ve all been exposed to the fetch or help quest mechanic at some point in our gamer careers. The concept is simple – an NPC needs something, perhaps an item or some assistance or even something as simple as an emote, and you get it for them, after which you receive their gratitude and a tangible reward of some sort. It’s an age old mechanic and it’s one of the most reliable and treasured in games that have such quests.
As amazing and multi-faceted as we humans are, and for as much as we see ourselves as the most intelligent of species on the planet, one of the good parts about studying or appreciating the rest of nature may be that those species that exist in nature are, at times, still capable of eliciting some sense of wonder from us, some way of showing us that they have something to offer and to be worthy of paying attention to. Cicadas, which the developer focuses on for this Meditation Games entry, are perhaps one of the most prominent of these curiosities.
Some of the games in this series are games that don’t have a straightforward or apparent message to them, instead relying on the player to try to figure things out for themselves as far as what might be said. At times, this message or conclusion might be different than what might be the intent of the developer, but in some sense, that might be part of the point, as one of the goals of the project seeks to create game experiences through self-driven interpretation.