The scattering of ashes has long been a tradition in multiple religions, often symbolizing a return to nature, to the origin of where you came from, or a journey back to someplace outside of the physical realm. The addition of it being done in a place of significance to the recently departed adds to the power and weight of the moment, one which removes the difficulty of a loved one passing somewhat as one imagines a last moment with someone who enjoyed being at the place of scattering.
Sometimes even the admitted minimalist experience of the Meditation Games project can be taken to be as literal as clicking once to play the game and get the message across with only one small change of color. Such as it is that today’s entry from Jordan Magnuson operates in order to convey the idea that there are certain moments in life that will change your entire worldview.
A lot of the games in the Meditations project so far have been very close to home as far as the developer’s life is concerned, and quite a few of them deal with death or loss in some way. That’s not surprising to me – I think that there is a sense that games are in a way a coping mechanism for many of us, and those with the skill to develop games perhaps even more so. Such as it is that today’s entry, dealing with the memory of the developer’s regular time with their grandmother – a time that the developer clearly treasures as a moment of calm and simple enjoyment in the company of someone that they love.
Even the simplest presentations of games can be relatable on a very basic level, especially when they send a message through their mechanics and their visualization that hits close to home. Such as it is with today’s entry from Daniel Ilett, which elicited from me feelings of my very very brief foray into Stardew Valley with its bright sprites and rustic setting, with the seemingly simple yet still somewhat challenging goal of herding a bunch of unruly sheep into the pen.
One thing that I keep having to tell myself when trying these little bite-sized games from the project is that there isn’t necessarily a way to “win” the game. As gamers, we’re pre-disposed to try to go from point A to B, making our way through the game’s world in order to try to find a way to get to the end of it – or in the case of some open-world games, to get to the point where we feel we’ve exhausted all the possibilities.
While we’re only 10 entries into the year as far as the Meditation Games project is concerned, it’s clear that some of the games are very personal projects to those participating. Such is the case with Cullen Dwyer’s contribution and accompanying launcher quote. While the game starts out as a sad occurrence, focusing in on a grave containing a beloved pet, life quickly returns in the form of a happy canine spirit who you direct to play one last game of catch with their owner, depicted by a hand that tosses the ball for you to fetch.
Some of the best games that I’ve played involve some kind of family or generational element to them, mostly because of the fact that I’m curious as to how subsequent generations inherit or are different or similar to those that came beforehand.
In many ways, and especially with dogs, pets experience the world through simpler, less complicated lenses. The developer’s dog, like many pets that owners treat as precious family members, is cared for and lives a life filled with sights, sounds, smells, and straightforward reactions to things such as bushes that seem scary or birds taking flight. As someone who’s a pet owner I’m all too intimately familiar with pets reacting in random and often hilarious ways to the outside world and its wonders, not to mention the amusement at seeing pets approach things with such life and excitement – even if they misbehave.
Author: Mattias Ditto Dittrich Launcher Quote: “No matter how much we try to control it, our mood will always swing back and forth. Every time the mood changes we learn something, and the line grows. Use the mouse to interact with what’s happening. The game ends when the line is long Continue Reading
Developer: Bertine van Hovell tot Westerflier Launcher Quote: “When you launch a new thing into the world, there is always that pinch of doubt and anxiety; will people even find your little creation? Did you even do it well enough for people to care? And sometimes it’ll take far longer for the Continue Reading