This was one of the first entries to employ actual physical props in order to simulate the experience of holding a newborn while feeling and hearing them breathe and make noises, which was an interesting ask considering every other game has relied on the game itself in order to elicit a feeling or show you what a particular moment or emotion felt like, but it isn’t like having a prop is a bad thing. Motion and VR gaming in the last few years has ensured that we do some kind of physical action or have some kind of physical item in order to play, so asking for a package of rice isn’t out of the realm of possibility here.
Today’s entry seems to slightly break one of the rules that govern the project, which is that each game takes 5 minutes or less to play. This one requires a bit of extra time (6+ hours with minmal interaction, the result of which is the image above) but it’s for good reason. In the spirit of meditation and reflection, the cultivation of the flower over the course of a quarter of a day is meant to elicit cultivating your own spirit and needs over the long term, tending to and taking care of yourself as needed. It’s an overall message that has been a common theme amongst many of the entries this year, but this one is particularly unique due to the fact that it espouses a longer-timeline with the idea of patience and care over an extended time period.
The title screen of today’s entry seems like a bit of irony because the imagery seemed to remind me of the life of the ronin, a masterless samurai in Japan without any lord. It’s easy to get sucked into the romantic angle that modern cinema and popular stories tell us, that ronin are travelers that from day to day bring justice for the weak and fight for them, but in the context of today’s quote, the reality is much different.
We saw a previous entry where looking at the Aurora Borealis created a sense of meditative calm and peace, so it was only a matter of time before we had another entry in the same vein. This time around, the view is from cherry blossom petals falling slowly from a tree, which at first glance may seem like every relaxing or significant scene from cinema, but which still potentially has a deeper meaning.
Love’s one of those things that has a variety of outcomes as far as how it can both begin and end. It can be a fated encounter or an inevitability, or it can be completely coincidental. Either way, the connection that happens with love is something that some people have tried to puzzle out but who most people still don’t really have a formula for, regardless of what all the romcoms have told us.
When something horrid happens to you, or to someone that you care about, there’s a kind of mental cut that happens through everything that you’re doing at the time. You could be out and about, at home doing something in your normal routine, or in the case of the developer, at a concert where everyone is clearly having a good time and enjoying themselves. That cut slices right through everything, making everything else that isn’t relevant to the event seem like background noise and static.
For me, driving is a bit therapeutic. The longer the drive, the more it relaxes me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been fortunate enough to stay away from areas where driving can be stressful as all hell, but I’ve had good luck going down different roads and taking trips where I’ve had time to reflect, take stock of things, and generally be able to calm my mind. But I do know that’s not always the case, and that sometimes a drive can be anything but calming, even if it’s something that is as routine as driving a parent to and from work.
I’ve been lucky in my life because I’ve not had to go too far from home, nor have I felt a desire to do so. Home for me has always been where I have been, but that isn’t always the case for everyone. Some folks have to travel far from home or are away from where they were born and raised for extended periods of time, for whatever reason, which means that when they do come home, it’s a bit of a reverse culture shock, one that funnily enough is based in coming back to a place that they thought they knew but don’t anymore.
Games that set out to teach a lesson in terms of life perspective in the context of romance and relationships are a bit rare. Part of the reason for this is, I think, the fact that there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all approach to portraying relationships. They’re so varied and different that it’s a bit tough to come upon something that could be seen as universal truth or which happens in every single relationship, all the times. Sure, there are tropes, but that’s exactly what they are – happenings that are often a little overdone.
Embracing the new and uncertain isn’t for everyone. I know I’ve always been, for the most part, a play it safe kind of person, especially as I’ve gotten older and I have more than just me to look out for. It’s not that I’m terribly risk-averse, but more along the lines of being cognizant of what I decide and what I do having an effect on others. Still, that doesn’t mean that I’m not keen to try a leap of faith once in a while when appropriate, which is the whole point of today’s entry.