I enjoyed reading about the celebration and holiday mentioned in the launcher quote for today, which obviously made the game a lot more easier to enjoy and understand the message behind, but for this in particular, I had a particular appreciation because the celebration involves being joyful about prose, books, and knowledge. Knowledge, especially in these current times where things are vastly more turbulent and polarizing than before, is a valuable commodity, and there are few holidays or celebrations these days that have it as the central part of why we’re having the holiday or celebrating.
I’ve always had a dilemma with science-type stuff, and I Think that just betrays the fact that I’m more of a wordy, humanities type person (as if the things that I do and say aren’t obvious to that, heh). I get the basics, but there are some things that I tend to forget when it comes to recalling some of the ways in which science tends to work with regards to experiments and how things operate. It’s the kind of stuff that when it appears in a game like today’s, I sort of have to think about it a little bit before getting what I need to do.
Trying to make something out of the clouds is one of the oldest games that you can play, which is why it isn’t a surprise that there’s an entry in the Meditations Games project doing so. Oftentimes the practice of trying to figure out what a cloud looks like is actually an exercise in clearing your mind, as it allows you to try to focus on one thing – that of trying to interpret the shape of something without trying to think of anything else. I know I’ve spent many a relaxing few minutes laying on the ground, staring at the sky, and trying to figure out what coincidental shapes the clouds were formed into.
Some people might want to blame the today’s celebration of highs on the developer potentially having this much nostalgia over 2007 flip phone photos, especially when they are a fraction of the resolution of today’s computer-in-your-hand, nearly real-life realistic pics, but I do get why. Looking at these low res photos is a reminder of something much more intangible but more significant to the entire process, and that’s remembering a simpler, younger time, when the ills of the world weren’t so bad and there was little to be worried about aside from being able to ensure you passed your classes and you set yourself up for an upcoming career path.
A lot of people know about the celebrations that happen on 4/20, but fewer folks seem to remember that Bicycle Day comes before that, which is the celebration of one Albert Hofmann and their bicycle ride in which they discovered the effects of LSD. This is probably why some people might be confused at first with the launcher quote and the imagery that gets put forth in it, because it has almost nothing to do with bicycles or riding them, and is instead a set of psychadelic color images where you control the player through navigating through a seemingly endless void of hues and bright neons.
After a few messages of hope and goodness with the Meditation Games project, it was good to return to something more sobering – even dark, as far as the realistic and sometimes terrible occurrences and situations that exist in the world today. Today’s entry is a simple set of interactive bits of information presented in a landscape of greys, blacks, and sinister reds, meant to be both historical in its information about the origin and past of the conflict in Nicaragua as well as the present, terrible situation that continues to be a life-threatening problem for its citizens.
People, not surprisingly, want things to be simple and straightforward for many of the goals they want to achieve in life. There’s a certain set of ideas and thoughts about getting to where you want to me and most times, people like to think that traveling to that point should happen in logical, purposefully set steps. While this does happen some of the time, for the most part one discovers that the path to get to where you’re at is not always as clear in front of you, is filled with forks, twists, and turns, and almost always involves re-shuffling your plans for some reason.
This entry in the Meditation Games series reminded me of not just the historical factoid that inspired its creation but also of the simple yet unforgiving nature of some of the early games I used to play. Such games demanded a constant, well-practiced execution of game mechanics, lest you fail at them and start all over again once you run out of lives. I remember fondly (and perhaps with some horror) some Atari games that were like this as well as some of the early Nintendo 8-bit games (you’ve never realized true frustration until you’ve tried to play through the same sequence in Ninja Gaiden 12 times).
Crafting your home is a lot like putting a puzzle together, which is why this entry in the meditation games project is such a good comparison to the activity. It’s a simple puzzle game where you fit the pieces together into what eventually looks like a house, and you’re then treated to a render of the complete picture, both from a drawing and a more detailed, artistic level. I was reminded of a previous entry where this was the case, but the message here, unlike in the previous entry employing puzzle pieces, was more about the puzzle being put together rather than the fact that you had friends that were helping you unite a common picture and goal.
This entry in the Meditation Games series really gave me a bit of a nostalgia bump, and that’s because of the presentation of the game as well as the animations and art. Back in the old days, when portable gaming was, even before the Game Boy, a twinkle in someone’s eye, the only way you could get your game on would be through pre-programmed, LCD screened handhelds that had a single game that you had to master. A simple set of single elements with no overlaps meant that what you could do with both gameplay and animation was very simple, but was also very challenging.