The path to life, from beginning all the way to the end, is often seen and visualized as what is in front of you, a place where you are walking straight ahead of you on a road, making choices that fork your path and put you on the way to your goals, aspirations, and other stops on the long journey, every day, one step at a time. But more uncommon is looking back and seeing the mark that your path leaves on that same journey, to see where you’ve come from.
There’ve been a few Meditation Games entries that have zeroed in on the fact that pets are family, and are to be treated as such, but few of them handle the end of a pet’s life with such simple peace and grace. When the end is near for a pet, owners sense it. They know in their bones, in their heart that their long-time companion is on their final legs, and as they tend to try to cope with it, many owners have different types of reactions, though most if not all of them suffer emotionally with the prospect of it being the end. This is especially true if the pet has been around through different phases and parts of an owner’s life, and that both of them have grown up together because of it.
Over the years I’ve been mostly a solo player. Part of that may be the fact that I prefer games that lend themselves to solo or by yourself experiences – JRPGs being the most blatant example, as traditionally they’re experiences meant for single players. But every so often, in parts of my gaming life, I’ve had the opportunity to play with other people, and in so doing, forge some pretty close friendships with people that persist long after the controllers, keyboards, and mice are put aside.
Barbeque get-togethers are perhaps one of my favorite things to go to and to experience, for a variety of reasons. They’re (mostly) outdoor gatherings that allow you to get a little sun, a chance to be able to get together with family or friends for a relaxing day of not having to worry about very much, and of course, for the cavalcade of food that ends up being placed on the barbeque or baked or cooked beforehand in the form of desserts and other treats.
Games that have a crisis that you have to solve, that present to you something that you have to fix in order to prevent something bad from happening, are one of the oldest dilemmas to solve, and a means to test the player when they’ve gotten a chance to get a hold of the mechanics. Whether it is trying to disarm something within a time limit, make a daring escape while fending off enemies, or perform a miraculous rescue despite having all the odds against them, a good old-fashioned challenge that solves a problem is one of the most fun things about games.
When I was younger and I was more of a widespread connoisseur of games rather than someone who has a bit of a discerning taste, there were always a few specific genres that I’d get involved in that seemed intriguing and interesting, and slightly off the beaten path to all the more famous and well-traveled AAA titles that were out there. One of those genres was the sort of hybrid simulation/strategy type genre that has you with complete control over what you command – games like Populous, Black and White, and of course, Lemmings, were titles that I found interesting because I had to command nuance as well as general orders.
As often as we try to make a big deal out of the more noteworthy milestones or moments in our lives, whether it be birthdays or graduations or marriages, or any other such event, it’s pretty fair to say that those moments, while big and significant, are not necessarily the sum total or defining experiences of life. The existence we have is more than likely punctuated or emphasized by such big moments, but really, it’s some of the little ones that tend to be collectively more of a defining track on which our lives travel.
Sometimes in every day life we get used to the feeling of being the center of the universe, and really, it’s hard not to have that mentality sometimes. After all, with regards to the planet, we’re its most intelligent beings (most of the time) and have the capacity to do and experience so much with regards to life as a whole. In addition to that, we humans have the capacity for critical thinking and reflection – a means by which we not only do but we learn, and that’s something that puts us pretty high on the food chain.
There’ve been entries about moving from a home, and unpacking from a home, but nothing in the Meditation Games project about being in a home and making it your own. That ends with this entry, and it takes a look at the process of trying to settle into a home and claiming it as one through a very unique standpoint – that of color and ambience.
Part of why this project is nice is because of the fact that I get to experience some of the slice of life stuff that I never experienced or had a chance to deal with when I was growing up. The diverse and varied backgrounds and upbringings of the developers who make the games for this project mean that there’s a great amount of potential for getting insight into a part of their lives that they’re able to share with others. Such as it is that I got swept up in the quaint rural farm life that Joel put together for this Meditation Games entry.