218/365 – Meditation Games #218 – Wonder In Biology

Developer: Jarryd Huntley

Launcher Quote: “In a world of uncertainty, my favorite summer sound (and one of my all-time favorite sounds) is the rattling of cicadas. In the Eastern United States, on hot summer days, you can hear their buzzing calls echoing through the trees.

The amazing thing about these insects is they live most of their lives underground. There are many different species, some emerging every summer and others spending longer underground waiting to emerge in swarms. The species spending longest underground wait 17 years for their time to make their appearance.

Knowing that these little insects are waiting for most of their lives, all knowing when it’s their time to shine, gives me hope I find the right time too; and I hope you do as well, friend. So take a little time, and listen, really listen to the summer cicadas singing their songs for you.”

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.

The description and the sound that I heard when playing this game is something that brought back to me classes in biology in college, where we looked at and studied the way that other species, other creatures, and other forms of life operated. In particular, the insect world, though we sometimes associate them with the idea that they’re pests, have a lot of interesting facts and behaviors to offer to us, whether that is the hierarchy and work of the beehive, the migration habits of many birds, or the chirping of cicadas only at certain times of the year. These kinds of intriguing practices, which to these creatures may seem commonplace and straightforward, are a point of fascination that shows how they aren’t just things to be dismissed.

Perhaps the best part about noticing and appreciating these supposedly simple behaviors is that they serve as inspiration or food for thought for how we behave in our more complex day-to-day lives. The developer brushes up against this with the idea that cicadas patiently wait for their time to shine and then seize it when it’s come, and we should be looking to do the same. It just goes to show that we’re still able to learn something from species that aren’t perhaps as complex as us as far as thought and consciousness, and that they’re just as worthy of sharing the planet as a part of its ecosystem as we are.


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