David Sykes, the vice-chair of The Quiet Coalition, muses about Walden, the video game, and how trying times compel us to seek stillness and tranquility. So how exactly does Walden the video game differ from Grand Theft Auto? Like this:
Instead of offering the thrills of stealing, violence and copious cursing, the new video game, based on Thoreau’s 19th-century retreat in Massachusetts, will urge players to collect arrowheads, cast their fishing poles into a tranquil pond, buy penny candies and perhaps even jot notes in a journal — all while listening to music, nature sounds and excerpts from the author’s meditations.
And if you don’t leave enough “time for contemplation, or work too hard, the game cautions: ‘Your inspiration has become low, but can be regained by reading, attending to sounds of life in the distance, enjoying solitude and interacting with visitors, animal and human.’”
Kudos and best of luck to lead designer, Tracy J. Fullerton, the director of the Game Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and her team.