Posts Tagged ‘Walden: A Game’

Walden, A Game: I found an OWL!

Walden, A Game

I decided to make a little video to show you what I like about Walden, A Game [official site]. There’s a bit of Thoreau eyerolling, admittedly, but I’m trying to be reasonable and not judgy (WHICH IS MORE THAN HE DID), plus there’s an OWL! And a BLUE JAY! I refuse to go into the town of Concord but I do show you how you can purposely injure Thoreau’s hand. Swings and roundabouts, really… Read the rest of this entry »

Walden, A Game: hummingbird spying as Henry David Thoreau

Hummingbird from Walden, A Game

My relationship with Walden – Henry David Thoreau’s book about his experiences living at Walden Pond – is, as it has always been, complicated. And by “complicated” I mean “I know that there are sentiments in this book which are important to some people and have been influential and are potentially interesting especially as a respite/alternative to capitalist, tech-centric living right now but GOODNESS ME THOREAU JUST SHUT THE HELL UP YOU BORING, SANCTIMONIOUS, JUDGEMENTAL BUTTOCK.” The latest development has been the release of Walden, A Game [official site] in early July. My thoughts still haven’t quite settled with regard to the USC Game Innovation Lab’s game BUT I realised we never told you it was out. It’s out! Read the rest of this entry »

Sojourn ‘Em Up: Walden, A Game


“I’m in the front row at New York University’s last “Practice” developer talks, staring at the projector with intense wariness. A trap?”

Walden, A Game could not be any more RPS*. Developed on an arts grant, this is the upcoming tie-in game to Henry Thoreau’s 1854 philosophy book Walden. A book detailing the author’s experience of escaping modern life by living in the woods near Lake Walden, Massachusetts, for two years.

In other words, it’s a first person sojourn simulator.

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Thoreauly Hermitic: Walden, A Game


It’s not often that anyone gets to ask “What would Thoreau’s Walden look like as a game?” without it being a rambling speculative conversation in a pub. Indeed, you have to be in a certain sort of position – say a group of academics at a Californian University – for anyone to take that seriously, much less provide a $40,000 grant to make it happen. Fortunately, that’s precisely what has come to pass, via a National Endowment For The Arts project. And so we are to get Philosophical Writer Living In the Woods Simulator or Walden, A Game. One of the speculative few, USC Associate Professor Tracy Fullerton, has been quoted as saying: “We anticipate a rich simulation of the woods, filled with the kind of detail that Thoreau so carefully noted in his writings.” So we look forward to that. We can also check out the trailer, which is below.

(Thanks to everyone who sent this in with a note saying “Jim, this seems like your sort of thing”, and made me worry I am becoming a caricature of myself…)
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