Today’s Meditations game was amazing. Grace Bruxner gave us a glimpse at her routine of sorting out timetables for her university: intense feelings of panic until 8:00, frantically typing at 8:00, and dancing right afterward. This game was fun, and I laughed out loud at the end of it. Everything about its design is great, although the lack of any interaction was confusing at first, but made sense by the end of it.
Today’s Meditations experience has you standing in your room waiting anxiously until the clock strikes eight. Your hands are stretched out ready to type and you run around the room looking for stuff to click on, but alas, you cannot. The time is shown in the middle of the screen, and it gets larger as the time increases. You click the lamp, you click the bed, you click the laptop, but nothing happens. The time gets larger, and larger, expanding to consume your monitor before the screen turns black, typing occurs in the background, and then you dance by wobbling around left to right and having a great time.
Games are usually focused around the player interacting with objects, but for Bruxner’s game, the mechanics are the lack of mechanics. At first glance, Bruxner’s game looks broken. Clicking provides no results, and all you can do is walk around the room. The restrictions on the player create confusion and panic. The clock ticks down, and you can’t do anything but watch as 8:00 approaches.
This represents Bruxner’s anxiety about university timetables. In the description of the game, Bruxner details her experience with timetables and how it is very stressful for her. This stress makes the timetables the only thing that she can focus on. She can’t do anything at 7:59, because then she may not be able to sort the timetable as soon as possible. Turning on a lamp may take up more time than she originally thought, and she can’t use her computer before 8:00, because it could lead to procrastination. Timetables consume her mind.
I can relate to this, and I believe many people can as well. We may not relate to the timetables aspect, but there are times where we have a lot of anxiety about a particular event, and cannot focus on anything else. This was the problem I had during my first attempt at podcasting. The time I set to record became a restriction on my life. I could not get on my laptop, or play a game, because I needed to be focused at a specific time of the day.
This is why I haven’t actually released any podcasts, It was too stressful for the short amount of time that I was interested in them, and my anxiety socially destroyed me during the podcasts, making me a silent shell of myself. I have worked on this, and plan to try again very soon.
It is awful how our minds stop us from our goals or damages our days just to achieve one goal. Bruxner’s Meditations entry offers a brilliant representation of this. It is intense, cute, and quirky. The room is bright, the ending dance and music are hilarious, but there is still a clock that spreads anxiety as it spans across the screen. It was a wonderful experience and I am excited to play it again next year.