Meditation Games Diary: 1/25/19

Want to play a game about watching a train move across Australia? Well, you are in for a treat! Today’s Meditations game, developed by Laura Voss, Simon Pederick, and Ben Harmon, is about controlling The Ghan. The Ghan is a train that moves from South to Central Australia. During the game, you watch as The Ghan passes the fauna and flora of Australia, and you listen to the sounds of the environment to find peace with yourself and the world around you.

The description states that the developers hope that the audio design creates a meditative experience, and in my short time with the game, it did. The sounds of the train were comforting, and the sounds of the animals made me feel connected to the environment. The game has a meaningful message as well.

The train’s progression through Australia depends on the speed of the train, which is completely controlled by you. If the train goes fast, you see more of the environment but experience each part for less time. The kangaroos quickly leave the screen and the plants become blurs that pass by in seconds. When you go slow, you only see a small portion of the environment, but each piece is lovely and can be experienced for a longer time. You get to enjoy the world more through going slow, but going fast allows you to see more. Both versions, slow and fast, last roughly four minutes.

This is a representation of how you live life. You can live it fast, travel across the world, see sights that you want to see, and keep going forward at a quick pace, or you could take life slowly. You could chill in your own neighborhood where you are comfortable, and find every hidden gem. You can live at the pace of a roller coaster, or slowly examine your surroundings like you are practicing psychogeography.

The game’s time limit shows that both trains reach an ending at the same amount of time, which is a lesson to live your life how you want to. Whether you live fast or slow, death will sadly come. It is up to you how you want to live your life, where you want to go, and what you want to do. Go at your own pace and don’t let anyone tell you if your pace is right. Do what you think is best. That is what today’s Meditations game teaches you, and it is a great lesson.

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