February 21 Meditation (Chris Allen)

February 21 Meditation (Chris Allen)

February 21 Meditation (Chris Allen)

Not to brag, but I am really good at today’s Meditation.

I guess if I had to categorise Chris Allen’s Meditation, I would file it away with the other physics toys. In this game, a blocky person lies on their back on a blocky bed in a blocky bedroom, their arm raised above their head holding a bright red ball. Hold down the mouse button, and the person will pull back their arm and throw the ball towards the ceiling. The point, as described in the intro, is to get the ball as close to the ceiling as possible without touching it.

I got 0.002. See if you can beat me.

I regularly tell people that I’m not actually a competitive person, because childhood experiences have made the concept of competition pretty uncomfortable for me. But there is one major exception. A couple of nights ago, I went on BBC Radio 5 Live at midnight to chat about games, and while the other guest and I were waiting we got out our Nintendo Switches and played a couple of races on Mario Kart. I beat him both times.

I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m not actually that good at Mario Kart. I would never place anywhere in an actual competition. But I have played enough Mario Kart to be better than regular guys who think of themselves as good at Mario Kart, and that’s all that matters. That’s enough for me to have had the experience multiple times of telling a regular guy that I’m good at Mario Kart, having him doubt me, and thoroughly trouncing him.

Anyway, while my ability to beat regular people at Mario Kart (see: every time I played against a guest on the live streams I hosted for the Guardian) is because I’ve been playing the game for years, I’m sure my high (low?) score on today’s Meditation was basically a fluke. But I needed a win today. And this is a great little game. The visual style is incredibly basic but nevertheless enough to evoke memories of lounging in a bedroom with nothing much to do. And it serves to remind us that video games are just an extension of our natural instinct to play.

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