January 5 Meditation (Ludipe)

January 5 Meditation (Ludipe)

There are so many things I like about Ludipe’s entry for Rami Ismail’s game-a-day calendar Meditations. It’s a lovely demonstration of the flatgame format (and I really admire that Meditations has already offered multiple kinds of game – Unity, Pico-8, flatgame – in just a few days). Given it’s the weekend, I’m grateful that this game doesn’t require effort or skill (especially in comparison to yesterday’s game – I would not have had the energy for that today). And it does exactly what it’s meant to: it’s a simple but poignant illustration of grief, and how it can be exacerbated by the time of year.

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January 4 Meditation (Egor Dorichev)

January 4 Meditation (Egor Dorichev)

Pico-8, the fantasy console in which Egor Dorichev’s game was made, is very cool. However, I probably would not have played this had I come across it elsewhere, which I think is because of a (regrettable) tendency to dismiss games that look “cheap” unless I have been told they’re worth my time. Rami’s game-a-day calendar Meditations, with its promise that it will not waste my time, has so far proven excellent at making me actually play some games.

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January 3 Meditation (Lisa Brown)

 January 3 Meditation (Lisa Brown)

The games that creators have made for Rami Ismail’s game-a-day calendar Meditations have so far acted like journal prompts. Yesterday: introversion (or being a “naturally outgoing introverted person”). Today: depression. It’s hardly surprising; video game development seems to attract both introverts and people with mental health problems.

Again, this game’s representation doesn’t match my personal experience, which is fine – maybe even good – because interactive media can engender empathy for people unlike ourselves. But in this case I found I related far less to the protagonist than to the force working upon them.

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Tempres (Tak)

Tempres (Tak)

For 2019, Rami Ismail commissioned Meditations: a collection of games by different developers, one for each day of the year. The first, however, is not new. Tempres (Tak) is the browser game that inspired Rami to organise this game-a-day calendar. I’d seen it before, failed to figure out the rules, and closed the tab. This time I was a little more motivated but still initially struggled, and unfortunately I think the package in which Rami presents the game is partly to blame.

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