This week will see the release of thatgamecompany's unique new title, Flower. In an interview with MTV Multiplayer, Jenova Chen, the co-creator of thatgamecompany, explained that he hoped that Flower will feel "like therapy" to players. This got us thinking about the ability of games to act as stress relievers and how both the mechanical and narrative techniques in games affect our mindsets. We also talk about the traditional notions of why some games are considered relaxing, and we explore the soothing possibilities of games that normally would not be considered calming. We invite you to relax, take a deep breath, and then jump in with your thoughts!
Some discussion starters:
-What games, if any, do you use as "therapy?" Do they fall into one genre, or are there any you think are "surprisingly" calming?
-Is there a contradiction between a therapeutic game and one in which the player partakes in destructive in-game behaviors?
-What kinds of themes and imagery do you think of when you here about a "therapeutic game?"
-Does a genre of meditative or Zen gaming need to exist, or can it be encompassed within larger categories?
To listen to the podcast:
- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking the title. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.
-Run time: 25 min 43 sec
-Patrick Klepek's article with excerpts from Jenova Chen: "‘Flower’ Should Make You Feel Better About Yourself, Argues Creator"
-Music provided by Brad Sucks