March 19, 2006

Seminary team wins game design award

Thanks to AKMA for the link off to this report about a team from Union which just won a cell phone game design contest. Their description of what they wanted to accomplish is powerful:

"Basically, we felt that many video games today require too much activity - the player ends up mashing buttons with both hands as quickly as he or she can. We wanted to make a game in which knowing when to act and when not to act was important. At the same time, we wanted the game to be engaging, even when the player was choosing to do nothing. This brought us to the Taoist principle of Wu Wei, or "non-action." In short, Lao Tzu taught that one must learn the art of "creative quietude," surrendering to Tao and using no more energy than is necessary. It's somewhat analogous to the New Testament concept of Kenosis, or "emptying oneself," which has been used in Eastern Orthodox spirituality extensively."

"So, we ended up with a game in which you are trying to to help a lost Moth find its way back home by the light of the moon. Unfortunately, there are other lights in the game which will distract the moth. The player controls neither the moth nor the light, rather the player controls obstacles in the environment, trying to gently encourage the moth to go where the player wants. It's a very gentle game - the moth can't die so there is no problem with setting the game aside for a moment (very important for a cell phone game). Finally, we tried to give the player a feel of serenity by placing the moth in meditative settings (a moss covered cave, a church, etc) which were communicated with the visual art and the music."

What might the church be like in the future, if video game design was one of the practices explored while in seminary?

Posted by hessma at March 19, 2006 12:24 PM