Is humanity and  reflection possible in video gaming?

The University of Southern California recently received a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts “to support production costs for a video game based on the writings of Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond. The player will inhabit an open, three-dimensional game world which will simulate the geography and environment of Walden Woods. Once developed, the game will be available online.”

You can explore the game in the video embedded above–what do you think?

While this doesn’t necessarily come across as the most exciting game description ever, it is exciting to see quality content being considered for video games.

Here’s more about the project: “The game will take place in a real-time 3D environment which will replicate the geography of Walden Pond and the woods in which Thoreau made his home using both game technologies and video. Beyond the replication of a virtual environment, however, the gameplay itself will embody the experiment that Thoreau set for himself, reinforcing the basic messages of his work. Walden, a game posits a new genre of play, in which reflection and insight play an important role in the player experience. ”

Would you like to see more classics as video games?

While you consider that question, we also leave with some words from Thoreau:

“I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. It seemed to me that I had several more lives to live. It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves. I learned this, at least, by my experiment, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. In proportion as he simplifies his life the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor will poverty be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”