Activities: 2×10 Meditation, the calmest video game in the world.
Feelings: Triumphant over pixels!
Thoughts: Today’s de-stressifying technique came directly from the brain of Calm Mentor, as he is something of a computer game connoisseur. Someone has invented a playstation game called Flower in which you kind of waft a petal around a field by gently tipping your controller from side to side. The field turns from brown to green as your petal wafts over it and you can whoosh it through the grass and soar it up into the clear blue sky. The colour scheme is a shamelessly pleasant palette of lush greens, fresh purples and cheerful yellows. As a game it was pretty basic, you can’t really win or lose because the aim of it is to float around and once you’ve floated at enough things you “pass” the level. But I quite enjoyed it as a Calm challenge – I’d spent another ten minutes of meditation trying to focus on tranquil, floaty images and here they were, smack in the middle of the screen! Instant inner peace for the win!
It was an interesting experience to use a Playstation for a more practical purpose than shooting the heads off aliens. I’ve played the silly wee-fit games where you’re meant to jump around in front of the tv and pretend you’re running a marathon, and I’ve played the dancing games and the guitar games. This felt like a similar case of console re-appropriation but a much more apt matching of technology and function. Plus it was pretty! But I was very aware of the irony of a game celebrating nature and reconnection with the earth which you play on a big black TV in your lounge room.
I played a bit of vintage Lara Croft afterwards – half a level of Tomb Raider II – and found that to be much less calming. She was harder to control than a petal and she didn’t have that East-meets-West plucked string soundtrack backing her up. Calm Mentor pointed out that Calmness is about journey more than destination and making Lara jump up the same wall she just fell off six times in a row was a lot more destination-focussed than literally blowing about in the breeze.
I tried to capture the floaty-breezy sense in my evening meditation to a moderate degree of success. The only breakthrough I have noticed with that is my brain sort of relaxes at the start and says “ok, now is the time where I don’t have to think about stuff.” Then, of course, it wants to start again about five seconds later.
Here’s a picture of beautifully tranquil nature as brought to you by shiny black chunks of technology.