Many games are escapist in nature, whether its escaping work-life in leisure or the real world in fantasy. I wanted some such escape. So I could escape my lists, deadlines and pressures, and to give my brain a rest.
'Prune, by Joel Mc Donald is an artistic, zen like game about cultivating trees in a hostile world,' according to Christine Chan (2015). It was recommended to me as a zen-like experience which I looked forward to. I didn't however know that I would care about the trees and find as I swiped my finger to prune and shape the tree to grow towards the light and watched its destruction in darkness, that my heart would start racing as if I was playing a less zen-like game.
Imagine pruning and shaping a real live delicate bonsai tree at Grand Theft Auto speed, with the rate of growth speeded up. In light the tree flowers but as it grows, if you turn the wrong corner or snip the wrong bit it could mean total devastation.
I saw this game much like life. We are growing towards the light (enlightenment I hope rather than the one at the end of the tunnel). Darkness of spirit or sadness or lack of knowledge can impede our progress, cause doubts, drag us down and limit growth and development. But if we prune away the unnecessary, just prioritise according to our needs and values we could have a beautiful and fruitful life.
(Above are some stills of my game, taken early in the game. No time later if I wanted to save the tree...is that more social commentary about selfies...and the art of being too busy superficially documenting life to live it meaningfully?)