If you feel inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s Walden but not inspired enough to isolate yourself in the woods for two years, you can now relive his experience by playing a video game. As The Verge reports, Walden: a game presents the theme and setting of the classic book in a modern package.
We first reported the video game last year, and it launched through the indie game marketplace itch.io in late February. A team of developers led by Tracy Fullerton, a University of Southern California professor and the director of USC Games, went to great lengths to ensure their creation channeled the source material. Players can find inspiration at Walden Pond, build a cabin, forage for food, and visit Ralph Waldo Emerson at the neighboring town.
If they so please, players can also make choices that contradict Thoreau’s original mission. Instead of living in seclusion, they can take the path of the successful writer and purchase fine suits from the local shop and ask their editor about public speaking opportunities. Thoreau’s words are hidden in descriptions of items and actions, hinting at the choices he himself would make.
Whether or not the same writer who championed surrendering everyday luxuries would approve of video games is up for debate. Video game players looking for a transcendental experience, or those who just want to relax with some virtual fishing, can purchase the game for $18.45.
[h/t The Verge]