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Walden, a Game

This first-person documentary game follows in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau, attempting to live a self-reliant life at Walden Pond.

Walden is a first-person documentary game about the American philosopher, writer and natural scientist Henry David Thoreau and his experiments in self-reliant living at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. He devoted two years to a life of “simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust,” as an alternative to a life of “quiet desperation.” The game begins in the summer of 1845 when Thoreau arrives at his cabin. You can follow in Thoreau’s footsteps, but you can also take time to look around and explore the woods and the cabin, accompanied by the sound of rustling leaves, buzzing mosquitoes and tranquil music. When night falls, you are given a lantern. If you’re going to survive in the woods, you’ll need to find food and fuel, maintain the cabin and make clothes. A letter arrives almost every day. At the end of each day you read Thoreau’s journal, a calendar of the ebbs and flows of the soul. For the duration of this tranquil game, you’re surrounded by the natural beauty of the forest, which holds the promise of a sublime life.

Selected for IDFA 2015 and eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction.

Presented as part of the DocLab: Seamless Reality program by IDFA and De Brakke Grond as an interactive installation from 19-29 November.

Project details

Year of development :2015
Created by:Tracy Fullerton
With:USC Game Innovation Lab

Available formats

Official website

http://www.waldengame.com