Walden: A Game, makes few compromises

Through each iteration of historical games or advancement of historical representations in video games, consumers and scholars alike have needs that may or may not be met by developers. Consumers might care more about playability, the “fun” factor,  or engagement, whereas scholars look for historical accuracy, proper representation of the time period, and authentic immersion of the player into a virtual world. Walden: A Game, I think does a fair job in attempting to cater to both. The game sets you in a first person role of interacting with the environment and combines it with a historically authentic experience.

The world around you is minimal yet captivating, it is stripped of just as Thoreau’s experience would have been. It allows for players to look for items such as books, notes, artifacts, and rewarding players for finding those. In those items, you gain information that can help players delve into the world and life that Thoreau was living in. This game was clearly not created to please consumers, but rather to educate and provide a playable virtual world for players to explore in Walden: A Game. The game does accomplish its goal of being used as an educational tool to explore an authentic open world. Although some might chalk up Walden: A Game, as a boring, open space game with no real mission, it is important to recognize that the developers did a good job in sticking to historical accuracy, rather than changing gameplay or compromising the games historical authenticity in order to cater to people who might critique it as a boring game.

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