Jenova Chen’s belief is that video games don’t draw on enough of the human emotional spectrum. And, yeah: real life asks for more than steely grit or volatile aggression to get through it. So he and the ThatGameCompany dev studio made the interactive tone poem called Flower.
Steering a single petal on gusts of wind, you soar through gorgeous landscapes of pure sentiment. The game’s first level is a platonic ideal of a perfect late spring day and sends you swooping through clusters of other flowers who lend petals to your sprightly journey.
Players move from that verdant elation to metropolitan dreariness, eventually settling on a precious in-between place. Despite the fact that Flower is entirely wordless and devoid of human avatars, you get inescapably carried away by its transcendent interactivity. It’s an experience that anybody can appreciate and one that offers hope for video games’ potential to stir the soul.
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