PHYLLIS ODESSEY

Virtual Flowers

I have never played a video game. This weekend, Kurt Anderson of 360 interviewed Jenova Chan, a videogame designer from China. He has a new game called “Flower.”

“In Flower, the surrounding environment, most often pushed to the background in games, is pulled to the forefront and becomes the primary “character.” The player will journey through a beautifully vivid and changing landscape in this fresh and genuine game only on PS3.

The game exploits the tension between urban bustle and natural serenity. Players accumulate flower petals as the onscreen world swings between the pastoral and the chaotic. Like in the real world, everything you pick up causes the environment to change. And hopefully by the end of the journey, you change a little as well.”

Here are the descriptions of some of the screen shots from the game:

“Flower” begins with a potted flower sitting in a grey, urban apartment. The screen fades into its dreams …

The player acts as the wind, picking up a petal, and taking it around a lush environment. You can cause the wind turbines to spin. And with each delicate touch of a wind-carried petal, other flowers bloom.

To progress in the game, players must explore the environment, touching flowers as they go and encouraging them to bloom. Together, they create a more colorful, bright environment on-screen. In this shot, color is spreading across a field of grass.

If you get tried of weeding or composting, try playing Flower. See how the virtual world compares with the “real” world of gardening.

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