'Flower' on PS3: Videogaming as stress ball

What do flowers dream about? The answer can be found in Flower, the new PlayStation 3 game that costs a mere $10 to download. Worth it? You betcha. Now, I’m no gaming aficionado, but it seems to me that Flower is a case study in how videogames can emotionally affect you. Playing the game is the equivalent of reading a Zen poem, chilling to classical music, and watching a Hayao Miyazaki movie — all at the same time! (Not that I’ve ever done those three things simultaneously before.)

The game’s concept is refreshingly simple (read: anyone can play). You begin in a somber urban apartment where a single flower sits on a windowsill. You are then whisked into that flower’s dream, which consists of gliding through majestic hills and pristine skies. The flower is controlled by using the PS3′s motion-sensitive controller; that is, you tilt and rotate the controller as you help your flower collect additional pedals and unlock new areas. It’s impossible to describe how calming and enriching the game feels — I could see it being used in a psychologist’s office! Of course, none of this may sound very appealing to those hardcore gamers who require rapid action, blood, and carnage, but casual players who just want to escape momentarily into another world will be thrilled. Calmly, of course.

The video below gives you a taste of Flower (be sure to watch it in high quality). What do you think? Have any of you already played it? Pretty cool, yes? And, PopWatchers, what other games also deliver a nearly spiritual sensation? The only ones that come to my mind are Ocarina of Time, Shadow of the Colossus, and Okami. What am I missing?

Comments (4 total) Add your comment
  • Jimi

    I actually picked up this game over the weekend, and I wasn’t feeling all that well sunday.. I swear i played this game for hours and hours and hours as I was miserable and it was just so.. pretty.. and relaxing.. The only downfall was that when i finally stopped playing and tried to go to bed.. every time i closed my eyes all i could see was those damn flower petals flying through the air.. and i found myself trying to “get more petals” even though i wasn’t really playing.. haha either way.. it’s a cute game.. it looks amazing, and i found it very much enjoyable.. especially if you are stressed out and/or not feeling well! :)

  • EL FRANCO

    Thanks for pointing out Flower. Sony has been making big steps this year to point out that they are a worthy system to have. 360 might have the First Person Shooter crowds and the WII has the casual gamers, but Sony has so much originality and award winning games like Little Big Planet. I have been knocked down by too many 360 gamers that they really don’t give PS3 at try. Anybody who read this should give a second look at PS3 and watch for the many great things that are coming out this year!

  • EL FRANCO

    Thanks for pointing out Flower. Sony has been making big steps this year to point out that they are a worthy system to have. 360 might have the First Person Shooter crowds and the WII has the casual gamers, but Sony has so much originality and award winning games like Little Big Planet. I have been knocked down by too many 360 gamers that they really don’t give PS3 at try. Anybody who read this should give a second look at PS3 and watch for the many great things that are coming out this year!

  • Jose

    Flower is a great game. I would also suggest the recently released Noby Noby Boy–a delightfully bizarre but no less accessible experiment from the creator of Katamari Damacy.

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