Tracy Fullerton is a school professor on the College of Southern California, surrounded by the glitter of Hollywood.
So how a lot might she know concerning the tranquility of Walden Pond?
The reply — she is aware of fairly a bit.
Fullerton has visited the pond many instances, and stated she has sat on the shoreline and skim Henry David Thoreau’s ebook “Walden,” which chronicles the 2 years Thoreau lived in a cabin he constructed beside the pond, jotting down his ideas and observations of nature. Fullerton lives the hectic lifetime of most working professionals, and he or she has taken to coronary heart Thoreau’s messages in “Walden” of simplicity and slowing right down to take inventory of what’s round you.
For the previous 10 years, Fullerton has labored on a online game to ship Thoreau’s messages to the plenty. She stated these messages are wanted now greater than ever, and whereas she admits there are nonetheless just a few “bugs” to work out earlier than the ultimate model is completed, “Walden” is obtainable for buy.
It takes avid gamers on a digital, interactive tour of Walden Pond, set in 1854, the yr Thoreau’s “Walden” was revealed. In keeping with Fullerton, it was a painstaking course of to depict the topography, natural world of the mid-19th century pond.
Fullerton known as the video a “detailed recreation,” and admitted it’s not geographically correct. She and her video group used city surveys to get the sting of the pond as correct as attainable, and historic maps to depict the terrain.
To know why Fullerton produced “Walden,” it’s essential to discover her household roots. She stated the Fullerton clan is traced again to Boston, earlier than the American Revolution, and her late father, Eugene, was from Everett.
Eugene moved to California to take a job within the house business, labored as an engineer, met his spouse and began a household.
Fullerton was born in California, and remembers household street journeys, when her father at all times inspired her to “learn stuff individuals wrote about wherever we went.”
Some journeys included excursions again to Massachusetts to go to household, which meant studying well-known Harmony writers like Louisa Might Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson and particularly Thoreau.
“Thoreua’s enterprise within the woods (in “Walden”) attracted me,” Fullerton stated.
She remembers Thoreau’s descriptions of ant battles in “Walden,” which appealed to her when she was a lady, and as she obtained older, she linked with deeper themes within the ebook, like social commentary and civil disobedience. After which, because the years glided by, she stated she valued Thoreau’s message of “the alternatives we make, how we use our time and steadiness our lives.”
“Steadiness is a continuing battle,” Fullerton acknowledged. “It’s the most important battle of my life.”
Fullerton stated she hopes the digital tour in “Walden,” which takes customers via every of the 4 seasons Thoreau skilled in his two-year keep on the pond, will assist others decelerate, take a breath and search for methods to steadiness their lives.
“I stroll my (dwelling) neighborhood (in California),” Fullerton stated, when requested if she has steadiness in her life. “I discover, look ahead to adjustments. It’s my path to steadiness.”
Fullerton stated there are refined reminders to avid gamers to decelerate after they attempt to rush via “Walden.” They embody the colour of the woods, which can begin to fade, and the music will “skinny out.”
And simply to maintain the tempo in test, customers will maintain a journal, like Thoreau did.
Kathi Anderson, govt director of the Walden Woods Mission, the place Fullerton carried out analysis for her online game, stated, “There are various methods into Thoreau’s legacy, and this (online game) is one instrument in a big instrument field.”
Anderson stated she couldn’t speculate on what Thoreau would consider the online game, as a result of Thoreau was “not completely predictable in what he considered something,” however Anderson did trace that Thoreau could have used video to get his messages out if he lived right this moment, as a result of “he used what was obtainable in his time to unfold his ideas and philosophies, and it was publishing.”
Fullerton stated those that could consider a online game is an inappropriate method to honor Thoreau’s ebook have an “uninformed opinion.”
“If we will’t have a online game about “Walden,” then does that imply we will’t have a movie, music or books impressed by it? The place will we draw the road?” she stated.
Fullerton stated the sport’s launch presently is “tremendously topical” on two fronts — it speaks to Thoreau’s perception of questioning the federal government and slowing down in an info age when youth are bombarded with info on social media, when it isn’t at all times simple to differentiate reality from fiction. The discharge was additionally timed across the 200th anniversary of Thoreau’s delivery, which falls on July 12.
As for her subsequent go to to Walden Pond, Fullerton plans to go to household in Massachusetts this summer season, which greater than doubtless means a pit cease on the pond.
“If I’m wherever close to Harmony, it means a cease at Walden Pond. It’s a given,” Fullerton stated.
“Walden,” the online game, is obtainable at waldengame.com.
Comply with Henry Schwan on Twitter @henrycojo.