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Meditations provides a new game daily for distraction and inspiration

Meditations provides a new game daily for distraction and inspiration

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365 games by 350+ developers

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January 23rd’s Meditations game
January 23rd’s Meditations game

It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend.

Meditations is unlike any of the other games we’ve featured in Short Play, because I can’t actually tell you exactly what you’ll be playing when you play it. Every day this year, starting on January 1st, Meditations gives you a different game to play. Each one is created by a different developer, lasts only a few minutes at most, and is only playable on that day. If you miss a day, you’ll have to wait until next year to play it.

January 29th’s Meditations game
January 29th’s Meditations game

This ephemeral aspect of Meditations adds an interesting dynamic, but, crucially, it doesn’t feel like you’re missing out on too much if you do skip a day (or week or month). Meditations is best experienced when you remember it’s there, serving as a short distraction or non sequitur from whatever you were doing or thinking about.

Before loading each game there is a bit of text from the developer about what the game is or where the idea came from. It helps to set the mood for the games, since they can sometimes be a bit abstract and hard to grok. But these descriptions also reveal the personal nature of many of these experiences. For instance, January 15th’s text is just three sentences explaining how the middle of January was when the game’s developer went to a waterfall in upstate New York to spread their mother’s ashes. The game itself has you standing in a grayscale world near a very abstract-looking pond with a waterfall of black particles, as sounds of a waterfall play. You can stand there as long as you want until you finish spreading ashes.

January 15th’s Meditations game
January 15th’s Meditations game

The game has simple controls, like most of those featured in Meditations so far. Usually you just need to hit a single key or click a mouse. The simplicity works, though, because these games are more about conveying a particular feeling, rather than especially complex gameplay. The January 15th game creates a sense of quiet contemplation about death. January 25th’s game is more meditative, as you control a train as it passes through the changing landscape of the Australian bush and desert.

Meditations reminds me of the quotes that appear at the bottom of pages in my day planner. Some of these quotes offer a new philosophical way to look at the world. Some tell a whimsical story that’s amusing for the sake of being amusing. Other times, they offer practical advice, like how to correctly launder a long-sleeve shirt to prevent wrinkled sleeves. 

These quotes are short respites from looking at what I need to be doing next. They give me something else to think about. The daily games of Meditations have been serving a similar purpose for me. It has been a good distraction to take a moment in the mid-afternoon to focus on whatever the new game is that day, and experience whatever its developers are trying to convey. I may not know what I’m in for, but I keep looking forward to it anyway.


Meditations was created by 350+ people. You can get it here for free (Windows and Mac OS). It takes, at most, a few minutes to finish each day.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 23 10 minutes in the clouds

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Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


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Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


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External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


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Nilay PatelSep 13
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Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.


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TikTok
Spain’s Transports Urbans de Sabadell has La Bussí.

Once again, the US has fallen behind in transportation — call it the Bussí gap. A hole in our infrastructure, if you will.


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Jay PetersSep 23
Doing more with less (extravagant holiday parties).

Sundar Pichai addressed employees’ questions about Google’s spending changes at an all-hands this week, according to CNBC.

“Maybe you were planning on hiring six more people but maybe you are going to have to do with four and how are you going to make that happen?” Pichai sent a memo to workers in July about a hiring slowdown.

In the all-hands, Google’s head of finance also asked staff to try not to go “over the top” for holiday parties.


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Insiders made the most money off of Helium’s “People’s Network.”

Remember Helium, which was touted by The New York Times in an article entitled “Maybe There’s a Use for Crypto After All?” Not only was the company misleading people about who used it — Salesforce and Lime weren’t using it, despite what Helium said on its site — Helium disproportionately enriched insiders, Forbes reports.


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Youtube
James VincentSep 23
Nvidia’s latest AI model generates endless 3D models.

Need to fill your video game, VR world, or project render with 3D chaff? Nvidia’s latest AI model could help. Trained on 2D images, it can churn out customizable 3D objects ready to import and tweak.

The model seems rudimentary (the renders aren’t amazing quality and seem limited in their variety), but generative AI models like this are only going to improve, speeding up work for all sorts of creative types.


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Richard LawlerSep 23
Green light.

This week Friday brings the debut of Apple’s other new hardware. We’ve reviewed both the new AirPods Pro and this chonky Apple Watch Ultra, and now you’ll decide if you’re picking them up, or not.

Otherwise, we’re preparing for Netflix’s Tudum event this weekend and slapping Dynamic Island onto Android phones.


The Apple Watch Ultra on a woman’s wrist
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
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Jess WeatherbedSep 23
Japan will fully reopen to tourists in October following two and a half years of travel restrictions.

Good news for folks who have been waiting to book their dream Tokyo vacation: Japan will finally relax Covid border control measures for visa-free travel and individual travelers on October 11th.

Tourists will still need to be vaccinated three times or submit a negative COVID-19 test result ahead of their trip, but can take advantage of the weak yen and a ‘national travel discount’ launching on the same date. Sugoi!


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Thomas RickerSep 23
Sony starts selling the Xperia 1 IV with continuous zoom lens.

What does it cost to buy a smartphone that does something no smartphone from Apple, Google, Samsung can? $1,599.99 is Sony’s answer: for a camera lens that can shift its focal length anywhere between 85mm and 125mm.

Here’s Allison’s take on Sony’s continuous-zoom lens when she tested a prototype Xperia 1 IV back in May: 

Sony put a good point-and-shoot zoom in a smartphone. That’s an impressive feat. In practical use, it’s a bit less impressive. It’s essentially two lenses that serve the same function: portrait photography. The fact that there’s optical zoom connecting them doesn’t make them much more versatile.

Still, it is a Sony, and like.no.other.


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External Link
Corin FaifeSep 23
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