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App of the Week: A game of meaning

Philosophical game invites students to ponder everything's existence.

Ed. noteApp of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? 

Everything is an exploratory game about interconnectedness inspired by the Zen philosophy of Alan Watts. You start off as a single speck of light, moving in open space. You form thoughts and become conscious. Then, you’re on an open plain or desert populated with little critters and rocks and trees. You’re a zebra, albeit a poorly rendered, flipping-head-over-feet-over-head-to-move-around-like-a-square-wheel zebra, as if you’re playing an unfinished game. In fact, all the other animals you can see are also somersaulting around the plain. At first this is puzzling, but you learn later that this animation choice is completely understandable, since there’s a lot to this world: a plenitude of animals, plants, rocks, human-made devices, and many other objects, populating lots of different biomes.

Price: $14.99

Grades: 10-12

Rating: 4/5

Pros: Elegant use of play and simulation to model Zen philosophy.

Cons: It’ll work on some students, others will surely be bored.

Bottom line: Meaningful and humbling take on interconnectedness, but in that existential sort of way that’s highly individual and potentially hit or miss.

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Meris Stansbury

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