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Is It Possible To 'Live Deliberately' In A Video Game?12:15
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The site of Henry David Throeau's cabin on the shores of Walden Pond in Concord, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
The site of Henry David Throeau's cabin on the shores of Walden Pond in Concord, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
This article is more than 3 years old.

The video game, Grand Theft Auto, is off-the-charts violent — it's rated M for mature. A new video game, out this year, may be the first to earn the rating E, for English majors.

Video game designer Tracy Fullerton read Henry David Thoreau's famous book "Walden, Or Life in the Woods" as a teenager. And now, she's created a video game that lets players take on the role of Thoreau, catching fish in the pond and tromping into town to do odd jobs for a little spending money.

"Walden, a Game" took Tracy and her team at the University of Southern California's Game Innovation Lab eight years to make. It will be presented next week as part of Sundance Film Festival's New Frontiers in Utah. You can also catch a preview of the video game on Feb. 9 at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Guest

Tracy Fullerton, professor of cinematic arts at the University of Southern California. She tweets @kinojabber.

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The Los Angeles Times: USC Games Director Tracy Fullerton Pushes Boundaries, Touts Diversity

  • "Players of the forthcoming 'Walden' have the abstract goal of discovering how to live a life of balance somewhere between society and nature. 'Walden' may not represent what we regularly see on home video game systems, but it does bear a similarity to one particular game we’re all rather familiar with."

The New Yorker: Pond Scum

  • "'Walden' is a staple of the high school curriculum, and you could scarcely write a book more appealing to teenagers: Thoreau endorses rebellion against societal norms, champions idleness over work and gives his readers permission to ignore their elders."

This segment aired on January 13, 2016.

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