The Journey to Wild Divine, a groundbreaking, new genre of computer gaming that allows people to explore and grow their own human potential, debuts May 14, 2003 at the e3expo in Los Angeles, CA. "We're at the front of a wave of independent games, that appeal to the growing and diversified base of game players that include men, women and children who are looking for healthy, positive alternatives that go beyond the usual violent, action-oriented game," said Kurt Smith, founder and CEO of The Wild Divine Project, producers of The Journey to Wild Divine.
The Journey integrates the power of the spiritual quest with an innovative biofeedback interface and high-end multimedia production and is scheduled for a September 2003 release with an introductory price of $149.00.
It is the first in a series of "Inner Active" multi-media, computer adventures from the Wild Divine Project offering hours of imaginative entertainment and mind/body mastery. The Journey incorporates mythology and elements of the classic hero and heroine's journey with state of the art 3-D graphics, video, and original music soundtrack. It will be available on CD, with both a PC and a Mac version.
What sets The Journey apart from other games, however, is the technology players use to navigate the game. With three biofeedback sensors gently attached to your fingers and monitoring skin response and pulse rate, you navigate through lush gardens, mythical temples and breath-taking landscapes using your own thoughts, feelings, breathing, awareness and mood to move ahead in the game.
Another innovative element is that, beyond sheer entertainment value, you have the opportunity to embark on a journey of awareness and self-discovery. With the help of wise mentors and guides, who appear during the quest, you learn skills that you can later bring back to your every day life. Other benefits are possible, too-including the potential for a clearer state of mind, heightened powers of imagination, greater understanding of the mind/body connection, reduced stress, and more energy and relaxation.
Essentially, then, not only does The Journey to Wild Divine give you exciting things to do and places to go, but you aren't necessarily the same person when you're finished.
"In developing the game, I thought about taking images and ideas from universal archetypes and translating them into a myth that works for our time," said Corwin Bell, the creator of The Journey. "What's more, I wanted to do this using technology that would allow people to experience, in a metaphoric way, the opportunities and challenges they encounter in everyday life, as they seek to broaden their perceptions and expand their consciousness."
To that end, The Journey incorporates biofeedback, so that you can see how your thoughts and emotions impact your ability to navigate the game and where you are in your consciousness at any particular time. For example, if you have to lower a feather from the sky in the game, you must be, or eventually get to be, in a smooth, relaxed energy space. Trying to force the feather down with your mind won't work.
"Here, a player can actually experience mythological images and states of being in such a way that they can feel authentically empowered to influence positively the world around them, using their thoughts, feelings and awareness," said Bell. "The game is cast in a way that it looks and feels like magic, but it's all working within the psyche. It's designed to bypass the rational mind, which would rather analyze and debate than experience."
The biofeedback portion of the game has a well-proven scientific basis. "We've consulted with some of the best biofeedback and medical experts in the country-in particular, those into optimal performance, such as Liana Mattulich, M.D., Dr. Bob Whitehouse and Sunny Turner," said Bell. "We've tested many players and gotten very affirmative scientific research based on our results and expert consultations. What the research comes down to is that the game increases people's understanding and awareness of how their thoughts, emotions, and breathing affect events in The Journey."
The Journey to Wild Divine also includes opportunities for people to access their innate power of visualization. "In a typical computer game, what you do changes your outcomes, but everything you sense comes from the game itself," said Bell. "We include visualization exercises which open you to your own images, in addition to the games. Half the game can exist in your own personal experience and imagination-if you're willing to go there. And this is powerful, because the game becomes truly interactive instead of pretty pre-determined, like other games."
For now, The Journey already has the potential to reach beyond the home gaming market to those people interested in self exploration and awareness. In addition, counselors, educators, physicians and biofeedback experts have expressed an interest in using and adapting the game as a healing tool.