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April 28 2012

Walden Woods video game will recreate the world of Thoreau


Its lack of thrills, spills and multiple deaths means it is unlikely to appeal to fans of Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, but a video game based on the years Henry David Thoreau spent living alone in a Massachusetts cabin is in development, following a US government grant.

The University of Southern California has been given $40,000 by the National Endowment for the Arts to develop Walden, in which "the player will inhabit an open, three-dimensional game-world, which will simulate the geography and environment of Walden Woods". With the game drawing from the detailed notes Thoreau wrote about the area and its landscape, flora and fauna, users will be able not only to walk in the author's footsteps but also, said the university, "discover in the beauty of a virtual landscape the ideas and writings of this unique philosopher, and cultivate through the gameplay their own thoughts and responses to the concepts discovered there".

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