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University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)
Tracy J. Fullerton (Project Director: June 2014 to April 2017)
Walden, a game

The creation of a prototype for a first-person video game that allows players to engage with author Henry David Thoreau’s first year at Walden Pond.

Prototype for a unique video game based on the writings of the American author Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond. Designed and directed by game designer Tracy Fullerton, "Walden, a game," will simulate the experiment in living made by Thoreau at Walden Pond in 1845-47, allowing players to walk in his virtual footsteps, attend to the tasks of living a self-reliant existence, discover in the beauty of a virtual landscape the ideas and writings of this unique philosopher, and cultivate through the game play their own thoughts and responses to the concepts discovered there. The humanities content of the game will focus on an interactive translation of Thoreau’s writings and will also include references to the historical context of those writings. The game takes place in the environment of 1845 New England, when new technologies such as the railroad, the telegraph were first being seen and were part of the changes to the pace of life that Thoreau so articulately resisted in his critiques of society.

Project fields:
American Literature; U.S. History

Digital Projects for the Public: Discovery Grants

Public Programs

$100,000 (approved)
$99,999 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 6/30/2016