How I Found Peace While Exploring the Vastness of Space in a Neutral Sky

When I was a child, my favorite pastime, when I was alone in my room, was to play the crashed spaceship. I would build a LEGO ship, smash it on my bed, ask my mini-figurine to find a way to fix it, and then head to the next room – uh-planet. There is now a version I can play as an adult: No Man’s Sky . For me, this experience is nothing more than a therapeutic one .

While my ship is capable of warp speed, the gameplay of No Man’s Sky is very slow and methodical. Walking anywhere can take hours, and even flying to the other side of the planet can take over 20 minutes if you’re in the planet’s atmosphere. Some games make my heart beat faster, some make me think critically, but No Man’s Sky calms me down and gives me time to think. The soft hum of your spaceship, the soft whistle of the radioactive wind, and the sound of your own breathing in your life support suit create one of the most soothing backgrounds in games. Not to mention some of the visually breathtaking alien landscapes. I once sat in my spaceship for 10 minutes looking out the window and watched a bizarre herd of one-eyed llamas graze across a field of purple grass as acid rain poured onto the roof of my spaceship. No Man’s Sky is like playing an interactive ambient noise machine in your sleep, especially if you have great headphones. The fantastic sci-fi soundtrack won’t hurt either.

However, performing any of these steps is entirely dependent on whether you have the resources to do so. I have spoken to a few people who say that gathering resources and managing inventory tires them (fair complaint), but for me it is a Zen process that has become second nature. These limitations go well with the sometimes overwhelming openness of space exploration. This is the perfect balance between “I need” and “I want”. Do you wanna go to that place over there? You can, but you will need these things first. For me, this is a clear reminder that the real world is just as interesting and accessible to explore, but first I need to get some work done. Even the simplest life tasks still require resources and effort. Regardless of what you want to do or where you want to go, you must first refuel your ship .

Also, in No Man’s Sky I feel lonely – which is good. We may be social beings, but we need time alone: ​​a time to think, a time to reflect, and a time to process our past, present, and future. And while I’m playing, I’m not worried about the points, the victory or the plans of the other player. Every experience I have is mine and mine alone; something to cherish. No one will ever see what I see, hear what I hear, or do the same as me. No Man’s Sky shows you that in an age of constant communication, you don’t need someone else to have a good time . All you need is a willingness to go alone and explore.

Best of all, I get a few prospects in every session . I tend to overestimate minor issues in my real life, but when I play, I am reminded of how small we all are in the universe. Even if I made some mountains from an elephant fly, these mountains are still almost invisible from orbit. Maybe it’s not as bad as I imagine. Maybe there are larger fish that can be fried. Maybe the next planet will be better. Perhaps I like the game so much because it is comfortable and in a sense it seems like a metaphor for how I look at my life. I drift from planet to planet, extracting the best from each of them, learn something when I can, and leave when I’m satisfied. I meet with all sorts of intelligent beings, and with some I communicate positively, and with others in a more educational way. I feed several animals to make them happy, because it makes me happy. In spite of everything, I know that it is still me and my ship. Of course, there are others who are similar to me – I know that. But I may never meet them, and that’s okay. As long as I have the ship and the knowledge I need to research, I will.

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