Game Trekking: A New Form of “Travel Writing”

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on August 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm

In one way or another, the world will become more accessible.

Wired.com tells us about Jordan Magnuson — an indie game designer — who is set to travel around Asia for 4-5 months. Jordan is planning on creating video games based on his travel experiences. He’s already done so while living and teaching English in South Korea. His game, Freedom Bridge, is based on his visit to Korea’s DMZ. He was touched by the division and the paradox of the Freedom Bridge, which no one can cross from either side.

The games he creates are for free, but he’s hoping to raise funds to support his travels, giving him more free time to design and build the games. He is raising the money through Kickstarter, with a goal of $5000 to be reached by October 1, this year. At the time of this writing, he has received pledges of $1095 from 16 backers.

While he admits he’s had some negative feedback (“this is stupid”), most are inspired by his games and use them as a launching pad to learn more about the places he visits:

One of the most intense interactive experiences I’ve ever had. I went on to watch some short documentaries about Korea afterwards, to process the tension it had left me with.

– Mitsche, FlashPunk Forums

His plan is to travel to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, and Japan, and will post videos and blog entries, and create one or two games from each country. His goal is to make up to 15 games. Depending on how this goes, he has future plans to do the same for other destinations around the world.

Whether or not he reaches his fund-raising goal, he’s going anyway. As stated on his Kickstarter page, in response to the question, What happens if you don’t get fully funded?

First off, you’ll get whatever money you’ve donated back (that’s how Kickstarter works). Secondly, I will be taking this trip regardless. If I don’t get funded, it simply means that I will have to pay for the trip by some other means than making games about my experiences. Probably I will fall back on my web development knowledge, and spend the time that I would have liked to spend making games, making websites instead.

Watch his YouTube video to learn more.

[Image: Torley / Flickr]

Tags: Asia, games, Kickstarter, video

    1 Comment

  • Natalie - Turkish Travel Blog says:

    It sounds like a great idea actually. Would be interested to see his game version of Turkey. Hope he gets the funding to travel round the world.

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