When you think about video games, a few images often come to mind.

There's the exciting, beat-the-clock, don't slip on a banana peel (!) kind of game.


GIF from "Mario Kart."

And the "oh boy, this is violent and intense and I can't look away (!)" kind of game.

GIF from "Call of Duty Black Ops III" via Dromaeosaur.

The image of a plant does not usually make the cut.

A beautiful, calming succulent. GIF via Ice Water Games.

And that's why the video game "Viridi" might have serious gamers scratching their heads. But it'll have others in their happy place.

It's not because of the game's violent nature or real-life graphics. It's not because of its can't-look-away intensity either. It doesn't have any of that to offer.

It's because it's the most chilled-out and peaceful game I've ever seen. And that's exactly what it's designed to be. It's kind of like the Tamagotchi of 2015.

"Viridi" uses plants to make you feel less stressed and more relaxed.

It's like your average video game ... on opposite day. The entire premise is for you to tend a pot of succulents that grow in real time.

"Viridi is a safe haven, a place you can return to for a moment of peace and quiet whenever you need it," said its developer, Ice Water Games.

FastCo Design explains:

You pick a pot, and a plant, spraying it with water and tending it over the course of a week, until it grows to fruition.

It's a gentle and beautiful game meant to be there when you need to take a break in your day. You can leave it open in the background of your computer all day and enjoy its calming, ambient soundtrack while you do your thing.

And since it's modeled after real succulents, it's all about being patient. You wouldn't want to overwater!

GIF via Ice Water Games.

Getting up and moving around mixed with a game like "Viridi" might just be the calming distraction you need in your day.

The stress of meeting goals, earning money, and completing obligations can really take its toll on the mind and body. To get everything done, it's easy to convince ourselves that we don't really need to take breaks in our day — but we most definitely should.

Social scientists have even concluded that working for 52 consecutive minutes followed by a 17-minute break can boost productivity. Seriously! Take breaks.

We are ridiculously stressed-out humans. These little virtual plants help us slow down and breathe. And as we tend to our needs, we'll keep growing.

So whether you play a video game to grow succulents or grow succulents in real life (or both!), any reminder to relax and take a deep breath once in awhile is a benefit to your life.

Watch the teaser video and find out how to download "Viridi" here.



Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less

Former President George W. Bush and current president Donald Trump may both be Republicans but they have contrasting views when it comes to immigration.

Trump has been one of the most anti-immigrant presidents of recent memory. His Administration separated undocumented families at the border, placed bans on travelers from majority-Muslim countries, and he's proudly proclaimed, "Our country is full."

George W. Bush's legacy on immigration is a bit more nuanced. He ended catch-and-release and called for heightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he also championed an immigration bill that created a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.

Unfortunately, that bill did not pass.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

Keep Reading Show less

Roland Pollard and his 4-year-old daughter Jayden have been doing cheer and tumbling stunts together since Jayden could walk. When you see videos of their skills, the level of commitment is apparent—as is the supportive relationship this daddy has with his daughter.

Pollard, a former competitive cheerleader and cheer coach, told In The Know that he didn't expect Jayden to catch on to her flying skills at age 3, but she did. He said he never pressures her to perform stunts and that she enjoys it. And as a viral video of Jayden almost falling during a stunt shows, excelling at a skill requires good teaching—something Pollard appears to have mastered.

Keep Reading Show less