Instead of getting you worked up, the video game 'Viridi' just wants you to relax.

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.



Heroes

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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