Artist Statement: Tracy Fullerton

Walden, a game has been a labor of love since I first conceived of it back in 2002 while visiting the pond and re-reading the book. I wanted to make a playable experience of Thoreau’s experiment in living simply in nature and to do so in a way that people all over the world, who could not visit the actual pond, might be able to experience it virtually and get a visceral sense of what it might have been like to live there in 1845. In 2007, I got a team together and started working in earnest to build out this idea. Over the years, I have visited the pond regularly, walking its shores and photographing it in every season as reference for our virtual woods. I have consulted with scholars, visited exhibits of artifacts from Thoreau’s life, and even examined the original manuscripts written in his own hand. Our artists used Thoreau’s own survey of the pond, combined with period maps and modern geographical data to create the terrain as accurately as possible, and our sound designer walked with Audubon experts to make sure the birds he was recording for the game were those that would have been there when Thoreau lived in the woods. Our programmers have created complex and dynamic open world changes with the seasons of the in-game year. We have all worked hard to make this recreation as accurate as possible to Thoreau’s descriptions of his time there, filled with hundreds of excerpts from his writings about all of the natural elements and his insights and critiques of mankind and society.