The budding year has brought us rain to wash the grime off of the facades of monstrous buildings and to cleanse our burdened hearts soiled from decades of cruelty. It’s not easy to shed a debauched past with the magic wand of a peaceful protester or the whim of a benevolent mogul and expect a miracle to save us all. For I had walked among the dead, the silent ones and the zombies, and saw them for what they are, vampires feeding on hope and spoiling the landscape with their excremental nostalgia. They are an admonition of what we could turn into if we give up our dreams. Outside my window, puffs of clouds, white, gray and dark scuttle across the sky. They gather from all directions, ominous with the threat of a devastating storm or a magnanimous deluge that will bring life to this barren land.

While apathy is plentiful work has become scarce. With nothing to kill but time I lose myself to a recurring daydream*. I’m flying among the clouds in unconditional freedom. I type “cloud” in the search box and come up with a game. I was never big on computer games but this one intrigued me by its utter benignity. Cloud was developed by a group of students at USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2006. It is the closest rendering of the ubiquitous dream of flying experienced by almost every child and a few lucky grownups. The purpose of the game, as if it needs a purpose, is to fly among clouds, to shepherd them in a flock and to bring rain to thirsty cities and souls. The music is serene, the graphics and wallpaper inspiring and the demands on your system and dexterity minimal. It is as close as you could get to practicing Yoga on your PC. Make sure to explore the various dreams and extras after your install the game.
Cloud can be downloaded for free at the game’s project website and on CNET.

*Read more about the Cloud People.


Gabriela said…
Until today, I wasn't aware of that game. But then again, I'm not big with computer games either (besides a nice letter eating bookworm). But I remember cloud people, so it has to be really good.
Have a great Monday.
Paige said…
In Oklahoma, where the weather is extreme, clouds bring both much needed rain and tornadic super cells. Sometimes we have to deal with a little of both, but if the result of the storm is utter destruction, we always manage to rebuild afterward, stronger than before. I wish for your safe avoidance of the tornadoes and hail, and for your strength in dealing with the possibility of both.
Abufares said…
Cloud is not a conventional PC game by today's standards. You can't lose as there is no time limit or a certain score you need to achieve. It's rather a very relaxing past time played with mouse and keyboard.
I hope you get a chance to give it a try.
Abufares said…
How absolutely true :-)
I have lived in Louisiana for many years and I'm very familiar with extreme weather. This last summer I came across the devastation left by tornadoes in Arkansas as well. It's simply awesome!
As much as we dread such catastrophes we fully understand that they are unavoidable and in the large scheme of things necessary.
May we weather the storm and come up winners in the aftermath. Even if we lose, as a generation, the future is already 1000% better for our children.
Thank you for your comment.
Shannon said…
USC is my alma mater! I look forward to playing the game. One my first childhood memories is noticing the movement of clouds. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of a good memory.
Abufares said…
I would've cheered "Go Trojans Go!" but in my mind, a Trojan is always associated with something else :-D
You know what I think Shannon? People are born smart then they get stupid once they aren't kids anymore. Look at your baby and you'd realize that she holds the secret that most people have forgotten along the way.
I vividly remember staring for hours at clouds. I always wanted to go play among them. Even now, when I fly with the airlines, nothing captures my interest more than the sight of clouds and the feeling associated with passing through them. Fantastic!
I hope you like the game.
Isobel said…
As soon as I finish leaving this comment I'm going to download the game. I watched the video all the way through and felt so relaxed suddenly (which is difficult for me). The final scene of the person flying reminded me of a recurring dream. I try to fly but end up going too high (I'm afraid of heights) then I try to bring myself closer to the ground without a crash landing. Maybe I can learn some tricks from the game to incorporate into my dreams. What do you think?

Thanks for another great post Abufares! :)
Abufares said…
I hope you like the game. I'm sure the kids would love it too :-)
Funny you should mention your recurrent flying dream and add in parentheses that you're afraid of heights. When I was a kid, one of my earliest recurring dreams was standing on the balcony of my aunt's house where the power lines were may be 3 meters away. I'd stand on the railing and look below then jump to the power line on top and walk precariously before inevitably falling and waking up scared to death. As I grew a little older by dreams became less stressful, lucky me. A favorite recurring dream of mine involved me running in the schoolyard leaning my body forward to the point where my chin almost touches the ground. All my friends would be following my progress in disbelief before I reach "rotation" speed and actually break ground and fly. It was so incredibly real that even now I dream about me once being a child and able to fly. I wake up with the incredible belief that "uh huh, I was able to fly once." My flying dreams were so real in terms of physics that the turns I made, the loops, the take-offs and landings and even the stalls were an incredible rendition of real flight before I learned or experienced the actual dynamics. Like real flight, maintaining my speed was always the main concern in my dreams and years later when my first flight instructor brought up the subject of the importance of maintaining speed it was Déjà vu for me :-)
I would love to read about your flying dream. How about a post on your blog? You haven't written in a while.
Hebe said…
Blah! I posted a Happy Birthday message and it went directly to the Twilight zone! Mmmmm...

Anyway, hope you manage to enjoy your Birthday under the circumstances. You will always be 24 in my mind, full of chutzpah and mischief!

Forgetting about my birthday all together...
: P
Abufares said…
Hi Hebe
I'm so sorry it took me such a long time to reply to your comment. I've been partying since my birthday, lolll.
I hope you've had a happy birthday too :-))))

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