Tōrō is a relaxing interactive VR experience set in a traditional Japanese garden. Playing as a devout Buddhist who cares for the garden, this interactive experience allows the player to collect beautiful flowers and light the eponymous tōrō lanterns lining the garden's path.
MY ROLE: Game Design, Environment Design, Co-Programmer, Web Design
Purpose: Research has shown mindfulness meditation is effective in reducing anxiety, blood pressure, and insomnia, and in helping people recover from substance use disorders – National Institute of Health
Process: Take a seat, set a time, notice your body, feel the sensation of breathing, and be kind to your wandering mind. – mindful.org
Historical & Cultural Background
There were three main Buddhist sects practiced during Tokugawa (Edo) Japan: Zen, Nichirin, and Jodo.
The Edo period
The Edo period in Japan was a peaceful period, so gardens were made more for aesthetics than those in past periods
Move and walk around in the garden environment
Light up the stone lanterns using candle fire
Pick up, put, or throw the debris (leaves, sticks, etc.) and objects (candles, rocks, etc.) on the walking path