Growing virtual houseplants as therapeutic endeavor
Lumi Interactive is a Melbourne-based, female-led company that has uncovered an untapped gap in the mobile industry by turning self-care exercises into games to reduce tension and anxiety.
While most mobile games urge users to vie against each other or attain a goal, Kinder World encourages players to create community and follow self-care. Within the game, players are tasked to carry out basic acts of kindness to enhance their well-being and the game’s broader community. The game includes non-stressful tasks such as watering houseplants, talking with animal neighbors, and designing a lovely space with cute plants.
In some aspects, this reminds us how at the peak of the pandemic, many Americans engaged in creative play with games like Animal Crossing, which helped many relax and pass the time during lockdowns.
According to Lumi Interactive, the pandemic conjointly impacted the company’s formation significantly. Lauren Clinnick, co-founder and corporate executive of Lumi Interactive, recounts that in late 2020 they were a little team of three, frustrated by the pandemic and a challenging year for business. “We decided to take two weeks to refresh ourselves with a game jam to make something new, and mental well-being was very much on our minds. We’d also become closer to nature over the harsh Melbourne lockdowns,” She said. As a consequence of wondering whether houseplant care might be carried into the digital realm, the team created Kinder World.
Kinder World is a non-goal-oriented game and would be a place for gamers to come back whenever they need to unwind. The business is exploring a subscription service and experimenting with online-offline interactions with natural aspects, which may unlock explicit game rewards or activities.
Kinder World is currently under alpha testing for iOS and Android, with a full unharness planned for later in 2022.