Gaming can develop way beyond mere mindless entertainment. Digitizing the laborious task of growing and caring for plants might actually be a good idea if it’s done well. And that’s just what Viridi has done. This completely free Android app lets you cultivate plants and watch them grow over time – but what you’re really doing is building a space for contemplation to help you take things more in stride and learn some persistence. Maybe a bit transcendental given that we’re talking about a video game. But, hey, what matters more than the medium is your attitude.

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In the game you plant a set of sprouts in a pot and water them regularly, then wait to see how they grow and develop. The game description itself gives an indication of its philosophy: “Leave Viridi open in a second window to keep you company while you work, or check in on your plants as a meditative moment every night.”

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You start out with a limited number of succulents and pots. But over time you’ll get more of each kind, and can get a new free sprout once a week. As your plants flourish you’ll unlock new ones. So besides getting the satisfaction of watching your succulents grow, you get rewards in the form of new species.

The game is available for PC on Steam as well as Android devices. In both cases the game is totally free, although there’s an in-game store where you can buy different pots and plants. But as noted, Viridi’s real appeal lies in reaping rewards from your efforts. If we all applied that philosophy in our daily lives, we’d surely be way better off.

More information | Official Viridi website

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