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Journey & Flower Bundle

Journey & Flower Bundle

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Title: Journey & Flower Bundle Genre: Adventure , Casual , Indie Developer: thatgamecompany Publisher: Annapurna Interactive Franchise: Annapurna Interactive Languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish - Spain, Arabic, Dutch, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese - Brazil, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish - Latin America, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Korean Listed languages may not be available for all games in the package. View the individual games for more details.

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Journey, From The Creators Of flOw and Flower, Explained

flOw and Flower developer thatgamecompany is making something new, Journey , a game that's about singing, sand, hiking, cloth, surfing, astronauts and feeling small. And, in a radical departure for the team, it uses two whole buttons.

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Journey is a multiplayer online adventure for the PlayStation 3 that aims to explore the emotional palette that its peers don't, said thatgamecompany game designer Jenova Chen. He says he was inspired by a player's feeling of empowerment, both in real life and in video games. In the real world, human beings are capable of knowing so much and being in constant communication, thanks to technology. In video games, players feel godlike in the way that they wield power, whether by firing a rocket launcher or the invulnerability of playing as a virtual character.

It was further inspired by the works of Joseph Campbell and a lunch with astronaut Charles F. Bolden, Jr. Bolden, says Chen, relayed stories to the game designer about the spiritual awakenings of some of his Space Shuttle colleagues—previously "hardcore atheists"—after having spent some time on the moon, seeing Earth from such a great distance.

Chen called it "awe towards the unknown."

There are many unknowns in Journey. Chen wouldn't tell us much about the game's story or ultimate goal, but he did tell us about its key mechanics. Journey is a game about exploring a world covered with and flowing with sand. Players, as the spindly character wearing a red robe, can walk, run and jump around the world. They can "surf" down sand dunes, ride waves of rippling sand and even draw sketches in it with their feet. Chen confirms that people have already drawn penises in Journey's sand.

Journey, Chen says, is as much a virtual hike as it is a story-driven adventure. It's a story told without language, through symbols and secrets and glyphs. Those symbols can be seen on stone pillars and banners scattered throughout the world, and some will be delivered by other entities.

The PlayStation 3 game's other big gameplay system is cloth. The player's robes flow naturally in the wind, as do banners, flags and floating strips of fabric scattered throughout the world. Some are puzzles, some are clues.

In one sequence, we watched Chen jump up onto a trio of long ribbons flapping in the wind. They acted as platforming devices, turning from white cloth to red, covered in glyphs, when the player stepped on them. After walking across all three, a stream of fabric poured out of a rocky relic, forming a bridge.

In another sequence, Chen guided the player behind a series of sandy waterfalls, finding a huge banner, covered in glyphs. How all these items will inform the player is something of a mystery.

Near the end of the demo, in an area that wasn't so sandy and featured a blue sky, we ran into one of Journey's helpers. It was a white statue that emitted chunky, floating glyphs made of light. Those glyphs then redecorated the player's robe with a new design. Chen didn't clearly explain what this meant, saying it could be related to aging, your score, a status symbol or some type of new ability.

One ability that we haven't addressed is the singing. It will help the player collect strips of fabric that are nearby and will "harmonize with other cloth players in the world," Chen says.

Journey's journey is one toward a mountain. It's a brightly lit goal far in the distance that you'll reach by observing and figuring out surfaces. You'll ride sand and fly in getting to the mountain, Chen says, with the game's enemies consisting of "obstacles that are proposed by nature."

Along the way, you'll see side attractions, run into fellow hikers in the world of Journey and solve puzzles together. You won't verbally communicate with them. The game can be both competitive and cooperative, Chen says, if players choose to play it that way. There's an end goal to Journey, it's persistent and the hidden mysteries of the world encourage multiple playthroughs.

Chen described Journey as many things, including a "very good gallery or museum" and a way to form a "genuine connection" with other players.

While it sounds like Journey is still in the process of figuring itself out, in some ways, the game isn't due until (hopefully) next year.

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life’s companions

Experience the wonder in this anonymous adventure where you travel on a life’s passage, with the chance to connect with companions along the way.

flower and journey

a mysterious world

Alone and surrounded by miles of burning, sprawling desert, you soon discover the looming mountaintop is your goal. The passage will not be easy but this experience of a lifetime will help you discover who you are, what this place is, as you arrive at your purpose.

beautiful art and music

Soar above ruins and glide across sands as you explore the secrets of a forgotten civilization.  Featuring stunning visuals, haunting music, and unique online gameplay, Journey delivers an experience like no other.

The release of Journey attracted over 100+ industry awards and media accolades, with some naming the game as their ‘Game of The Year’ in 2012.

"A glorious, thoughtful, moving masterpiece"

- entertainment weekly, "mysterious and beautiful", "an incredible, emotional game", "one of the most amazing game experiences of my life", - gamesradar.

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© 2012 Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC. Developed by thatgamecompany. Journey is a trademark of Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC.

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About this item

  • Includes three full games: Journey, Flower, and flOw
  • Bonus content includes the original soundtrack for all three games, three exclusive mini-games from thatgamecompany, a 30 minute documentary about Journey, Creator Commentary play throughs of all three games, exclusive Journey PSN avatars and much more

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Warranty & support, product description.

The Journey Collector’s Edition features all three best-selling games from acclaimed indie developer thatgamecompany, Journey, Flower, and flOw, for one low price. The collection also includes a wealth of exclusive bonus content that fans are sure to love, making this the ultimate edition for collectors to cherish for years to come.

The indie game developer, thatgamecompany, has created immersive games that deliver stunningly vibrant visuals, a totally Zen gameplay experience and a completely unique feel. As you glide through the underwater world or soar through fields of flowers, you'll notice yourself relaxing into a mentally challenging, yet emotionally calming frame-of-mind with the help of amazing soundtracks to ease you even further. This Collector's Edition brings you Journey, Flower and flOw in one package, full of peaceful gameplay and exciting extras.

Created by the acclaimed indie game developer, thatgamecompany, this series of games has transcended the label of video game and become a true entertainment experience. With additional content, such as a 30-minute documentary on the making of Journey and Creator's Commentary play-throughs of all three games, you'll be able to learn the ins and outs of the award-winning games included in this Collector's Edition. Whether you're exploring the vibrant landscape of Journey, tilting your controller to fly through the picturesque world of Flower or discovering the wonder of the underwater world in flOw, you will embark on a journey of the mind every time you pick up the controller.

Key Features:

  • For 1 player offline; for 1 to 2 players online Collector's Edition includes Journey, Flower and flOw, game soundtracks, dynamic themes and avatars
  • Immerse yourself in the stunning visual landscapes of Journey for a unique and emotional, family-friendly gaming experience
  • Fly and soar through the picturesque world of Flower by tilting your controller and enjoy the Zen atmosphere
  • Discover the wonder of the underwater world as one of five unique organisms, no matter what your skill level is thanks to the dynamic difficulty adjustment feature
  • Enjoy never-before-seen mini games brought to you by the indie game developer, thatgamecompany
  • Watch a 30-minute documentary on the making of Journey
  • Learn the ins and outs of each game with the Creator's Commentary play-throughs

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Journey: The Art Of Journey

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Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness.

Customers say

Customers find the game to be a unique and refreshing gaming experience with beautiful renderings, and elegant design. They also appreciate the intuitive, simple, and immersive gameplay. Customers describe the game as moving, exhilarating, and relaxing. They find the storyline thrilling and captivating.

AI-generated from the text of customer reviews

Customers find the games to be tremendous, fun, and unique. They also say the games have the most entertainment value. Customers also mention that the games are refreshing, special, engaging, and beautiful.

"... Flower is really fun ! You're a gust of wind that gathers and blooms flower petals and journeys across different landscapes and scenaries...." Read more

"...destruction pervasive in gaming today. Overall this is a stupendous game that will be played over and over. Try it and see." Read more

"...They are nice little time wasters , but not incentives to buy this game.The game also comes with some nice avatars and themes...." Read more

"...It will may you think.Flower is a whimsical experience ...." Read more

Customers find the pixels in the game very beautiful, elegant, and unique. They also say the world is beautiful, with amazing music and an untold story. They mention the game is fully immersive, with beautiful art and music, simple and fun game play.

"...who doesn't play video games mastered it quickly. The graphics are great , perfect for the artistic style of the game, which is very unique...." Read more

"... Very beautiful renderings help make it enjoyable.Flow is simply eat or be eaten...." Read more

"...It has great visuals and a great soundtrack, which seems to be a staple for the trio...." Read more

"A universal story in a game that is fully immersive, with beautiful art and music , simple and fun game play, fantastic pacing and the perfect amount..." Read more

Customers find the quality of the video game software to be great. They say the game is intuitive, simple, and immersive. They also appreciate the minimalist style of learning and storytelling in the game. Customers also say that the game has a short, concise, and to the point storyline.

"...it to those games, but the feeling of trying something new, groundbreaking and so unique...." Read more

"...The game style is basic . Look, move, fly, and "call". That's it. Two joysticks (or one joystick and the six-axis) and two buttons...." Read more

"...The menus themselves are pretty basic . Each menu looping video of the game in action, and the different options displayed on the right hand corner...." Read more

"...Utilizing the SIXAXIS controller's motion tilt feature, it's real easy to play and actually becomes quite relaxing...." Read more

Customers find the game very relaxing, stress free, and mesmerizing. They also say it's relatable to the human experience and a nice stress reliever.

"...the game, or take your way to the depths of this "ocean"; everything is very soothing ...." Read more

"...It helps compliment each aspect of the game, and sets the mood for each part . It helps you become even further immersed into the game...." Read more

"...'s motion tilt feature, it's real easy to play and actually becomes quite relaxing . Very beautiful renderings help make it enjoyable...." Read more

"...games these past few years, Journey has been the loveliest and most meaningful ...." Read more

Customers find the storyline captivating, beautiful, and epic. They also say the journey is absolutely beautiful, frustrating, and like watching a scenic movie. Customers also mention that the game stands out and is excellent.

"...There's 3 dynamic themes , about 16 avatars, and tons of other extra goodies like behind the scenes docemenataries, soundtracks (which are AMAZING),..." Read more

"...The concept art and screenshots are great, with hundreds of images to look through . The soundtracks are amazing...." Read more

"A universal story in a game that is fully immersive , with beautiful art and music, simple and fun game play, fantastic pacing and the perfect amount..." Read more

"...I bought it because of the reviews. No tutorial , no help, no map, no audio - just an occasional fade in of the controller at the beginning...." Read more

Customers find the music wonderful, soothing, and beautiful. They also say the soundtrack is a very special part of the experience and the journey sounds incredible on a Dolby 5.1 surround sound system.

"...The soundtracks are so soothing I exported them on my ps3 and play it when I'm cleaning :)Flow is a nice little game...." Read more

"...Having read some of the descriptions of the game, it sounded interesting enough , and the price was relatively cheap...." Read more

"...It's nice to see this Collector's Edition come with a downloadable version of the soundtrack , because it's a great edition to anyone's music..." Read more

"...The soundtrack is thematic , so as you progress through a stage the music will often change with the pace and accomplishments...." Read more

Customers find the value of the video game software to be great, worth the price, and a great buy. They also say the addition of soundtracks adds value to the package. Customers also mention that the collection is a fantastic deal with plenty of freebies and discounts.

"...The mechanics take a little to get used to, but the reward is great . This is also a multi-player game so friends can join in...." Read more

"...the service, and have found it to be a great deal with plenty of freebies and discounts , among other extras. Try it out and see if you like it or not." Read more

"...Journey alone is worth the price , but Flower and Flow are worthwhile games to go along with it...." Read more

"...Journey is defiantly the best of the three games . As you go through this game, you can collect scarf pieces that make your scarf longer...." Read more

Customers are mixed about the length. Some mention that the game has simple stories with only 3 or 4 hours of gameplay, while others say that it's quite short.

"... It is a short , but fun experience, and is a great addition to this collection.*Flower*..." Read more

"...The gorgeous music, the haunting imagery and the simple storytelling all transcend language and deliver a game that is nothing short of a spiritual..." Read more

"... Journey is short . Maybe 2-4 hours, depending on how immersively you play, but the experience feels timeless while you are in it. You cannot die...." Read more

"...One word of note. The game itself is very short . Top to bottom, it can be finished in just under 2 hours. This is by no means a drawback...." Read more

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The studio behind Journey is making an Apple TV game

Sky from thatgamecompany will debut on apple devices.

By Andrew Webster , an entertainment editor covering streaming, virtual worlds, and every single Pokémon video game. Andrew joined The Verge in 2012, writing over 4,000 stories.

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Thatgamecompany is a studio best known for poetic, emotional adventures like Flower and Journey — and now the team is bringing its next release to Apple TV. Creative lead and studio CEO Jenova Chen was onstage today at Apple’s latest keynote to show off Sky , billed as a “romantic adventure game.” It looks in keeping with the studio’s past work, with lush environments to explore and comparatively minimalist game elements. It’s also is being designed in part with the Apple TV in mind. “Everything can be done with one finger on the Siri remote,” Chen says of the game.

In a blog post on the studio’s site , thatgamecompany provided a bit more detail on just what Sky will be like.

Sky has been a few years in the making.  After the release of Journey, so many fans wrote to tell us how much they enjoyed playing the game with their spouse, children, or loved ones, and asked if we could create a game where they could play together. We wanted as many people to love games, and so we were encouraged to explore this idea at thatgamecompany.  Which brings our games, for the first time, to mobile — a platform that many have access to, the world over.   It’s hard to explain the game, but a good place would be to say that Sky is a game specially created to be played, and shared, among loved ones and family.  If you can imagine the delight of visiting a theme park where lasting memories are made, we envision Sky will sometimes feel like that.

Sky will be coming to both the iPhone and iPad, and is expected to launch this winter. It’ll be available on other platforms later on.

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Journey is now on Steam, includes Flower free for the next two weeks

Thatgamecompany's critically acclaimed exploration game debuted on PC via the Epic Games Store last year.

flower and journey

After a year of exclusivity on the Epic Games Store , Journey , thatgamecompany's acclaimed game of exploration in the desert, is now available on Steam . And not only that—for the next two weeks, publisher Annapurna Interactive is throwing in a free copy of thatgamecompany's previous release, the also critically acclaimed Flower .

Now available on @Steam: JOURNEY from @thatgamecompany. BONUS: For the next two weeks, FLOWER will also be included for free!https://t.co/Wot38i3kPo June 11, 2020

Journey sets players off as a robed figure in a great desert, on a path leading toward a distant mountain. It's a linear experience across multiple levels, with some gentle puzzles to solve and occasional encounters with other human players on their own journeys; you'll spend most of your time walking but you can also fly briefly, thanks to the powers of a magic scarf. As Shaun noted in April, "It's a simple concept, but the execution is gorgeous ."

Flower, originally released in 2009, is conceptually similar: You are " an invisible petal wizard ," as Jody aptly described it, blowing flower petals across idyllic, breezy landscapes. There are no enemies, scoring, or anything else, really—it's just meditative, musical exploration. 

Journey is currently on sale on Steam for $11/£8.50/€9, until July 9. It also remains available on the Epic Games Store , but it's not on sale there.

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Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.

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flower and journey

The creators of Flower and Journey reveal their new game Sky for iOS and Apple TV

An aerial Journey

The creators of Flower and Journey reveal their new game Sky for iOS and Apple TV

Combining the serene flight of Flower with the relaxing social exploration and otherworldly landscapes of Journey, Sky lets you soar through a mysterious kingdom among the clouds. Graceful swoops and dives takes you through the open air and towards ruins and temples, where deeper secrets await.

flower and journey

In the stage demo, we see friends meet within the world, and travel into the depths of a mountain-top shrine, where a ritual spawns a mythic beast into the atmosphere for you to fly along.

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Journey, Flower, and Flow bundle inbound

ThatGameCompany confirms disc-based Journey Collector's Edition headed to the PlayStation 3; retailers suggest August launch.

By Eddie Makuch on June 21, 2012 at 2:26PM PDT

ThatGameCompany's Journey is not yet finished.

"Yes, the ‪#JourneyPS3‬Collector's Edition is a thing, and it includes‪#flOwPS3‬ and ‪#FlowerPS3‬, but we can't say anything more," ThatGameCompany wrote on its official Twitter account.

Speculation about the combo pack popped up today, when several retailers, including GameFly and Play-Asia , listed a Journey Collector's Edition for the PS3. No price for the pack was provided by the retailers, but the listings indicate the bundle will arrive sometime in August.

Earlier this month, ThatGameCompany secured $5.5 million in venture capital funding and declared that it would develop and release games for multiple platforms as an independent company. Previously, games from the studio were published only on Sony platforms, and in the case of Flow, also on the PC.

For more on the games to be included in the Journey Collector's Edition, check out GameSpot's reviews of Journey , Flower , and Flow .

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email [email protected]

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Flower, FlOw and Journey headed to PS4 on disc

Journey also getting standalone release, now 60fps.

Critically-acclaimed PlayStation 3 titles Flower, FlOw and Journey will get a disc-based compilation pack for PS4.

flower and journey

ThatGameCompany's trilogy will be available to buy in physical form this summer, GameSpot reported.

The new PlayStation 4 version of Journey will also have its frame-rate boosted to 60fps.

Both FlOw and Flower have already been re-released for PS4 and are cross-buy titles - so if you have them on PS3 or Vita then you already own their newer versions.

Journey is also expected to be a cross-buy release.

ThatGameCompany is now working on its fourth project, the first which will not be bound by the studio's previous three-game exclusivity deal with Sony. Whatever it is, the unannounced title is widely expected to be a multi-platform release.

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Like Flower and Journey? Prepare to love Abzu

Think of Abzu as the spiritual successor to Journey and Flower. It’s an arty, impressionistic, non-violent, sub-aquatic adventure helmed by the art director of those games, Matt Nava. Now creative director at Giant Squid Studios, I ask him the burning question: how many fish are in it?

“Our approach is to create all the fish as these instanced clones of each other and then create variations of those clones, and when you do that you have to animate them completely procedurally, you can't have internal skeletons, which is the kind of tech that's usually used to create fish. And by doing that we actually are able to render many more of them.”

flower and journey

My demo begins with a character, simply known as The Diver, bobbing gently on the glittery surface under an orange sky. Submerging, I’m met by the sight of 10,000 giant trevally - which I like to call ‘grumpyfish’ - moving in great schools. Your character can join them to boost her swimming speed and then leap from the ocean like a dolphin. She can even hitch rides on some of the bigger creatures such as manta rays, turtles, and goliath groupers.

Light on story, Abzu is essentially about discovering the sea’s increasingly magical wonders: turquoise caribbean shallows, jellyfish-filled caverns, and vast fields of swaying kelp. “It's kind of an open world game,” says Nava. “We have a big open space and there's going to be points of interest you can visit along the way...we encourage the player to take their own path through these different zones.”

So how do you go about guiding people in such an amorphous space? “We use all of our tools to guide the player as subtly as we can, from the colour of the water, the density of the water, the colour of the grass, the paths in the ground, where the fish congregate. They all are subtle clues that lead the player.” Journey’s composer, Austin Wintory, also weaves some musical cues into his delicate score. While you’re free to explore, you always know how to progress.

flower and journey

Indeed, there are objectives to complete. One tasks me with activating adorable little drones to help us clear sandy debris piles and access new areas, just as notorious sea bastard James Cameron would do. At one point a shark eats a drone and it screams like R2D2, making us feel bad.

Omitting game-over states, air gauges, or loading screens, Abzu is one continuous exploration. It’s fluid in several respects. Movement-wise, water is never a barrier, with players using the left stick to rotate and the trigger to swim. Soaring majestically under the waves, pulling loops and using X to flip - it’s like flying in slow motion.

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As the demo ends and The Diver swims off into an epic pre-composed scene showing off the vast array of species, including killer whales, sword fish, barracuda, eels, dolphins, and hammerhead sharks, it’s clear there are plenty of secrets still to find and experience in Abzu.

flower and journey

“There's so much that we don't know about the ocean,” says Nava. “So many opportunities to create spaces that are magical and introduce people to sea life and creatures they've never seen before. And I think that the other thing that's amazing about it is that the concept of water is this symbol we all identify with. It's something we are all afraid of and all completely intrigued by. And diving deeper is a very apt metaphor for diving into yourself.”

And also, look at all those fish.

Abzu will launch on PC and PS4, and is scheduled for an early 2016 release.

Ben Griffin

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Ten Years Ago, ‘Journey’ Made a Convincing Case That Video Games Could Be Art

Creative director Jenova Chen conceived ‘Journey’ as an act of rebellion against commercial games. The decidedly emotional titles it inspired forgo violence and point scoring for matters closer to the heart.

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To borrow internet parlance for a moment, Journey is a video game designed to hit you right in the feels. You play as an androgynous character dressed in a sweeping red robe, dwarfed by stark landscapes of sand and snow. Pushing the PlayStation controller’s left analog stick, you move forward, slowly at first, and then, later in the game, with exuberant speed, as if you’re surfing. Most of the time you’re alone, but if you’re lucky, you’ll come across another figure, its silhouette fluttering in the distance. You might travel together for a few minutes and then part ways, or perhaps you’ll reach the end of the game in one another’s company. Regardless, this time will feel almost miraculous—a chance encounter at the very edge of the world.

The game’s setting gleams with flecks of Gustav Klimt gold while a single towering mountain dominates the horizon. The game is called Journey for a reason, and its deliberately allegorical story curves toward tragedy, as if this is the fate awaiting us all. Unlike most games, you die only once. Rather than a cheap metaphor for failure, it’s something heavier—a crescendo, an act of self-annihilation.

Now, it’s widely accepted that games can move us in ways similar to novels, movies, or music, but in March 2012, when Journey came out on PS3, this simply wasn’t the case. Sure, there were the works of Fumito Ueda, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus —stark, artful games of the aughts from Japan that tugged more on the heartstrings than the itchy trigger finger. So too had the rise of independent games from 2008 onward given birth to a slew of newly personal titles such as Braid . Journey , however, felt different—a video game with levels, an avatar, and enemies, but that, mechanically, eschewed almost all else to focus entirely on movement. The game had cutscenes, but these were reserved for establishing shots of glinting sand rather than moments of genuine dramatic thrust. What Journey achieved—which few, if any, video games had before—was giving you a lump in your throat while you actually interacted with it. This was a big deal.

In this way, Journey helped crystallize the idea that video games could and should be more. In 2007 and 2010, respectively, Bioshock and Red Dead Redemption , games with knotty philosophical questions at their violent cores, had pushed the blockbuster shooter and open-world adventure into newly grown-up territory. But these were also time-consuming experiences that asked you to sink tens of hours into them to get to their narrative payoffs. Journey , by comparison, could be finished in 90 minutes, the length of a film. Certain kids, myself included, grew up convinced of video games’ artistic merit but lacked a work to express this conviction succinctly. Journey was the perfect title to convert churlish nonbelievers—our parents, for example.

I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Gregorios Kythreotis, the lead designer of 2021 indie breakout hit Sable , remembers it like this, too. Kythreotis, who was 19 in 2012, had just started studying architecture, a discipline perfectly suited to the thoroughly spatial medium of 3D games. He was struck by Journey ’s confidence: It was the rare minimalist game whose carefully chosen elements had been executed exactingly. The “biggest thing” he recalls, though, was the fact that he felt he could show it to people who didn’t play video games. “They would play it and often be wowed,” he says over Zoom. “It was a lot friendlier and [more] accessible in this regard.”

Alx Preston, the creator of critically acclaimed 2016 action game Hyper Light Drifter and the recent open-world adventure Solar Ash , tells me over a video call that it was Journey ’s singular style that caught his attention. “There weren’t a ton of games out there that had this type of look,” he explains. “This type of vibe, these types of color palettes, that wasn’t focused on violence or goofy, silly cartoony things. It was carving out its own niche.”

flower and journey

Clayton Purdom, who was then writing at Kill Screen , one of the era’s hip new video game publications, echoes this point. (Disclosure: I wrote for Kill Screen while Purdom was editorial creative director.) “I remember interviewing someone who talked about it as a ‘dinner party game,’” he tells me over a video call. “I’m never gonna have a dinner party where we all sit around and play Journey , but it makes sense. The game’s this really digestible, concrete, audiovisual narrative experience that’s fundamentally interactive.” In 2013, a month before the game’s release, Kill Screen ran the headline : “Is Journey creator Jenova Chen the videogame world’s Terrence Malick?” The comparison doesn’t really land beyond a shared fondness for stirring panoramic landscapes, but the question speaks to a time when many were attempting to frame video games as worthy of serious cultural discussion—as if you’d talk about them with your friends in the same breath as the latest Sundance hit.

Chen, the creative director of Journey , was held up as the poster boy of this movement, and so he was first in line for criticism. In 2010, film critic Roger Ebert wrote a gamer-baiting piece titled “ Video games can never be art .” At the behest of a reader, Ebert was encouraged to check out a TED talk by Kellee Santiago, a cofounder of the studio behind Journey , thatgamecompany. Santiago made an argument to the contrary, referencing, among other games, the studio’s previous title, Flower , in which you play as the wind carrying an assembly of petals. Flower was heralded as a game changer when it was released in 2009, an emotional, nonviolent title that even a novice could play by virtue of its simple controls. (The player tilts the PlayStation 3 controller to change the wind’s direction.) In 2013, it was added to the Smithsonian’s permanent collection and described as “an important moment in the development of interactivity and art.” Ebert, however, took a different view, batting the game away with a typically terse one-liner in which he compared its aesthetic sensibility, not entirely unfairly, to that of a “greeting card.”

When I speak to Chen over Zoom, he doesn’t mention Ebert by name but references the wider discourse. It was a “sense of rebellion” that drove him to make Journey , the idea that games should appeal to an audience beyond the young men who were interested in fist-pumping shooters like Call of Duty . (These games “weren’t actually mainstream,” he says, “they just had billboards on the street.”) Linked to this was the perception of video games in his home country of China as “virtual drugs” that caused people to drop out of college and neglect their relationships.

During the early years of his pursuit of a computer science degree at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Chen snuck into art classes. A few years later, he studied digital art and design as part of a cross-university collaboration with Donghua University. At the time, he and a friend would make video games in their college dorms, Chen art directing and his friend programming. There was little information on video game software available in China, so Chen’s partner learned about game-making from books sent over by a cousin in the U.S. Still, even while Chen was making games as a hobby, he didn’t consider it a viable career path. He intended to become an animation director like those at Pixar. “I felt like that was an industry respected by society,” he says. “I could tell my parents that I wanted to be an artist in this field and they couldn’t say it wasn’t honorable.”

Art as a career was an ongoing point of contention between Chen and his parents. He was born in Shanghai in 1981, five years after the end of the cultural revolution that sought to purge China of its pre-communist art and culture. Despite being an avid drawer, he characterizes his childhood as one devoid of art. Of these early years, he remembers that the sky was always gray except when it had just rained. The dust from the construction sites of the rapidly expanding city would lift and he’d be able to “smell the soil in the air”—for a brief time, “the sky was blue.” In an effort to steer Chen toward “respectable” employment in the modernizing country, his parents enrolled him in a coding class at the age of 10. “In China there was no plan from the government to take care of the elderly. Your kid was your retirement insurance,” he says. Despite initial misgivings about the coding classes, Chen quickly came to look forward to them thanks to the video games his classmates played before lessons.

Chris Bell, a designer on Journey who joined thatgamecompany halfway through the game’s production, says Chen possesses the complete package of skills needed to make video games. “He’s an artist, a programmer, and an engineer,” Bell tells me over a call. Having excelled in programming, Chen rekindled his childhood artistic impulse as a teenager when Shanghai began to open its door to international artists in the 1990s. On the way back from school, he’d stop off at the art galleries in People’s Square. “I would check literally every single show,” says Chen, who savored these “windows to the outside.” When it came to contemporary art, the teenager would ask a central, probing question: “Why does it deserve to be on the wall?”

Fast-forward to 2009. Chen, who had moved to the States six years earlier to study interactive media at the University of Southern California, was wrapping up production of Flower , the second of three thatgamecompany games published by Sony. (The first was a life simulator called Flow .) He was vibing off how people were responding to the game, particularly the finale of its movielike three-act structure, and he was ready to take the lessons learned at USC to the next level. But Zynga had just exploded onto the scene with its interpretation of social gaming, the hit Facebook game FarmVille . Chen remembers watching the company’s CFO give a talk at an industry conference. Having proclaimed the future of gaming as social, the CFO urged indie developers to quit their passion projects and join the company. “Everybody was pissed,” he recalls. “I felt their anger, too. I was like, ‘Who are you? How can you say that you define social games?’” For Chen, social meant an emotional connection between people, not just “trading vegetables with someone on FarmVille .”

This became the seed from which the rest of Journey grew. Chen wanted to show the world a game in which you truly emotionally engaged and connected to another person. It was another “act of rebellion,” against both Zynga’s transactional idea of connection and traditional multiplayer games filled with “foul-mouthed, teabagging” kids. When Matt Nava, the art director on Journey , interviewed to join thatgamecompany in 2008, the first question Chen asked was how he’d approach the social world of Journey : What would it look like, where would it take place, what would happen? Nava, “sweating bullets,” replied, “When you see another player in the game, through the visuals and the setting, you should immediately want to go to them. You want them to be the respite in the environment.”

Nava’s art, both elegantly minimalist and capable of summoning a deep, mythical history, is central to the success of Journey . In the same interview with Chen, Nava suggested brightly colored characters inhabiting a barren desert setting. This would become the game’s defining image. These creatures are humanoid but not identifiably human; they have bright eyes but no other facial features. The world they inhabit is filled with ruinous temples, tombstones, and sand that glints and glitters as if its very surface is dancing. When your character moves over these particles, their pointed legs deform it as if the grains have a physical presence, not just a flat, lifeless texture. Your character’s scarf, flapping in the wind like a ribbon, has a tangible quality, too, another component that tricks you into thinking this is less a computer program than an actual place of elemental forces.

You’re also swept along by Austin Wintory’s rousing soundtrack, which (in lieu of any text or dialogue) functions much like a narrator. “The music is very much a guide for the player,” says Wintory, who admits he felt a huge amount of pressure as a result of the soundtrack’s prominence in the experience. The composer was keen to avoid dictating emotions to players; rather, he wanted to create a musical environment in which they could bring their own “emotional projection into the equation.” Wintory refers to a feeling of “camaraderie” between himself and Nava; the pair would “riff a lot,” almost as if they were in a “feedback loop” with one another.

Nava, whose father is also an artist (the creator of a series of grand tapestries that hang in a cathedral in downtown Los Angeles), says he was obsessed with creating an “iconic” art style . He did so while working within the technical limitations of the PlayStation 3 and, more importantly, what he and the small team could physically produce in the allotted schedule. In the late aughts, out-of-the-box game-making software such as Unity and Unreal (now industry standards) weren’t yet widely used, so thatgamecompany had to build their own set of custom tools. In the early phase of development, Nava and graphics programmer John Edwards went back and forth constantly about what was and wasn’t possible. Ultimately, it was a case of “if you don’t need it, you don’t make it,” so they homed in on the fundamentals of the world: characters, architecture, sand, and fabric.

Despite a strong central idea and a mass of raw talent at thatgamecompany, the production of Journey was challenging. Executive producer Robin Hunicke, speaking five months after the game’s release at Game Developers Conference Europe, referred to a nearly catastrophic level of miscommunication within the team. Bell, who was hired initially as a producer and who later transitioned to a game designer role, took it upon himself to act as a mediator. Some relationships became so fraught that Hunicke described them as breaking down into “personal grudges.” At one stage, Nava arrived at work to find there was already a full-blown argument happening. He quit on the spot, only for Santiago to chase him down the sidewalk and coax him back into the building.

As time wore on, one deadline with Sony passed, and then another. The company’s finances were in such dire straits that Chen and the founding members of thatgamecompany all dropped to half salaries for the final six months of development. Nava says the team fell into the same trap as so many creators who believe that “in order to make great art, it was worth the suffering.”

During a period of acute creative drift, an exasperated Nava took it upon himself to design a level, much to Chen’s annoyance (as lead artist, this was categorically not Nava’s remit). From his perspective, there were a handful of mechanics but nothing was really sticking, so he focused instead on creating a series of “atmospheres” that the player would progress through. Nava thought back to specific “moments” he had in mind when he was painting the concept art, and then fed them back into the levels. The most famous of these sees you hurtling through a stone tunnel while a sumptuous orange sun sets to your right. “Thinking about it as moments was the real trick,” says Nava. “That’s what people remember the game for.”

The gambit paid off. When it was released on March 13, 2012, Journey received rave reviews from outlets such as The Guardian (“the best video game I have ever played”), Eurogamer (“a “sand-blown chunk of spiritual eye candy”), and IGN (“one of gaming’s most beautiful, most touching achievements”). Nava is right to point to the “moments,” which Kythreotis remembers as “a really special aesthetic experience,” as key to its creative success. But the multiplayer is integral, too—arguably an overlooked aspect of the game that to this day breathes an improvisatory life into it. Humans behave differently from AI characters; they move erratically and compulsively, both too slowly and too quickly, and this discord, which takes place against the game’s pristinely melancholic world, is vital to its balance.

Still, the production took its toll on the team. Bell and Nava both exited soon after, citing difficulties relating to the company culture. As Nava explains, they weren’t the only ones: “I don’t think many people fully understand what happened,” he says, “but [thatgamecompany] shut down basically. Everyone left.”

The studio was later revived for the production of 2019 iOS title Sky: Children of the Light , another multiplayer exploration game albeit set amid billowing clouds. In 2017, Bell returned as a designer, noting a broadly positive change in work culture. Chen was now decidedly in charge, whereas before there had been wrangling over decisions between him and his thatgamecompany cofounders. With a bucketload of VC funding rather than a Sony publishing deal, the company had more time and money to explore different ideas. Since then, thatgamecompany has continued to grow. A few days after my conversation with Chen, his company announced a $160 million investment deal alongside the recruitment of Pixar cofounder Ed Catmull, who will serve as principal adviser on creative culture and strategic growth. I suspect a younger Chen would be pleased at this development: a titan of Hollywood animation joining his artistically committed video game studio.

How should one assess Journey ’s influence? It’s not Grand Theft Auto III , a blockbuster behemoth that inspired a deluge of imitators (mostly hyper-violent open-world crime games such as Saints Row ). If you look at the following decade of games, few bear the explicit influence of thatgamecompany’s flagship title. Oceanic explorer ABZÛ and open-world puzzler The Pathless are exceptions, but these were both made by Giant Squid, the studio Nava cofounded in 2013 following his departure from thatgamecompany. Importantly, Journey showed Nava both what games could be and how not to make them, a lesson he carried into his new studio, one built on making “artistic games” in a culture that is “sustainable and happy.”

In a wider sense, Journey helped engender what we’d now call a vibe shift. Put simply, if video games mostly traded in the various emotions related to killing shit, point scoring, or problem solving, Journey was part of a new wave that broadened their dramatic texture. Purdom threads a line between Journey and small-scale interactive works such as Florence , If Found … , and, most recently, puzzle game Unpacking , each of which tells decidedly personal stories. “I think, in some ways, it did help break ground on the whole ‘games are emotional’ angle,” he says. Some titles arguably leaned into sentimentality too hard—2016’s Unravel , for example, an almost unbearably cute platformer starring a yarn of wool. Despite a slew of games Purdom refers to as “feelings porn,” Journey also led to experiences that were, for lack of a better word, more “honest.”

Purdom, however, is rightly wary of ascribing too much importance to Journey . It came out the same year as Gone Home , a first-person exploration game that centers on a queer relationship, and 13 months after Dear Esther , a macabre, William Burroughs–inspired adventure set on a blustery Scottish island. Each was influential in its own way, but the legacy of these games resides more in how they collectively pushed a different emotional, intellectual, and aesthetic agenda to the mainstream. ( Kentucky Route Zero , Cart Life , and Papers, Please are a few of my favorites from the time.) Still, these were all games you had to play on your PC with a keyboard and mouse. Journey , published by Sony for the PS3, “helped kick open the door in a more popular way,” says Purdom. “You could throw that game on and play it on the couch.”

Journey immediately became the fastest-selling game on the PlayStation Network at a time when most titles were still bought in brick-and-mortar stores. For Nick Suttner, who was working as a senior product evaluator in Sony’s third party department, the game was “perfect ammunition.” He and a small team were responsible for getting games onto the PlayStation Store in an era when resources for such titles were highly contested. “We had to fight for everything,” he tells me over Zoom. “Indies just weren’t part of the ecosystem.” The success of Journey fed into what Suttner calls a “holistic push” at Sony, which had also included a three-year, $20 million publishing fund for indie games that was announced in 2011. A year after Journey ’s release, explosive blockbusters Killzone: Shadow Fall , Destiny , and Watch Dogs dominated the PlayStation 4’s glitzy announcement, but amid all the gunfire was The Witness , a serene, first-person puzzle game. It felt like part of a sea change in priorities at Sony that Journey was partly responsible for.

However, Sony’s support for indies wouldn’t last. A few years later, when it became clear that the PlayStation 4 was trouncing the Xbox One, the company’s focus shifted back to blockbuster game development. Sony poured resources into the next generation of megahits, such as The Last of Us Part II , Marvel’s Spider-Man , and Ghost of Tsushima . Along the way, Sony’s Santa Monica Studio, which was both the developer of the God of War series and an incubator and publisher for indie developers, had a game canceled. This meant layoffs on the development side and a deprioritizing of the publishing division that had launched Journey a few years earlier.

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On December 1, 2016, the indie-oriented publisher Annapurna Interactive announced its formation, led by Nathan Gary, the creative director of Sony Santa Monica’s indie development efforts. Chen, who has been variously described as a “scout” and “spiritual adviser” to the company, refers to himself as “more of a cofounder.” Having sourced investment for Journey ’s follow-up, Sky: Children of the Light , Chen was perfectly placed to introduce Gary to potential funders. After securing a deal with Annapurna, itself a film production company behind a string of auterist hits including The Master , Zero Dark Thirty , and Her , attention turned toward signing games. If there was a guiding principle, says Chen, it’s that he and Gary were looking for game makers who were ready to put an aspect of their personal life into the game. Chen describes this as an “innately artistic” approach; the creators are “honest,” saying something that is “truthful to their own lives.” Crucially, these works are more likely to resonate because, as Chen sees it, “our lives are all intertwined.” In other words, we see ourselves in these games.

Chen says Annapurna was also looking for emotional tones underrepresented in games. He mentions 2017’s What Remains of Edith Finch , a game he characterizes by its “dark humor,” and one that his former colleague Bell took a lead role in designing. Maquette , released in 2021, fits the bill, too, a decidedly Hollywood-feeling romantic drama wrapped around a mind-bending puzzle mechanic. In fact, almost the entirety of Annapurna Interactive’s roster is a reflection of the central thesis that has steered Chen’s career, namely that gaming must look beyond the 15-to-35 male demographic if it’s ever going to evolve, let alone be taken seriously.

When I ask Chen about Journey ’s influence on the wider gaming landscape, he doesn’t mention specific titles or trends, but pulls focus back onto the work itself with, to my surprise, an extended music metaphor. “If you want an orchestra to move people, then every instrument has to perform the same piece of music. Every element contributes to the storytelling,” he says. “And what we learned is that the interactivity is the soloist. It’s the lead of the orchestra in gaming. A lot of games in the past have told emotional stories— Final Fantasy , for example—but they relied on traditional media. I love it, but the moving part, the part where you cry, is when you watch the cutscenes. At that moment, what really touched you is cinema, not games.”

In a way, it’s surprising how few blockbuster games have internalized this lesson. The recently released Horizon Forbidden West is a good example. When I play that game, it moves me, but mostly because of the sense of awe I feel at its shimmering, windy world . It’s the same for Ghost of Tsushima and the Uncharted games. That’s not to deny the validity of these experiences, but their moments of personal drama are delivered without the player’s input. Journey , in its own very specific way, figured out how to make drama interactive. Purdom refers to Signs of the Sojourner , an indie card game about friendships and conversation, as a “next step” in this regard. “It’s a mechanically complex game entirely in service of inspiring these kinds of emotional experiences,” he says. “It’s like, ‘Wow, I’m feeling regret because I hurt a friend’s feelings thanks to the way these cards played out.” My own mind is drawn to Hideo Kojima’s postapocalyptic hiking simulator, Death Stranding , and the grueling slogs my character endured through snowy mountains. These interactive journeys mirrored the protagonist’s emotional arc, and each landed with greater heft as a result.

This is the magic of Journey . At the start, you move tentatively but curiously. In the mid-game, you’re cascading down dunes at extreme speed. And during the very lowest moments, you’re barely making a step at a time. Then, when you have nothing left to give, you stop moving entirely, however hard you push forward on the controller. “What Journey did really well,” says Chen, “was to make interactivity the climax—the memorable moment.”

Lewis Gordon is a writer and journalist living in Glasgow who contributes to outlets including The Verge , Wired , and Vulture .

The 2004 Video Game Draft

‘knuckles’ and ‘stellar blade’ reactions, ‘fallout’ season 1 reactions.


The last flower at the top of the world—and the perilous journey to reach it

Scientists journeyed to a stretch of gravel off the coast of Greenland—the farthest north you can go and still walk on land. These photos show what they found there.

flower and journey

At the top of the Earth, the northernmost stretch of land a person can stand on is Inuit Qeqertaat, also named Kaffeklubben Island by early 20th century Danish explorers. The region is a dark gray stretch of gravel on the northern coast of Greenland where land slowly gives way to frozen sea ice.

To find what lives amid these rocky soils, climate change researchers and National Geographic Explorers Brian Buma and Jeff Kerby and their team embarked on a journey to survey the region. There, they found a common species of moss ( Tortula mucronifolia ), the world's northernmost plant, and a yellow and lime-green Arctic poppy ( Papaver radicatum ), growing just a few inches south of the moss.  

On the nearby mainland, Greenlandic archaeologist Aka Simonsen discovered a ring of roughly 700-year-old Inuit stones, which may be the northernmost archaeological remains.

The research team left their own mark on the mainland coast, staking plots and recording the vegetation they contained to create a highly detailed digital map of the area they surveyed. Information collected from this trip will be the first data logs in what Buma and Kerby hope will be a long timeline of research in the far northern region.  

Here, above the Arctic Circle, the planet is warming four times faster than anywhere else on Earth. Changes here will have ripple effects across the globe, which is why the team braved harsh conditions to find what lives on the edge.  

flower and journey

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When Did Everything Become a ‘Journey’?

Changing our hair, getting divorced, taking spa vacations — they’re not just things we do; they’re “journeys.” The quest for better health is the greatest journey of all.

An illustration of the word "journey" done in a three dimensional typeface. The word is repeated and gets smaller in pink and green. At the end of the repetition is a butterfly.

By Lisa Miller

Drew Barrymore has been talking with Gayle King about her perimenopause “journey ,” and the soccer phenom Carli Lloyd has just divulged her fertility “journey .” By sharing her breast cancer story, Olivia Munn has said she hopes she will “help others find comfort, inspiration, and support on their own journey.” A recent interview with Anne Hathaway has been posted on Instagram with a headline highlighting her “ sobriety journey ,” and Kelly Clarkson has opened up about what Women’s Health calls her “ weight loss journey .” On TikTok, a zillion influencer-guides lead pilgrims on journeys through such ephemeral realms as faith, healing, grief, friendship, mastectomy, and therapy — often selling courses, supplements or eating plans as if they were talismans to help safeguard their path.

“Journey” has decisively taken its place in American speech. The word holds an upbeat utility these days, signaling struggle without darkness or detail, and expressing — in the broadest possible way — an individual’s experience of travails over time.

It’s often related to physical or mental health, but it can really be about anything: “Putting on your socks can be a journey of self-discovery,” said Beth Patton, who lives in Central Indiana and has relapsing polychondritis, an inflammatory disorder. In the chronic disease community, she said, “journey” is a debated word. “It’s a way to romanticize ordinary or unpleasant experiences, like, ‘Oh, this is something special and magical.’” Not everyone appreciates this, she said.

According to the linguistics professor Jesse Egbert at Northern Arizona University, the use of “journey” (the noun) has nearly doubled in American English since 1990, with the most frequent instances occurring online. Mining a new database of conversational American English he and colleagues are building, Egbert could show exactly how colloquial “journey” has become: One woman in Pennsylvania described her “journey to become a morning person,” while another, in Massachusetts, said she was “on a journey of trying to like fish.”

Egbert was able to further demonstrate how the word itself has undergone a transformative journey — what linguists call “semantic drift.” It wasn’t so long ago that Americans mostly used “journey” to mean a literal trip, whereas now it’s more popular as a metaphor. Egbert demonstrated this by searching the more than one billion words in a database called COCA for the nouns people put before “journey” to clarify what sort they’re on. Between 1990 and 2005, the most common modifier was “return,” followed by words like “ocean,” “train,” “mile,” “night,” “overland,” and “bus.”

But between 2006 and 2019, usage shifted. “Return” remains the most common noun modifier to journey, but now it’s followed closely by “faith,” “cancer,” and “life.” Among the top 25 nouns used to modify “journey” today are: “soul,” “adoption,” and “hair.”

In almost every language, “journey” has become a way to talk abstractly about outcomes, for good reason: According to what linguists call the “primary metaphor theory,” humans learn as babies crawling toward their toys that “‘purpose’ and ‘destination’ coincide,” said Elena Semino, a linguist at Lancaster University who specializes in metaphor. As we become able to accomplish our goals while sitting still (standardized tests! working from home!), ambition and travel diverge. Yet we continue to envision achievement as a matter of forward progress. This is why we say, “‘I know what I want, but I don’t know how to get there,’” Semino explained. “Or ‘I’m at a crossroads.’”

So it’s not surprising, perhaps, that as Americans started seeing good health as a desirable goal, achievable through their own actions and choices — and marketers encouraged these pursuits and commodified them — the words “journey” and “health” became inextricably linked. In 1898, C.W. Post wrote a pamphlet he called “The Road to Wellville,” which he attached to each box of his new product, Grape-Nuts. In 1926, the Postum Cereal Company republished the pamphlet as a small book , now with the subtitle, “A Personally Conducted Journey to the Land of Good Health by the Route of Right Living.”

The language (and business) of self-help so completely saturates culture, “it gets kind of hard to trace where a word started and where it came from,” said Jessica Lamb-Shapiro, author of “Promise Land: My Journey Through America’s Self-Help Culture.” Americans like to put an optimistic, brave spin on suffering, and “journey” seeped in because, Lamb-Shapiro speculated, it’s bland enough to “tackle really difficult things,” yet positive enough to “make them palatable and tolerable.”

“Journey” had fully entered medical speak by the 2010s. Many cancer patients recoiled from the “battle” language traditionally used by doctors, as well as by friends and relatives. In “Illness as Metaphor,” Susan Sontag had noted back in 1978 that “every physician and every attentive patient is familiar with, if perhaps inured to, this military terminology.” But now, opposition to the notion of disease as an enemy combatant reached a crescendo. To reflexively call an experience of cancer a battle created “winners” and “losers,” where death or long suffering represented a failure — of will, strength, determination, diet, behavior, or outlook — on the part of the patient.

Many patients “detest” the military metaphor, Robert Miller conceded in Oncology Times in 2010. Knowing this, Miller, then a breast cancer oncologist affiliated with Johns Hopkins, said he struggled to find the right words in composing a condolence note to a patient’s spouse. “I welcome suggestions,” he wrote.

“Journey” seemed less judgmental, more neutral. In Britain, the National Health Service had started to almost exclusively use “journey” language in reference to cancer (treatments were “pathways”). Semino, the metaphor expert whose father had died of cancer at a time when patients’ diagnoses were hidden from them, wanted to examine how patients talked about it — and whether that language caused them harm. In a research paper Semino published with colleagues in 2015, she looked at how patients talked about their cancer on forums online and found that they still used “battle” as often as they did “journey,” and that “journey” could be disempowering, as well.

For some people, talking about cancer as a “journey” gave them a sense of control and camaraderie — buddies traveling the same path — but others used the term to convey their exhaustion. Having cancer “is like trying to drive a coach and horses uphill with no back wheels on the coach,” one man wrote. Patients used “journey” to describe just how passive they felt or how reluctant to bear the burden of their disease. Separately, patients have told Semino how much they hate the word “journey,” saying it trivializes their experience, that it’s clichéd.

But it was too late: The metaphor already was everywhere. In 2014, Anna Wintour was asked which word she would like to banish from the fashion lexicon and she said, “journey.” The following year, Yolanda Foster, the mother of Gigi and Bella Hadid, told People magazine that while she was on her Lyme disease journey, two of her children were afflicted, too. Medical journals and government publications began describing insomnia , the effort to achieve health-care reform , diabetes , and the development of RSV vaccines as a journey. The term “healing journey,” in use since at least the mid-2010s, blew up around 2021. The phrase in news media referenced the experience of cancer , celebrity weight loss , trafficking of Indigenous children , Sean Combs’s creative process , spa vacations , amputation , and better sex .

On the Reddit channel Chronic Illness, one poster eloquently fumed that persistent sickness is not a journey. “It’s endless, pointless and repetitive. There’s no new ground to gain here.” The cultural insistence on illness as a journey, from which a traveler can learn useful, or even life-changing lessons, becomes something to “disassociate from, survive, endure.” It “causes social isolation.”

Although she concedes its downsides, Stephanie Swanson likes to think of herself as on a journey. Swanson, who is 37 and lives in Kansas City, was an engineer by training, with three young children, a career and a sideline as an aerialist, when she got long Covid in the summer of 2022. The things that had made her successful — her physical stamina, her ability to solve problems — evaporated. “I’ve had to give up my career, my hobbies, my physical abilities,” she said. “I’ve gained 30 pounds on my tiny dancer body. I’m doing the best I can with what I have.”

Swanson makes a distinction between “journey” and “trip”: The latter is circumscribed by a start, an end, and hotel and restaurant reservations along the way. She sees “journey” as a way to capture the arc of a whole life.

When she was running operations at a medical center at the University of Kansas, she always imagined slowing down to enjoy her kids more or to read a book, but “I felt like my head was going to explode.” Now Swanson has become a person who must rent a wheelchair for her upcoming trip to New York City, and she likes how “journey” accommodates all the challenging, unexpected circumstances she confronts. “To me, the word ‘journey’ resonates with choosing to be on a path of acceptance but not standing still,” she said. “I’m not giving up, but recognizing that this is the path I’m on.”

Ramani Durvasula uses “journey” advisedly. A clinical psychologist in Los Angeles who treats women in emotionally abusive relationships, she recognizes how “journey” has been “eye-rollingly cheapened” and has started to experiment with alternatives. She’s tried “process.” She’s tried “healing trajectory.” But she falls back on journey, because it, more than any other word, expresses the step-by-step, sometimes circular or backward nature of enduring something hard. “Arguably, a journey doesn’t have a destination,” she said. “Have you ever taken a hike in a loop? And you end up exactly where you parked your car?”

But Durvasula does object to the easy-breezy healing so many journey hashtags promote, what she calls the “post-sobriety, post-weight-loss, now-I’m-in-love-again-after-my-toxic-relationship” reels. Too many TikToks show the crying in the car then the cute party dress, skipping over the middle, when people feel ugly, angry, self-loathing, and hopeless. “I want to see the hell,” she said. “I want to see the nightmare.”

When in 2020 a Swedish linguist named Charlotte Hommerberg studied how advanced cancer patients describe their experience, she found they used “battle” and “journey,” like everyone else. But most also used a third metaphor that conveyed not progress, fight or hope. They said cancer was like “imprisonment,” a feeling of being stuck — like a “free bird in a cage,” one person wrote. Powerless and going nowhere.

Watch CBS News

SEED School of Maryland graduating class set to take advantage of "every single opportunity"

By Tara Lynch

Updated on: May 10, 2024 / 7:28 AM EDT / CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE - As the May flowers bloom, high school seniors are graduating and moving on to the next step of their journey. 

That includes the graduating class from The SEED School of Maryland who say they are ready for this next step.

"To learn from one's experiences and develop inside and out is something I don't believe we give enough credit to," said Clarisa Kandakai, a member of the class of 2024 who is heading to Howard University to study political science and English.

What is the SEED School?

The SEED School of Maryland is a tuition-free, college preparatory boarding school that serves students from some of the most underserved communities across the state. 

The school enrolls students starting in the sixth grade through high school. WJZ is proud to partner with The SEED School, helping students to grow in and out of the classroom.

"We have a to, and through college model, which enables them to get to college and ultimately graduate from college," Head of School Kirk Sykes said.

The next journey

On Thursday, the graduating class, members of the board of trustees, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate the end of the year with a brunch. 

Students spoke during the ceremony about their experiences at the school and every member of the class shared where they will be going next.

"I've gotten to see myself grow to be the person I am today now and I'm on to achieve new goals in life," said Ahone Fofou, a senior who is heading to Howard University to study biology on the pre-medical track.

Many of these students started at SEED School in the sixth grade, and now they can't believe they are about to graduate.

"I bounced from school to school because I was raised by a single mother," said Carlos Comegys, a senior who is going to Bowie State University to study nursing. "I finally got the chance to develop on my own and become a young man."

Ed Reed's foundation shows support

The brunch also acknowledged former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed and his foundation, thanking them for their support of the school. 

The organization also handed out five scholarships to graduating seniors. Each recipient earned $3,500 in scholarship dollars.  

"He [Ed] truly fell in love with the environment it creates for our young people," said Courtney Aburn, from the Ed Reed Foundation.

'Life is coming and I'm ready for it'  

When asked what advice they would give to their younger selves and to others, the graduates said to always say yes to opportunities and be ready for what life throws your way.

"Take every single opportunity given to you. It opens a lot of new paths and doorways, and you build a lot of new connections," Fofou said.

"I was just 12 years old, and now I'm 18 about to graduate. Life is coming and I'm ready for it," Comegys said.

These seniors say they are grateful for the opportunities the school has provided them, planting the seeds to grow their future.

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flower and journey

Kourtney Kardashian Is Showered with Flowers on Romantic First Mother's Day with Son Rocky

The mom-of-four and her husband Travis Barker welcomed their first baby together, son Rocky, in November

Kourtney Kardashian Barker  is enjoying her first Mother's Day as a mom of four.

The Lemme co-founder, 45, was showered with flowers by her husband Travis Barker for the May 12 occasion, their first since welcoming son Rocky Thirteen in November.

Travis, 48, also paid a sweet tribute to his wife on Instagram, calling her "my best friend and partner." "Our children are so lucky to have you," Travis continued his Mother's Day post. "Thank you for filling our home with love, laughter, and joy. I love you forever and ever my wife @kourtneykardash ❤️."

"🥹🥹❤️ I love you forever and ever my husband," wrote Kourtney in the comments section.

Travis' tribute accompanied several adorable snaps of Kourtney with their baby boy, including one of them snuggling together in bed.

Related: Kourtney Kardashian Watches Fireworks with Baby Son Rocky and Husband Travis Barker in Adorable New Photo

The carousel also featured a photo of Kourtney holding onto Rocky's tiny foot and a shot of the couple cuddling on a boat.

Along with filling their home with huge bouquets and displays of breathtaking white and pink roses, Travis also treated his wife to a movie night "under the stars and moon," with Kourtney sharing a clip of their set-up watching 2014's Blended on her Instagram Stories.

The drummer is also father to son  Landon , 20, daughter  Alabama , 18, and stepdaughter  Atiana De La Hoya , 24, with his ex-wife  Shanna Moakler . Kourtney shares sons  Reign Aston , 9, and  Mason Dash , 14, plus daughter  Penelope Scotland , 11, with ex  Scott Disick .

Related: Travis Barker Posts Rare Video of Son Rocky While on Family Vacation with Kourtney Kardashian

On his own Instagram Stories, Landon also paid tribute to Kourtney with a sweet post reading, "Happy Mother's Day @kourtneykardash thank you for being so kind to me and treating me so well love you ❤️."

The post featured a photo of Landon posing alongside his dad and Kourtney at the pair's gender reveal party last June.

After Kourtney gave birth to her fourth child,  PEOPLE exclusively learned  that Travis is “obsessed with their baby boy.”

The source told PEOPLE that Travis was "being amazing," and noted how "he brings her favorite, healthy food to the hospital." The insider added, “He makes sure she has everything that she needs.”

As for the Poosh founder, the source shared she “is over the moon about her son’s arrival, adding, "Her pregnancy took a stressful turn towards the end."

"She is happy to just be able to snuggle her baby boy now," they added of  The Kardashians  star, noting that "she feels so blessed."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The couple — who  wed  in 2022 — revealed that they would be welcoming a baby boy during their  sex reveal celebration .

Kourtney  announced her pregnancy news earlier that month by holding up a handwritten sign at her husband's Blink-182 concert.

Weeks before welcoming their baby boy, Kourtney  addressed a "medical emergency" she underwent after having an urgent fetal surgery . She published a photo on Instagram of her hand intertwined with her husband's, adding that she is "eternally grateful to my husband who rushed to my side from tour to be with me in the hospital and take care of me afterwards, my rock."

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People .

Kourtney Kardashian/Instagram; Travis Barker/Instagram Kourtney Kardashian is showered with flowers on Mother's Day

Screen Rant

1000-lb sisters: tammy slaton's best ootds since incredible weight loss journey.


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20 Best Reality TV Shows Right Now

1000-lb sisters: "i got you babe": tammy slaton's best tiktok duets, 1000-lb sisters: "hips don't lie" tammy slaton's cutest tiktok dance outfits after extraordinary weight loss milestone.

  • Tammy Slaton lost over 400 pounds after a health scare that led her to rehab and surgery.
  • Tammy's increased mobility post-weight loss has allowed her to expand her fashion choices.
  • The 1000-lb Sisters family has collectively lost over a thousand pounds through their weight-loss journeys.

Tammy Slaton lost over 400 pounds since the 2020 premiere of 1000-lb Sisters , and she looks like a different person. When she made her television debut, Tammy weighed almost 700 pounds. Though she started her weight-loss journey during season 1, she wasn't as committed. In fact, instead of losing weight, Tammy went up to 720 pounds, which was her heaviest. It seemed every time Tammy stepped onto a scale, she gained weight. She was struggling with a debilitating food addiction, but she was stuck in an endless cycle.

When a health scare landed the 1000-lb Sisters season 5 star in a medically induced coma, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It made Tammy realize that if she wanted to live, she had to lose weight. She checked herself into a diet rehab facility to address her eating addiction, after which she focused on diet, exercise, and bariatric surgery to reach her weight-loss goals. Since shedding the pounds, Tammy has been posting outfit of the day clips to TikTok to show off her dramatically slimmed-down figure.

Reality TV is more popular than ever. With so many to choose from, here are some of the best reality TV shows to stream or watch right now.

Tammy Rocks A Black Tee & Leggings

Keeping it simple.

People with average clothing sizes take it for granted how they can easily find fashionable, well-made clothing wherever they go. Before losing weight, Tammy was a size 8XL at her heaviest, so finding something to wear was a challenge. At larger sizes, there's simply less clothing readily available to buy off the rack.

Now that the 1000-lb Sisters can shop at regular clothing stores, her fashion options have expanded exponentially.

In April, Tammy posted a TikTok captioned " #OOTD ," which garnered over two million likes . In the clip, she shows a full-length view of her slimmed-down silhouette in a casual black tee shirt and leggings combo. She shows off the outfit to the song "Plus-Size Freestyle" by Samyra, which is about the lack of fashionable plus-size clothing. Considering her fashion struggles over the years, that subject is near and dear to Tammy's heart.

Tammy In Tie Dye

Flower power.

Tammy has always loved bright colors, and that hasn't changed since losing weight. In January, Tammy posted a TikTok clip of herself showing off her outfit of the day. In the clip, she's wearing a wildly colorful tie-dye top that screams flower power. In a nod to one of Tammy's weight-loss milestones , she's also wearing jeans, which would have been impossible for Tammy to wear before she lost weight . At size 8XL, she could never find a pair of jeans that fit her correctly.

In the 18-second TikTok video, which has over 75,000 likes, Tammy lifts her shirt slightly to show off that her jeans have a zipper and front button closure, as opposed to an elastic waistband.

1000-lb Sisters fans took to the comment section to share their amazement at seeing Tammy dance. One person wrote, " I remember when you had trouble standing and taking a few steps.. now look at you! Dancing and having fun ." Another person concurred, writing, " To see you go from losing your breath just standing up to literally dancing is amazing!! " Though the internet isn't known for being a nice place, Tammy has always received a lot of support in the comment section.

Tammy Wears A Halter Top

Working those earth tones.

In August 2023, in the middle of her weight-loss journey, Tammy posted a full-length mirror selfie on TikTok. In the clip, she is dancing to "So Beautiful" by Mr Mitte as she shows her outfit . The 1000-lb Sisters star zooms in on her cool pants with the checkered panels, then her earth-toned halter top, which she wears layered over a textured black tank top. She finished off the look with a sunflower print scarf around her neck.

Tammy's dancing in the clip is a big deal. Before losing 400 pounds, not only was it difficult for Tammy to move around, but she struggled to stay balanced without a walker, so dancing was out of the question. These days, Tammy doesn't miss an opportunity to show off her moves on social media . The post received almost 700,000 likes and 196 comments. The journey of the 1000-lb Sisters star has always been an endless source of interest and inspiration, and that extends to social media.

Tammy Wows In Purple Plaid

It's her favorite color.

Full-length bathroom mirror selfies are Tammy's preferred OOTD delivery method, and since losing weight, she has leaned into the genre. In another August 2023 TikTok post, Tammy shared several mirror selfies of herself wearing purple plaid pants, a black top, and a denim button-up shirt . Around her neck, Tammy was wearing the familiar sunflower bandanna. During an episode of 1000-lb Sisters season 3, Tammy and her sister, Amy Slaton, held a fan event where fans answered trivia questions about the sisters. Tammy's favorite color was one of the trivia questions; the answer was purple.

The post has over 73,000 likes and the caption reads, “ From wearing 8xl in clothes to a 2xl ”

Tammy's not the only 1000-lb Sisters star who lost weight. Since making her television debut, her sister and co-star, Amy, also lost 125 pounds on her own weight-loss journey. Not to be left out, other members of the Slaton family have joined in on the fun. Their brother, Chris Combs, lost over 150 pounds, while their sisters, Amanda Halterman and Misty Wentworth, had bariatric surgery on the same day in 2013. Though the Slatons have lost over a thousand combined pounds over the years, they are all still working on losing more weight while inspiring others with their incredible journeys.

1000-lb Sisters seasons 1-5 can be streamed on MAX and Discovery+.

Sources: Tammy Slaton /Instagram, Tammy Slaton /TikTok, Tammy Slaton /TikTok, Tammy Slaton /TikTok

1000-LB Sisters

*Availability in US

Not available

1000-lb Sisters follows sisters Amy Salton-Halterman and Tammy Slaton in their home in Dixon, Kentucky, covering their daily lives, weight loss attempts, and subsequent weight loss surgery. The show covers such moments as attempts to have children, medical visits, and dramatic emergency room visitations. The family wrestles with supporting their daughters and their weight loss efforts while struggling with their own life troubles.

1000-LB Sisters (2020)

  • Tammy Slaton


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    beautiful art and music. Soar above ruins and glide across sands as you explore the secrets of a forgotten civilization. Featuring stunning visuals, haunting music, and unique online gameplay, Journey delivers an experience like no other. The release of Journey attracted over 100+ industry awards and media accolades, with some naming the game ...

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    Journey is currently on sale on Steam for $11/£8.50/€9, until July 9. It also remains available on the Epic Games Store , but it's not on sale there. Comic deals, prizes and latest news

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    Announced earlier today on stage at Apple's event, Sky is the long awaited next game from developer thatgamecompany, their first mobile game after bringing Flower and Journey to Playstation. Combining the serene flight of Flower with the relaxing social exploration and otherworldly landscapes of Journey, Sky lets you soar through a mysterious kingdom among the clouds.

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    Journey is an indie adventure game developed by Thatgamecompany, published by Sony Computer Entertainment, and directed by Jenova Chen.It was released for the PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network in March 2012 and ported to PlayStation 4 in July 2015. It was later ported to Windows in June 2019 and iOS in August 2019.. In Journey, the player controls a robed figure in a vast desert, traveling ...

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    Updated on 17 Apr 2015. 57 comments. Critically-acclaimed PlayStation 3 titles Flower, FlOw and Journey will get a disc-based compilation pack for PS4. ThatGameCompany's trilogy will be available ...

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    However, if you want to play it from worst to best, play them in the order they were released: Flow, Flower, then Journey. Journey then Journey then Flow then Journey then Flower then Journey then gravediggers then Journey then Nostril Shot then Journey then Duke War then Journey and then finally Journey. If you stop playing a game because you ...

  20. Journey & Flower Bundle · BundleID: 14892 · SteamDB

    Journey & Flower Bundle bundle on Steam. U.S. Dollar Euro LATAM - U.S. Dollar Australian Dollar Brazilian Real British Pound Canadian Dollar Chilean Peso Chinese Yuan CIS - U.S. Dollar Colombian Peso Costa Rican Colon Hong Kong Dollar Indian Rupee Indonesian Rupiah Israeli New Shekel Japanese Yen Kazakhstani Tenge Kuwaiti Dinar Malaysian Ringgit Mexican Peso New Zealand Dollar Norwegian Krone ...

  21. The Journey of Flower

    The Journey of Flower (Chinese: 花千骨) is a 2015 Chinese television series starring Wallace Huo and Zhao Liying.It is based on the novel of the same name written by Fresh Guoguo, which is inspired from Daoist legends regarding the path to immortality.The series was broadcast on Hunan TV every Wednesdays and Thursdays for two episodes per day, from 9 June to 7 September 2015.

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    The Journey of a Flower is a wonderful drama based on a very much loved book. If you enjoy martial arts, cheesy CG effects, men with long hair and you are new to Chinese dramas this is for you! On the other hand if you are looking for a short, modern and simple romance story you should maybe stay away.

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    From there, simply head northwest of the ruins and travel over the sands for a little while. The flower should be located in between a few dunes. It is even possible for the cloth creatures to lead you to the flower. If players reach the sunken city, they went too far. When the yellow flower is approached, it may be emitting a chiming sound.

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