A Walk In The Virtual Forest

A few weeks ago I started my new job as a laborer at Harold Parker State Park.  Harold Parker State Park is a beautiful campgrounds area in North Andover with beautiful trees grown around the forest.  I mostly work at Berry Pond to clean up the park before opening day on June 25th.  One of the great benefits of the job is going on hiking trails to explore other areas of the park.

As a I ventured around the forest, I had forest-themed music from video games that were playing in my head.  Music from Donkey Kong Country or Paper Mario came to my mind when wandering around the open trails of the forest.  At one point, the Raphael the Raven theme song from Paper Mario kept playing in my head multiple times during work.  I kept thinking to myself, “What is going on?  Why are these songs repeating in my head while I am in the forest?”

Earlier I have learned how certain music can remind you of a special time in your life.  Music has a powerful way of tapping into your favorite memories, making you nostalgic for the better times.  Some of the music from old-school games took me back to happier times when I was excited to explore a new world.  Games like Donkey Kong Country or Banjo-Kazooie provided some amazing music that really captivates the type of environment you enter.

Take forest frenzy from Donkey Kong Country, for example.  You enter from a hole in a large tree to enter a huge forest area with large trees in the far distance.  Wild plants and tress shroud the background as you wander through the pathways to the exit.  The sounds of flutes, birds squawking, and bees zinging all collide together to create that peaceful experience of being in the forest.  All of the visual and audio presentation work together to give players the feeling of wandering around the open forest.

Video games aren’t just another source of entertainment; they also provide an outlet for experience a whole new world beyond your imagination.  Stepping into a level like Forest Frenzy fills your mind with awe, feeling amazed at how beautiful nature is.  The amount of details that game designers put into the levels really create an experience like no other.  When reality collides with fantasy, you create a masterpiece so beautiful that the lines become more blurred.

So maybe I’m not going crazy when I have Raphael the Raven theme song stuck in my head.  Maybe it is a longing for that simpler time when I played Paper Mario and feeling excited about discovering each new world in the game.  Thinking back to those amazing video games made me long for a new adventure, someplace that I have yet to discover.  Either way, having those forest-themed songs make my job at the state park even better.


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