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How Lawn Mowing Simulator Promotes Mindfulness: An Interview with Skyhook

How can games like Lawn Mowing Simulator promote mindfulness in players?

Games like this are often easily dismissed from being positive influences to our mindset, and we want to talk about it. We caught up with Skyhook about the inspirations, reception and future of simulation games like Lawn Mowing Simulator.

Firstly, tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind Lawn Mowing Simulator!

Skyhook Games was founded as a service company to help video games companies create the art in their games, but had always wanted to create a game of their own.  We had spent many years helping a leading simulation company with their flight, fishing and train games, and knew that we wanted to expand on this experience with our own game.

After trying out different game ideas in the studio, the inspiration came when Skyhooks MD David, was walking through his local park and saw the council workers cutting the grass. He noticed the balancing act of trying to do the job as quickly as possible, while also doing the best possible job, which seemed like the perfect ingredients for a videogame.

When we started to look into the world of lawn mowing and realised the depth that was there with all the different types of lawns and mowers, it just felt even more right to be a game. That’s when Lawn Mowing Simulator (LMS) was born.

Many people consider these everyday simulators as a monotonous but relaxing experience – was that the goal?

Skyhook: The goal was definitely to create an experience that captured the joy of using these tuned pieces of machinery in the real world, while providing a relaxing and beautiful environment to escape into.

RT: I find I get the same feeling when I watch ‘oddly satisfying’ videos as I do with sims like Lawn Mowing Simulator.

Do you think that sense of strange accomplishment that fuels player’s enjoyment within the games?

Absolutely. Much in the same way you step back from a job well done (whatever the job may be) and admire the results of your labour. LMS absolutely gives you the same feeling when you’ve completed a job.

What do you think has been the best thing to come out of the game?

The best thing has to be the unexpected responses from our players. We’ve had countless messages from LMS players letting us know how positive an experience they had playing the game, and how it had helped them personally to unwind and relax. Hearing how our game about mowing lawns helps people emotionally, is just the best thing ever which we never expected to hear.

RT: With slower games like these, it allows players to take the game at their own pace.

Do you think this mechanic nudges players to self-reflect in their digital garden spaces?

Skyhook: We believe it does. There’s something about the hum of the mower, the birds tweeting or hearing horses neighing in the next field that takes players to a zen-like place.

Will Skyhook be looking to create more games that promote mindfulness within gaming?

Absolutely! Right now, we’re focused on LMS, future updates and gameplay improvements so we don’t know when the next game will be, but there will be one… or even two!

What’s the ultimate take home that Skyhook would like players to have from Lawn Mowing Simulator, or any relaxing simulator game?

Life is hectic and it’s tough. It’s okay to take a break and reflect on what’s important. We’re incredibly grateful players are having fun with Lawn Mowing Simulator and finding the time to chill out.