My Oasis, healing the soul through gaming
In a world where stress and competition are the norm, Buff Studios, founded in 2014 by Park Geun-ho, seeks to provide healing and comfort through their mobile game, ‘My Oasis’. Park explained in a press interview that many people already use film, music, and travel to heal their souls and relieve stress, but he felt the unique feature of games as an interactive experience controlled entirely by the user can make them even more effective methods of healing.
Upon launching the game, players are faced with a small oasis surrounded by barren desert. Through accumulating hearts gained by tapping on the screen, players can upgrade the the oasis and help to enrich the desert with trees, mountains and cute little animals of all kinds. As further upgrades become more and more expensive, increasingly larger quantities of heart can be earned through learning Blessings and Virtues, or as rewards for embarking on Journeys, uncovering Treasure or imitating short musical tunes.
This simple gameplay, accompanied by soft, calming melodies made in collaboration with Korean indie artists, lulls the player into a meditative state where they can forget all of their stresses and troubles, as the enrichment of the desert oasis parallels the cleansing of their own soul. Further comfort also comes from a variety of regular supportive messages and advice received by tapping on thought bubbles.
This uniquely relaxing and therapeutic experience, combined with minimal use of ads and in-game purchases compared to other mobile games, earned My Oasis over a million downloads within just its first eight months since release, along with a slew of positive reviews. Many players have noted that playing the game feels like visiting a meditation center, and shared personal experiences like “it feels like my depression has been cured”, and “this is my first time a game has ever made me cry.”
Looking forward, Park intends to create an entire platform for providing different kinds of healing media, and is already looking into the possibilities of going beyond games into webtoons and art. With continued success, he also hopes to expand beyond mobile apps and into the console market, as well as abroad, having already entering the Japanese market, which he hopes will provide greater publicity for the indie musicians they have collaborated with.
Download My Oasis now and nourish the oasis inside your soul.