An experimental game where you play with your emotions, seeing if you use words to escape from a feeling. While exploring fear, your relationship to words, and the emotional effect they have on you, discover what happens when you understand that the word is never the thing.
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Release Date:
Nov 1, 2018

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December 1

The Word Is Not The Thing: Update 8

All versions of The Word Is Not The Thing are now available. I was able to get the Android version up but only used the emulator for testing. Maybe that will be okay. Maybe not.

I've been working on the book for The Word Is Not The Thing. It's "a book about the game." It's intended to be part compendium and part the game itself, as far as it can be transferred onto a page. I think it's possible to do this since Mavenmob games are designed to be played within a short timeframe. I also want to provide a non-traditional gamer audience with something to maybe bridge them into Mavenmob games. I also want to vary the discovery of the games outside just digital and this is a good way to get something physical out there. So, my recent learning about how to create and publish a book will definitely come in use for any future games I create.

For now, I've decided to go with a 5.5"x8.5" final size book with perfect binding and to have the books printed and distributed through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service. I think I'm going to end up with 150 pages given how I've planned things out. As for the digital version, it will be free and available on Kindle, and maybe Apple's Books service.

Up next is finishing up the book, cleaning up little external things and moving forward in that direction for this game.

Get more frequent design insights, screenshots and more on mavenmob’s patreon blog. You can view it here:
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November 1

Play a Free Demo

A free demo of The Word Is Not The Thing is also available where you play through the first day of the game.

Download it here:
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About This Game

The Word Is Not The Thing is an experimental indie game.

It's not so much about jumping and shooting as it is about you observing your own emotional connection to words and playing with those emotions, seeing if you use words to escape from a feeling.

It’s a unique game of exploration and discovery through the human condition, using your emotional connection to words as a mechanic in itself.

Inspired by the 20th century philosopher J. Krishnamurti, whose subject matter included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, inquiry and human relationships.

Interact with the environment, paintings and other characters through a story that unfolds over 3 days and five locations: the home, the commute, the office, nature, and the self.

The Word Is Not The Thing goes into separating the word from the feeling, allowing us to discover for ourselves what happens when we don't let the word interfere with the direct perception of the feeling. Not rejecting the word, or suppressing it, but seeing its effect. Not running away with explanations, or with another set of words. Seeing that escape. And doing nothing about it. Not just saying you get it, but actually doing it.

Emotionality is the difficulty; the words get harder to deal with depending on your emotional connection to any given word. Choose to go inside yourself and go up against your core fear.


  • Experimental indie game, where emotions are the mechanic.
  • Minimalistic black and white world to explore with emotions driven through words.
  • Find, discover and remove words, seeing if you use words to escape from feelings.
  • An emotional dark synthwave-inspired soundtrack.
  • A story unfolding over 3 days through 5 areas, the home, the commute, the office, nature and yourself.
  • Designed to be finished in a single session with the total time to play through the game being 45 to 60 minutes.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP , 7 , 8 , 8.1
    • Processor: 2.2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.8+
    • Processor: 1.4 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
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