Henry David Thoreau lived at Walden Pond to escape the comforts of modern life; soon, you'll be able to share his experience right on your flat-screen TV. Thanks to a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the University of Southern California is developing a video game based on Walden, Thoreau's account of his time at the pond, the Guardian reports. It's intended to be a whole new kind of video game, "in which reflection and insight play an important role in the player experience."
It's not the only biographical video game on its way. One based on an altogether more modern American life—that of Jay-Z—is also due soon. The Facebook-based game, called Empire, will let players experience the rapper's youth in Brooklyn, from rap competitions to mixtape-creation to getting a job. After conquering such challenges, the player gets to join the ranks of wealthy celebs, the BBC reports. The game is currently in beta testing. (Read more Walden Pond stories.)