Find out more about this exceptional project and create your own experience after the break.
To get started, visit thewildernessdowntown.com. You will be prompted to enter the address of your childhood home, which Google Street View eventually uses to personalize the video experience with recognizable imagery from home. Additionally, about halfway through the song, you're prompted to write a letter to your younger self that renders in a spooky, branch-like font, keeping with the song's title and message. The entire experience is constructed on a series of browser windows that pop onto and off of the screen in various sizes.
You really do have to experience the . . . well, experience for yourself to understand its power (it's even better if you're a fan of the band); the videos are beautifully constructed and the inclusion of a familiar place makes the message even more powerful. Sadly, the address of my childhood home isn't available on Google's Street View, but the video used recognizable images from nearby that are Street View-ready, and the experience was just as powerful. Props to Arcade Fire on their creativity and excitement over embracing a new medium on which to display their art.