Marisa Morby marisa morby

How Zelda BOTW helps us connect with nature

I think a lot about how we can use technology to become more connected with nature, and was surprised to find that, of all things, a video game is making me feel more connected with the world around me.

In Zelda, Breath of the Wild, Link has to forage for food and connect with the different communities in order to defeat Calamity Ganon. The game requires you to hunt, forage, and cook. As I've played this game, I've found that I pay more attention to the plants around me. I have to pay attention in the game to see if there are creatures I want to hunt, or herbs I need to forage. If I don't pay attention, I may miss something important. This focus has surprisingly translated outward, where I spend more attention trying to identify the bees in my yard, or the wildflowers growing around my house. To my surprise, it's made me stop and look at things in a way I didn't before, because in the game I'm wired to look around and forage, so now in the real world I'm taking a much closer look at what's around me, too.

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