Escape the lockdown by losing yourself in the stunning virtual landscapes of walking simulator games
With the pandemic keeping everyone inside just as spring brings good weather and longer days, many of us are missing simply wandering outdoors. Fortunately, there are video games offering beautiful landscapes where you can lose yourself in (virtual) nature. You’re in good company if you do – as film and media professor Alenda Chang points out in her book, Playing Nature: “For many people, the hours spent in game environments vastly outnumber those spent in wilderness areas”, even without a public health crisis.
Replaying favourite games for comfort is a trend now, and some are revisiting recent open-world adventures, such as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, and even Far Cry 5 with the guns put away. But these blockbuster action games tend to feature enemies —not ideal if all you want is a peaceful ramble around a beautiful place.