Hyrule's Breathing Space

Hyrule's Breathing Space

Legend of Zelda's empty spaces self-pace the game
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I recently came across a video on YouTube about “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and its use of empty spaces. This got me thinking about the idea of empty space in a video game, because by all popular wisdom of the industry, empty space is wasted space. A player isn’t going to go somewhere if there isn’t an objective specifically pointed out for them, a myriad of collectibles strewn around the area, or some sort of hidden easter egg. At least, that's what many video game developers and publishers seem to think. Within the industry, there appears to be this need to densely pack everything in the game world. No corner of an open world can be underpopulated by content, whether it be enemies, items or side activities. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, after all gamers pay $60 or more for a reason, it can lead to some unintended consequences. Namely, a lack of breathing room.

Very few games allow and encourage you to catch your breath naturally through the design of the game world itself. Most of them accomplish this through scripted sequences tailored to that purpose. Often, games will use cut scenes meant to present the story -- moments where the player is no longer involved in the gameplay to any major degree -- to artificially provide this downtime. It is rare that a game manages to establish natural pacing in an open-ended design through the geography of the world itself.

“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” accomplishes this idea of breathing space through its use of empty space. Between villages and shrines, dungeons and enemy encampments, there is open landscape. While there is a fast travel system in place, the real beauty of the game’s world is found in long horseback treks and on-foot meanderings across its vast swaths of nature. Among the plant and animal life, between showdowns with monsters and after each leg of the game’s epic quest, there are moments of reflection. Piano keys gently tingle in the background as the player gallops on horseback through the fields and forests to reach their latest destination, providing moments of welcome solitude and peace.


This is where the idea of self-pacing comes into play. “Breath of the Wild” has a certain rhythmic quality to it, where the world and your experiences within it seem to expand and contract naturally as you play. The pace quickens as monsters ambush the player or a major story beat appears, contracting into a tight, densely focused experience of combat and objectives. However, once these encounters are completed and the player moves on, the atmosphere of the world relaxes, the taut pace loosens and expands, unveiling the world in all its beauty once more.


It is this idea of expansion and contraction that makes “Breath of the Wild” special among open-world games, a design philosophy that balances tense action and thoughtful meandering. These extended treks across Hyrule give the world life, making it feel like it wasn’t just tailor-made to be some sort of monster-fighting arena. You feel like the animals and people of this world carry on with their lives even when you aren’t present. You can take the time to appreciate the world around you and detox your mind from both the in-game combat and the world outside the game.


Cover Image Credit: vinereport.com

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Nintendo's Newly Filed Patent Is Beginning To Raise Eyebrows Within The Gaming Industry

With a new patent filed by Nintendo, many are trying to speculate as to what Nintendo has in store for the gaming industry.
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Ever since video games have gone from local arcades to the comfort of our living rooms, Nintendo has been at the forefront of the video game industry. While the Nintendo has excelled at producing quality in-home video game consoles, the company seems to be the only company seems to specialize in producing exceptional handheld consoles that gamers can take on the go. Now, in recent years, the console that Nintendo has produced has featured technology that is not as powerful as some of its rival consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox. The Nintendo Switch, for example, is nowhere close to being as powerful as the Xbox One. However, the amount Nintendo Switch consoles sold is already competing with the amount of Xbox One consoles. A lot of people are curious as to how Nintendo stays afloat within an industry that typically has technology that is much more powerful. Well, it comes down to one thing: innovation. Nintendo”s ability to produce innovative consoles, such as the Nintendo Wii and the Nintendo Switch, keeps the company relevant my captivating gamers all over the world.

But is Nintendo already working on something new despite the Nintendo Switch being one of the companies best-selling consoles?

With all the reports that Nintendo has filed new hardware patents flooding the internet, it is easy to assume that they are. The new patents Nintendo filed hint that Nintendo is working on multi-screened technology that would allow users to transfer data from one screen to another with ease. While it is easy to assume that Nintendo is planning on using this patent to work on new Nintendo Switch functions that would provide unique gaming experiences, sources like The Know believe that the patent is evidence that Nintendo is working on a new device that will serve as a predecessor to the Nintendo 3DS. As the Nintendo 3DS has been Nintendo’s dedicated handheld system for quite some time now, this is a plausible theory. The Know even has a theory that the patent may even be for a mobile device. Again, this theory is very plausible when you take the fact that mobile games are contributing to most of the video game industry’s revenue into consideration.

Nintendo has always been a leading company of innovation within the video game industry. While the company tends to lack in sheer power and graphical capabilities it always incorporates captivating functionality in its technology that enables the company to compete with the other video game powerhouses such as Sony and Microsoft. With the recent reports the Nintendo filed new hardware patents flooding the internet, gamers are going to become more and more anxious as to what Nintendo has up its sleeve. Considering Nintendo's history of producing entertaining gaming consoles that utilize cutting-edge technology, if the patent is more than just a concept it almost guaranteed to be a success. Gamers can only hope that spill the beans as to what the patent is for during this years E3 video game conference.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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You Blocked Me, But I'm Over It

Sometimes being blocked is a way of dodging a bullet.
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So, this week's pondering goes into the department of being able to block people online. There are times when people overstep their boundaries and it seems like the easiest way, and depending on the person, it is. I consider myself as someone who doesn't want to be a threatening presence online, and I'm not, but I figured something out yesterday.

I was on Instagram, and I followed someone who I considered to be a friend of mine, but I see nowadays, that this person was someone I felt inferior to, and I always needed to see what she was up to, when she was never worried about me. Anyway, I remade my Instagram recently to start fresh and for some reason, I had it on my mind to follow her and she blocked me.

What am I gonna do? Sit here and cry? You blocked me for your own reasons, but you're one less person I need to deal with. One less person I need to be aware of because I don't question who I am. It's a loss on your part, because I only mean well. It's a waste thinking about it because there's no way to change it, your problem is yours, not mine.

I'm getting a little crazy here, but even though we can look at people blocking us as a bad thing, maybe it's a sign of people we shouldn't deal with. You don't always know the underlying reason. Maybe you feel like you're inferior. Maybe you think I'm weird because I'm confident. It's not my job to figure out how your mind works, because I have better things to do than to worry why you feel a certain way.

I have this weird thing where I don't like having block lists on my accounts. If I've blocked certain people in the past, I always have a valid reason, but I've never been someone who feels superior to make someone disappear. I'm the fool that will literally send you a note apologizing for having the right to view posts. I don't want to brag, but I think it should be considered that I'm taking the time to write when it doesn't benefit me, and I don't expect it to. It's a reflection of me, not one of you.

This turned into a bit of a rant, but I don't like to be someone who holds grudges over petty things when there are better ways to channel your energy. Don't waste it on people who are weird with you. If you don't want to deal with me, I don't want to deal with you. It's that simple.

Cover Image Credit: Preservation Of Moments

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