Writing for Games Radar, Game Journalist Derek Buck attributed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as saving him from depression and even suicide.
In the feature, Derek spoke of how Hyrule provided a fertile ground for him to escape and venture free, away from his depression and anxiety.
But Hyrule is the opposite. In Hyrule, the light is so bright, it seems to come from everywhere, shooting like beams from each blade of grass. In Hyrule, I was always on the verge of something new, a promise of discovery that freed my spirit from the two-ton anchor of my own thoughts. In Hyrule, if only for a few hours, I could breathe. Breath of the Wild had become very significant to me, and it had nothing to do with gameplay or graphics or any of the things critics like to drool over. Hyrule had become my escape. It provided me with a sanctuary from myself, allowing me to interrupt the pain and anxiety with comfort and peace; the hopelessness and defeat with courage and optimism. And the more time I spent there, the more therapeutic it became. The more I got to know Hyrule, the more it had to teach me.
He also talked about how Link taught him how to confront his problems without being too absorbed into his feelings and be crippled by them.
But that’s when I noticed something about Link. I learned a lot from Hyrule and its wonderful, enchanting complexities, but one of Breath of the Wild’s most important lessons came from its hero. Which is strange, considering he never actually says a word. Which is actually kind of the point.
Link had just as many problems as the rest of us. His friends were dead, his memory was erased and his would-be girlfriend had been fighting a demon for the last century. And yet Link never dismayed. He never collapsed in tears or doubted his resolve. And he never let his feelings cloud his decisions or suppress his actions. Through Link, I was reminded what it’s like to do.
I’m not saying my demons are slain. I’m not saying I don’t have awful days when it’s a struggle to get off the couch. I’m not saying Breath of the Wild cured me – you don’t exactly cure depression, certainly not with a video game. But it’s difficult for me to imagine how things would’ve unfolded without it. Depression is like a storm of emotion that rages inside of you every day, and it can be almost impossible to navigate those winds. Breath of the Wild was like my paraglider.
Hopefully things will get better for Derek and we wish him all the best for the future. If you have a friend in need, maybe a nice video game like Breath of the Wild can make his time a lot better, they will definitely need all the support you can give. You can read about Derek’s full experience here.