Recently, a lot of stuff has been going on that’s made things very difficult. A student at my school took his own life, and while I never personally knew him, seeing people I love being so affected by this has been incredibly difficult. My girlfriend and I got into the largest fight we’ve ever had, and I don’t know if we’ll recover from it. And, of course, there’s the usual stress of schoolwork combined with the college-application process. A few years ago, I developed a tick that has stayed with me, even though my stress level is still nowhere near where it was back then. That’s come back.

I’m doing a few things to not let my life fall apart, including meditation, seeing a therapist, and spending more time with friends outside of school. But one place where I can always escape to is Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule.

Technically, collecting korok seeds wasn’t grinding or farming. They weren’t in random locations, and they didn’t regenerate. Instead, it’s more like a giant-ass collectathon. This was perfect for relaxing. Yes, the action of collecting korok seeds is repetitious, but it’s always in a different location. There’s always a little puzzle to solve, and it’s accompanied by the soothing piano of Breath of the Wild’s soundtrack (except when those damn Yiga pop up!). It occupies just enough of my mind to not let me be distracted by other thoughts, but not too much to the point where it’s overwhelming when I’ve had a rough day. Just like meditation forces me to just think about the in and out of my breath, Breath of the Wild (Hehehe) forces me to just focus on the repetitive activity of finding each korok seed, over and over again, for as long as I want.

My journey so far

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That’s over now. I have collected all 900 korok seeds, and while I’ll admit it was getting stale somewhere around 895, it’s a little sad to see that activity gone. Luckily, Breath of the Wild is still there for me. I’m currently seeking out the locations I still haven’t visited (After 205 hours!) to get the final .5% of my map completed, and after that, I plan to find and fully upgrade every piece of armor in the game. Oh, and then there’s Master Mode. Yep, I’m doing it all over again. I’ll probably be able to legally drink before I complete this game.

It’s not that The Last of Us or Horizon: Zero Dawn aren’t fantastic games, but they’re stressful, on both a narrative and gameplay level. Breath of the Wild is my special place, and it looks like it’ll continue to be that for a long while.

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I’ve got some news that’s a little exciting, but also a little sad:

I got a job writing for a video game website!

It’s certainly no IGN or Kotaku, but it’s a start, one that I’m excited to take. The website certainly has some problems, but I’m hoping that I can contribute to making it better, and improving my skills along the way.

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I won’t be rolling in dough, but it provides resources that I’m excited to make use of. Early review copies. Chances to interview developers. And mentorship from some people who’ve been doing this for a while.

At the same time, there are a lot of things I’ll really miss about writing for TAY. The fact that I could write whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. The chance to see my articles shared on Kotaku! And, most important of all, interacting with all of you truly wonderful people: Narelle, Ben, Aikage, Datacide, DisturbedShadow, Nior, Slinker, RedStripe118, Nyren, Wiim, and every single person who wrote a comment or just read an article of mine. Knowing that some of the things that I write can reach thousands of people is super humbling, and it’s motivated me to be the best that I can be.

Of course, I’m sticking around! I’ll keep on popping in for various daily forums and the like, and I might even write an article on here every now and then. And there’s no way I’m missing out on reading all of your great articles!

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But for now, I’ll be putting most of my articles on Keengamer.com, so if you want to keep up with what I’m writing, you can find me over there as Joseph Stanichar (Gasp! Name reveal!). It would mean so much to me if you left a comment on my articles there, just to have some familiar people around. I know we’ve all been spoiled by the fantastic quality of articles from Kotaku, but I think Keengamer does good work as well, and as previously stated, I hope to contribute to that.

This is a conflicting time for me. A bunch of great things are happening at the same time I’m dealing with difficulties. But that’s life, and I’ll take it as it comes. In truth, TAY has been “that special place” for me, where I can write about video games with a bunch of people without worrying about the rest of the world’s worries. Thank you for everything, TAY.