I’m excited to have published an essay titled “How Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Navigated Fan Expectations on one of my favorite video game sites, Sidequest.
I’ve been studying fan interpretations of the Legend of Zelda games for about five years, but I’ve mainly focused on fancomics. In this essay, I finally ventured into the stormy territory of IGN forums to try to understand why people disliked The Wind Waker when it came out twenty years ago. Here’s an excerpt:
For better or worse, gamers have grown up, and video games have developed as an artistic medium alongside us. In the case of The Wind Waker, the Legend of Zelda fandom has matured enough to appreciate the depth of the game’s story and design, as well as the unique character of its graphic style. Meanwhile, the challenge Tears of the Kingdom will face is that many of the younger players who embraced Breath of the Wild are now seven years older, and they expect the game’s sequel to reflect the seven years of cultural progression they experienced alongside gaming fandom on social media.
If you’re interested, the full essay is available to read online here: