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Ghost of Tsushima players helped rebuild a shrine on the actual island

Published: 13:17, 11 January 2021
Ghost of Tsushima screenshot showing an army
Ghost of Tsushima

These are not the sort of stories you normally hear - video game players helped the actual place they learned of while playing the game, which is exactly what happened on the island of Tsushima.

It all started in November last year, when Yuichi Hirayama, a priest at Tsushima island's Watatsumi Shrine, set up a crowdfunding page to rebuild a Torii gate that collapsed during a recent typhoon.

This Sunday, the crowdfunding campaign, whose goal was set at JPY 5,000,000 (around US$48,000), was officially concluded and the results were heartwarming. More than 2,000 people joined in and made sure the goal was more than quintupled, much to the delight of pretty much everyone involved. 

In one of the better advertisements for how video games make the world a better place, a bunch of the contributors were Ghost of Tsushima players, who probably wouldn't have been so fond of the iconic island had there not been for Sucker Punch's title.

"We have received a great deal of support from the players of the Ghost of Tsushima game set in Tsushima, and I feel that it is God’s guidance", Hirayama wrote on the crowdfunding page. 

It's quite ironic now to think that Ghost of Tsushima received some ridiculous attempts at criticism, including accusing one of the world's top shakuhachi players of cultural appropriation.

So, if you needed proof that video games' representation of different places is not only far removed from stealing a culture, but is beneficial to sustaining cultures, here it is.

Island of Tsushima, Watatsumi Shrine Island of Tsushima, Watatsumi Shrine

Ghost of Tsushima has easily been one of the most beautiful games in 2020, and dare we say ever, and it seems it's getting more beautiful by the minute. 

You can find the crowdfunding page here , but you may need Google Translate. Thanks, VGC .

Ghost of Tsushima, a samurai adventure by Sucker Punch Studios

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
Ghost of Tsushima

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