Gamers raise $260K to repair the real island their game is set on

A real-life multiplayer quest.

Published on Oct 13, 2023 at 3:46PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Oct 13, 2023 at 7:37PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Kate Bain
Gamers raise $260K to repair the real island their game is set on
Sony - Fg2 / Wikimedia Commons

Ghost of Tsushima gamers have found themselves making a real-world difference.

The game was launched in 2020 and has since sold more than five million copies.

Set on a small Japanese island, the game pays tribute to the natural beauty of Tsushima. So when the actual island was damaged in a typhoon, gamers felt compelled to help restore it.

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Players of Ghost of Tsushima control Jin Sakai, a samurai.

Set during the first Mongol invasion of Japan, the samurai is on a quest to protect Tsushima Island.

A major part of developing this game was getting the scenery accurate.

The island is famed for both its lush natural environment and its ancient Japanese shrines.

To get the imagery just right, developers spent 10 days living on the island.

They also consulted with experts to get a real understanding of Japanese traditions and customs.

What resulted was a game that was both visually stunning and paid tribute to the complicated history of Japan.

Ghost of Tsushima

They did such a good job that two of the developers were officially named as tourism ambassadors to the city of Tsushima.

Because of the game, a lot of interest has been sparked in the small island.

And recently fans were able to make a tangible contribution to it.

The area was hit by a tropical storm, destroying an ancient torii gate at the Watatsumi Shrine.

These gates are traditionally placed in front of shrines and are considered a passageway into a sacred space.

A local priest, Yuichi Hirayama, started an online fundraising campaign in a bid to restore the damaged gate.

He had no idea that his target would be surpassed by 540 percent.

Hirayama aimed to raise $47,500.

But over the course of a few short weeks over $260,000 was collected.

Those who donated more than $96 will have their name engraved into a stone near the site too.

The excess money will be used to restore other ancient buildings surrounding the shrine.

Hirayama hopes that this will inspire tourists to visit the island of Tsushima, in real life.

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