Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park inspires new virtual reality foraging video game
The new video game takes users on a virtual trip around Scotland allowing them to collect mushrooms, garlic and berries and then cook with them at home.
Designed by 28-year-old nature lover Elena Höge, who lives near Holyrood Park, the game, called Wholesome Out and About, will allow people around the world to experience the natural world in their homes.
Originally from Germany Miss Höge moved to the Capital to study design and digital media at Edinburgh University and quickly fell in love with the city.
Inspired by her love of Scotland’s landscape Miss Höge has created a virtual world where players can explore the country’s rivers and mountains while learning about nature along the way.
The game takes its users on an educational foraging trip around the country and after collecting berries, mushrooms and garlic players can take the items home and cook with them.
Miss Höge got the idea for this game after being introduced to the hobby of foraging by her father in 2019 and while now an avid outdoorswoman she was quite nervous to give it a go.
“When I first went foraging I was quite fearful of mushrooms, as I didn’t want to pick the wrong ones,” she said. “But I loved it, it was like a treasure hunt.”
Foraging has allowed Miss Höge to spend more time outside which has helped improve her physical and mental wellbeing.
She now hopes to bring these benefits to the masses and said: “I wanted to build a game that captured the excitement of foraging while also teaching about collecting plants and making recipes.”
Hopeful that the game, which is designed to offer relaxation and gentle entertainment, will also bring comfort to users feeling stressed during the pandemic.
The idea has already had great success and Miss Höge has been presented with a Young Innovator Award from Innovate UK.
The young entrepreneur has big plans for the video game and hopes to eventually create a virtual world, where users can visit all parts of the world and learn about nature from around the globe.
She said: “I am really happy to get this award, an an entrepreneur the first step is getting into the mindset that you can do it and this award helps with that.”