Gray Matter Books and author/editor Jonny Walls have announced the release of his latest book, The Legend of Zelda and Theology.
This book takes an inside look into the cultural impact of “The Legend of Zelda” video game series. It also analyzes the elements of Christian theology that the game presents to players.
The Legend of Zelda video game franchise is known for its high level of interactive adventure, immersion, and storytelling. The video game series has continued to release excellent titles adored by fans and critics alike since its initial release on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The game presents its own interpretation of biblical truth, as does other genres of entertainment. Walls’ book compiles a collection of essays from various scholars and theologians. Each piece of writing delves into the connection between this video gaming icon and Christian theology.
Walls first became enamored with The Legend of Zelda in 1998 with the release of "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" on Nintendo 64. "The Legend of Zelda is the Beatles of video games. I wasn't just playing a game – I was living out an ancient mythology . . . discovering lost lands, solving riddles, avoiding traps and wiping out evil. I had no idea a game was capable of such potency," he shared in a statement.
In an interview with Gray Matter Books, Walls spoke on the type of people his book is targeted at. "It’s good for a lot of different people for different reasons," he said. "First, for people who are into video games, good storytelling or Zelda in general, and interested or curious about theology. This is also a good way for people to dip into it for the first time."
"If the reader is already a Christian, this is hopefully an interesting new way to look at theology," he continued. "It is also good for both sides to look at it and appeal to both theology and Zelda."
Walls also gave his thoughts on what readers should ultimately take away after finishing his book. "I want to dispel misconceptions about Christianity," he stated. "The idea is about coming about something like Zelda, which is very popular, and having it lead into Christianity."
"Those who don’t know can get a genuine, unskewed, accurate representation of the faith in open dialogue," he went on to say. "Everything isn’t as scary or oppressive as it sometimes seems. I hope that some people read this and become interested in playing Zelda."
The Legend of Zelda and Theology lets readers view the series through the scope of Christianity. By the end of the book, the hope is that readers will understand that the video game’s themes all point to one source – God, the Creator.
"Each and every different person may read it and think of something they have never thought of in this way," Walls stated. "It is like a domino effect. For someone who doesn’t know much about theology, they can learn a lot."