One of the best games for learning:The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom 

The highly anticipated next installment of the well known Legend of Zelda game franchise, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, is being released on May 12, 2023. Here at LW4K, we have high hopes for this game. In the past we have created playbooks for plenty of other LoZ games, such as the previous release Breath of the Wild. Over the past 37 years, these games have been known for their mentally challenging puzzles, beautiful imagery, and iconic music. This new one promises to up the ante even more. With novel abilities and new mechanics to engage with the surrounding environments, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom seems like it will be one of the best new games to encourage learning and thinking skills. 

Detect, Reflect, Connect: How does learning even happen?


When we say that we believe that Legend of Zelda games are great for encouraging learning and thinking skills, what exactly do we mean? Well, learning is not as simple as rote memorization. A simple way for breaking down learning involves our technique of Detect, Reflect, and Connect. These three steps cover the basics of learning. To engage in learning, one first needs to identify and pay attention to what is being learned (detect). Next is recognizing and thinking about how the material is helpful (reflect). Last involves applying the new knowledge to a number of different situations, known as generalizing (connect). Used together, this method helps build perspectives from engaging in digital play. In the new The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom game, there are endless combinations of environments, mechanics, explorations, and situations that can support learning in a number of thinking skills, such as flexibility, organization, planning, self-awareness, focus, working memory, and more. 

What’s going on in-game?


The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom introduces a new feature that is currently being referred to as an Ability Wheel. In our article reviewing these abilities, we cover the different thinking skills we anticipate each to support. Historically, LW4K has found the Legend of Zelda games encourage flexibility, working memory, planning, self-control, and time management. An example of this is seen in our review of Link’s Awakening. The games have a cumulative storyline that tends to build and calls upon itself a lot. High levels of creative thinking are rewarded, and exploration and experimentation are highly encouraged. The situations in-game that help support the learning of a variety of thinking skills benefit from these skills. Over the course of the game, players’ learning is continually enforced in a positive cycle.

Support learning how to learn!


Learning how to learn, through improving thinking skills and executive functions, is essential for kids to do. These skills can be widely applied in all areas of life, academic and beyond! Problem-solving, self-regulation, and critical thinking are all essential skills that are supported through digital play. At LW4K, we offer a number of courses focused on developing these skills through digital gameplay. Stay tuned after the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for future content geared towards developing executive function skills in games like these. 


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