My electronic ritual is standing on a mountain in the videogame, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for a full 24 hour day in-game. Besides creating a transparent ploy to play videogames for homework, I decided to make this ritual as a way to experience the effects of meditating in nature without having to actually be in nature.
It took 24 minutes to run through 24 hours in the game, starting at 10:00 pm. I had my character, Link, stand on a lush mountain, and I looked around by moving the game camera around, without moving Link around at all.
I watched the moon move through the clouds, and then I watched the sun rise from over the sea. At night, it was cold enough to see Link’s breath. The wind blew grass and other small things around, and the colors and the light changed throughout the day.
It’s the first time I’ve sat so long intentionally in a videogame without moving my character around or otherwise “playing” it as intended, but it did somewhat succeed in creating a feeling of being in nature, moreso than if I were more focused on running around killing monsters or fulfilling a quest. It also got pretty boring after awhile in spite of its beauty, which is in line with what I feel when I sit in one place in nature as well.
There was an interesting effect of feeling like I was actually in two places at once — I listened to the sounds of the crickets and the wind in the game, but also the sound of cars honking outside my real window. When I’m normally playing a videogame, I don’t feel like I’m “in” two places – I just block out whatever else is going on. But just sitting quietly, a little bored, allowed me to hear both things at once.