Ian RuderAfter eight months of Zooming, isolating and social distancing, by the time 5 or 6 p.m. rolls around every day, I am ready for a break — some way to clear my head, leave everything behind and relax. In healthier times, this is where I’d meet a friend for dinner or go for a roll outside.  But with those options mostly off the table, my new hobby has been exploring the picturesque highs and lows of Hyrule.

In Hyrule, I can meander aimlessly for hours, traipsing across verdant grasslands, stream-laden riverbeds or forested mountainsides. Sometimes I’ll just watch the sun set or follow a herd of deer roaming the fields. Wherever I go, I’m surrounded by the sounds of nature — an owl’s hoot, the rustle of the grass in the wind, or even the soothing pitter-patter of rain falling.

If you’ve been to Hyrule, you’re probably laughing and nodding your head at this point, and if you haven’t, you’re probably torn between thinking I’m insane and wanting to know where this magical land is. The good news is, Hyrule is accessible to everyone; the bad news is, it only exists in the world of Nintendo’s Zelda video games.

High on the short list of “good things” to come out of the pandemic has been the reintroduction of console-based video games to my life.  While I had played the occasional game on my iPad or computer in the 22 years since I was paralyzed, I’d avoided diving fully back into the pastime I’d so enjoyed as a teenager.

I used all the excuse