One Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin player decided to grow an actual rice field

One Twitter user’s love of Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin inspired them to grow their own rice field, and they’ve now posted their current progress to social media. The tweets from @w40254171 have drawn a big reaction with one of the developers of the game even taking notice. To learn more, we reached out to @w40254171 about their rice growing experience.

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is an action RPG that was developed by Edelweiss and released in 2022. The game is divided between exploration and rice cultivation, with the rice growing section, like real farming, involving plowing the land, planting, and managing aspects like water and fertilizer. Elements like crop diseases and water temperature management also have to be taken into consideration in the immersive rice farming experience.

Inspired by the game, Twitter user @w40254171 decided to grow some rice of their own and posted their progress on September 18 (JST). Judging by the results, you wouldn’t think they started farming because of the influence of a game. It’s almost time to harvest and we can see that the field has grown vibrant and thick. This picture taken just after the rice was planted shows just how much they’ve grown.

The tweet has received a lot of encouraging comments and Edelweiss’s Nal even quote tweeted it to express their surprise and joy that a fan was inspired to start growing rice.

Tweet Translation:
Someone really did it. That’s wonderful.

When replying to questions from others, @w40254171 said they started as a complete beginner and went as far as stating that Sakuna could be a guidebook for life.

When we asked what in the game led them to their decision to grow rice, @w40254171 explained that the beauty of rice shoots multiplying through offshoots played into their decision. They were also pushed by the feeling they had when grain started to appear in their in-game field, saying they wanted to experience that feeling again with  rice made by their own hands.

The land they cultivated and used for their field was an unused plot of farmland that was owned by a friend. They also explained that the tractor and farming equipment they used also belonged to a friend.

As for what knowledge they obtained from Sakuna that proved to be useful when farming in the real world, @w40254171 brought up understanding what causes rice blight and the importance of mid-summer draining. Rice blight is caused by mold and is an illness that turns the leaves on the plants a brown or grey color. It’s a serious disease that can potentially kill off most of the plants and leave you without a harvest.

The cause of the disease is related to low temperatures, rain and cloudiness, and the amount of sunlight the plants get during the summer growing season. @w40254171 says they learned about the causes of rice blight through Sakuna as the same factors can cause the disease within the game. Sakuna Of Rice and Ruin takes a real-life phenomenon and recreates it in minute detail for players to experience.

They also made use of their knowledge of mid-summer drainage from the game. Mid-summer drainage is when you drain the water out of your field during the hottest period to dry the land until cracks appear. It has a number of effects from strengthening the roots, to releasing harmful gasses in the soil and regulating plant development. However, you can’t dry it out too much. If dried until large cracks appear, the roots can begin to break, and the field will lose its ability to hold water.

The same goes for Sakuna, where drying out your field too much hurts the quality of your rice. This is another interesting example of real-world knowhow being reflected in the game. In the case of @w40254171, real-world phenomena are recreated in a game, passing knowledge to the player. That knowhow is then put to use once again in the real world for actual farming.

With that being said, it’s unlikely that someone could raise a rice crop just from the knowledge they learned from a game alone. We asked @w40254171 about hardships they met along the way to their first crop. @w40254171 explained that weed control was extremely difficult. This was because they didn’t use an herbicide that’s generally applied just after planting which caused the weeds to grow in thick. Not only did they have to use an herbicide later in the farming process, but they also had to remove weeds by hand to get them under control.

@w40254171 also says they broke their femur and was admitted to the hospital when starting the process. During that period, they relied on a friend to tend to the field. @w40254171 says they couldn’t have done it alone and expressed gratitude to the friends that helped along the way. There was also a large typhoon that ran through Japan on September 19 and 20 that @w40254171 was worried about. However, they later reported to Twitter that the plants were safe and only a little slanted.

It wasn’t raining so I went to check on the field. The plants are a little slanted but seem fine? I’m surprised these nonchalant tweets have received such a reaction, so thank you all for the support.

After being inspired by Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, @w40254171 went on to raise a genuine rice field. While there have been challenges along the way, it looks like they’re going to have some delicious rice to enjoy. Seeing the knowledge from the game be put to use in real life reminds us once again how detailed the farming mechanics are in Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin.

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-09-20 19:27 JST)