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National Walking Month: The Rise of the Walking Simulator

Written by
Kiri Broad

It’s a well-known fact we gamers care a lot about comfort. That’s why we’ve spent the past 22 years creating gaming accessories to empower gamers, with comfort at the core of what we do. But it’s also good to get out of our comfort zones, which is why we’re talking about National Walking Month. Because how can we get our heads in the game, when our bodies aren’t?

What is National Walking Month?

Run by Living Streets every May, National Walking Month is part of their campaign to encourage people to try walking for 20 minutes each day.

A 20-minute walk can reduce the risk of a number of preventable health conditions, including certain cancers, depression, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

By swapping that short drive to the local shop for a short walk, you’ll help go green too by reducing air pollution, congestion and road danger. Oh, and you’ll have more money to spend on upgrading your Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox gaming setups, too!

Run by Living Streets - the UK charity for everyday walking– National Walking Month’s mission is to achieve a better walking environment and inspire people to walk more one street, one school, and one step at a time.

The rise of walking simulators in video games

Don’t worry, we’re not swapping late nights shooting down swarms of zombies for early morning mountain hikes just yet. If like us, you need a little inspiration to get moving more, why not start off with the weird and wonderful world of walking simulators.

Walking simulator games do away with traditional video game tropes. Prioritising narrative storytelling over solving puzzles or ticking off objectives, you spend most of the game exploring. You step into the shoes of a character, and you spend your time making big decisions that influence the outcome of the story. And…you walk. A lot. Sort of.

Whilst the genre started off as a series of memes and derogatory comments aimed at games that aren’t so challenging, it’s blossomed into a series of games that offer beautiful landscapes and reflective journeys.Walking sims are often emotionally rich worlds, challenging you to think about every choice you make.

So, let’s get inspired to get those legs moving. First, you’ll need to get your thumbs in tip-top shape with our expert thumb grips. Got them? Great, let’s dive into these walking sim staples to start us all off.

Dear Esther

Unofficially celebrated as the first walking sim of it’s kind, Dear Esther is a great starting place for those of you who fancy yourselves as island adventurers.

Set on an expansive island in the Scottish Hebrides, you spend your time exploring it’s luscious landscape as a narrator reads letters to a woman named Esther. It’s up to you to crack the clues and figure out what all the letters mean, as it ultimately tells the tale of a man who’s lost his wife.

Whilst we’ve shed a tear or two, we’ve also found ourselves itching to explore the coastal paths we’ve ignored in favour of ice creams on holiday, so that’s a start.


Forests have never felt so fascinating. In Firewatch, you spend your time watching for fires from a radio tower as Henry. You’re escaping your past, as your present unravels into a series of mysteries.

Whilst your walkie talkie calls with your boss Delilah add depth, and your choices change the shape of things to come, there’s only one thing that really matters here: it’s one of the most beautiful games going.

Depending on the time of day in-game, you’ll be swathed in sunsets and sunrises and drowned in the dark of night. There’s beautiful, blue lakes to lounge by and rocky mountain trails to climb. There’s acres upon acres of green to go through, too. If a couple of plays of Firewatch doesn’t have you hitting the trails, we don’t know what will. 

What Remains Of Edith Finch

Last, but certainly not least, we give you quite possibly the greatest walking sim of all time. What Remains Of Edith Finch sees you take the titular role as you return to your childhood home.

You’ll roam about the grounds, exploring areas you’ve not seen before, learning all about your family’s cursed history. Standard family reunion, right?

The more you learn about your deceased relatives, the more you’ll get to play. Each death tells a short story, so there’s plenty to find out. And for a world so small in design, there’s so much walking to do. Trust us.

So let’s game our way into walking!

And that’s our starter for ten. Stock up on gaming accessories, stick on a walking sim, then whip on your shoes and get walking for 20 minutes a day. You know it’s the right thing to do. And you can get back to gaming straight away.

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December 3, 2021

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