Updated: Apr 8
There are many known health benefits of gardening. On the physical side, it can be good exercise, boost your immune system, and, if you grow veggies, improve your diet. On the mental health side, gardening can lower anxiety and stress, increase wellbeing, and build community.
Do those health benefits apply if the gardening is virtual? While the scientific literature has little to say on this topic specifically, it does show that video games can benefit mental health, and my hunch is that virtual gardening could yield mental health benefits similar to those of gardening in real life.
126 million people played Minecraft across multiple platforms in 2020, including my two daughters, who constructed beautiful buildings, amusement park rides, and exotic landscapes on it during the last year. It’s been a great refuge for collaboration, learning, and creativity for them during a highly stressful time.
If you (or someone you know) loves Minecraft and gardening, you might be interested in a job posted recently by Whatshed, a company in Britain that helps people buy (real) garden sheds. They are offering 50 pounds per hour (about $70 US) for the job of helping others design virtual gardens in Minecraft, and you can work from anywhere. They are recruiting “a collective of virtual landscape gardeners to provide professional advice to players looking to improve their in-game outdoor space.” Applicants must be good at Minecraft, demonstrate “creative flair” and “a passion for gardening/the outdoors.”
The job market gets more interesting every day! Could this job be for you or someone you know?