If you were writing a book and had to know how red clothing dye is traditionally made, you would probably start with a simple Google search. At least, that’s John Boyne, the author behind it The boy in the striped pajamas he says “gadgetDone when it turned out that different fantasy ingredients from The Legend of Zelda have appeared in his most recent book, A traveler at the gates of wisdom.
The problem, like journalist Dana Schwartz notesis that instead of listing a real recipe, the current top search result for ‘red paint clothes ingredients’ links to a guide of Polygon On how to dye clothes in the video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s not an uncommon mistake Google’s algorithms make, but in this case, the error seems to have found its way completely in a published book by a respected author.
Yes, that’s a passage in which a character uses ingredients, including keese wing, Octorok Eyeball, red lizalfo tail, and four Hylian magic mushrooms to dye red clothes in the era of the fifth-century ruler Attila the Hun. Oops.
Author John Boyne took the news of the mistake with a good mood. “Someone reminds me to add Zelda to the recognition page when Traveler’s paperback is published … oh sir …” the author tweeted on Sunday. While this is the kind of error that could be corrected in a future print run (or even earlier, in the case of the eBook version), the author said he plans to “leave it as it is. ‘
Yes, I leave it as it is. I think it is actually quite funny and you are absolutely right. I don’t remember, but I just googled it. Hey, sometimes you just have to put your hands up and say “yup! My bad!”
– John Boyne (@john_boyne) August 3, 2020
Let that be a lesson to all authors. Polygon is a great resource for video game guides. But you may not trust it when you research your next book set in the real world.