I saw this tweet the beginning of the month and was engaged by the idea of video game inspired tourism.
The video game Fallout76 is set in a post apocalyptic rendering of WV, much of it immaculately replicated, prompting gamers to visit these places & interact w/ cultural heritage IRL. What impact does that have on WV communities? We’ll talk about this & more in Whitesburg on 2/15! https://t.co/8lqFWvq11g
— Emily Hilliard (@hey_emhilly) February 2, 2023
I tried to see if there was a recording made of her talk, but haven’t been able to find it. Given that people have trekked to see the locations appearing in Star Wars films and episodes of shows like Game of Thrones, it isn’t surprising that people want to see these places in real life. What is a bit more interesting is that a video game about a post-apocalyptic world would take the pains to accurately depict real life locations.
Does this reflect a tension between the pursuit of creating fictional worlds and scenarios and a desire for authenticity? What drives the desire for authenticity, the gaming company, the players, a combination of both? With the emergence of AI created art, which can presumably integrate elements of real locations as well as generate completely new environments, will the drive for authenticity continue or will gaming studios and players be satisfied with AI generated worlds?
Not to mention, will those artist jobs continue to exist?
The fact that people are traveling to these locations suggests people have an interest/curiosity in extending their virtual explorations into the physical realm. This bodes well on many levels if game designers continue to actively seek new interesting places in the real world to translate into the games.