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In Depth: How West Virginia Will Transform into a Virtual World

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) - A new video game called Fallout 76 plans to transform the Mountain State into a virtual world soon. It's a highly-anticipated game that reaches millions and the developers have chosen West Virginia as the setting for it. 

The buzz surrounding the post-apocalyptic Fallout 76 spread beyond the gaming world, once the West Virginia backdrop was revealed Sunday at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 2018.

"Most people don't know West Virginia that well," said Todd Howard, game director for Bethesda Game Studios, during a press conference streamed by GameSpot. "It's an incredible array of natural wonders, towns."

The new game isn't just a virtual world, though. It's based on real places. The game utilizes many West Virginia landmarks, including the state capitol, the New River Gorge Bridge, a WVU building and The Greenbrier Resort.

"Seeing Camden Park in the trailer was like, 'you all really got deep into it,'" said Justin McElroy, a video game journalist for Polygon. "It's not just that surface level take on it, that you often get."

McElroy has been a video game journalist for about 15 years, but he's also from Huntington, W.Va. and knows how easily his home state can be stereotyped. 

"I have - like a lot of West Virginia - been burned by mass media portrayals of the state," said McElroy.

However, as someone who's very familiar with the company creating the game (Bethesda), McElroy's typical concerns were put to rest. 

"Bethesda is a studio that really prides itself on recreating worlds based on places, and doing a really good job with translating them to the video game world," said McElroy. 

The new game may even feature the moth man. 

"There's plenty of cool new Fallout creatures and we even used the folklore of West Virginia to bring our Fallout versions to life," said Howard at the press conference.

The trailer also unveiled a new cover of Take Me Home, Country Roads. On Monday, Bethesda announced that the Fallout version of the song will be available for purchase on iTunes beginning July 4, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Habitat for Humanity. 

"I'm excited about it," said McElroy. "I think they're going to do a really cool, really respectful job with it." 


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