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Fallout 76 Leads To Surge Of Interest In The State Of West Virginia

Illustration for article titled iFallout 76/i Leads To Surge Of Interest In The State Of West Virginiaem/em

West Virginia is not just a fantastical dystopian hellscape depicted in the trailer for Fallout 76. It’s a real place in the real dystopian nation of America! Thanks to Fallout 76, the state is now seeing interest from actual tourists.

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The new online survival extension of Bethesda’s wasteland-roaming mega-series is set in West Virginia. Ever since the game’s trailer debuted late last month, people have been planning their post-apocalyptic getaways. Case in point: West-Virginia tourism websites like WVExplorer.com have seen a surge of traffic.

“Typically we had been getting around 2,000 people a day,” the site’s publisher, David Sibray, told West Virginia news channel WCHS. “Now we’ve been up to around 30,000 people a day.”

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Employees of Camden Park, an amusement park featured in the Fallout 76 trailer, have also reported an upswing in interest. “We’ve gotten calls in the office about people wanting to buy T-shirts from here just because of the game,” Camden Park employee Autumn Smithers said to WCHS.

Will tourism follow? It remains to be seen, but residents are hopeful. “This is kind of a first, that we have been in a video game, and that will impact us like this,” Camden Park Ride Supervisor Shawn Wellman said. “We’ve never had this kind of national publicity, so we are waiting to see what happens.”

And while this metric is far from precise, it’s also worth noting that the YouTube video for “Take Me Home, Country Roads”—the West Virginia anthem featured in Fallout 76's trailer—has basically become a Fallout 76 message board.

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“If I see one more god damn Fallout joke,” reads one of the most upvoted comments on the video.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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DISCUSSION

The last time I was in West Virginia I nearly drowned on the Upper Gauley river. Like, no shit, my skin had a blue tint and my vision was going dark. The vest and helmet were of little help to me aside from making it easier for the people in the raft to see me streaming under the water. I still have scars, both physical (yay rocks!) and emotional, from it but I have gone white water rafting since and would gladly go again. Just.. maybe not on that river.