You know, it’s easy to forget the impact gaming can have on the world around you. Gamers sometimes like to think they exist in a bubble of pure escapism, but for better or worse it has never been true. Case in point: Fallout 76.

Reportedly, views on the West Virgina Explorer exploded right after the E3 reveal going from 2000 to 30 000 daily. Camden Park, featured heavily in the trailer and promotional materials, also received a an increased number of calls expressing interest and a desire to buy merchandise. And, fun fact, did you know there’s actually a defunct government nuclear bunker in WV? Look it up.

West Virginia, the setting of Fallout 76, is a lovely place, but tourism is definitely not one of its strong suits. The authorities hope for it to change with the help of fans researching and visiting the state. It’s certainly interesting to think that a video game, an ostensibly a-political entity purely built for entertainment, can increase the traffic on a tourism website 15-fold.

Now I personally think this is great news. Although it’s too early to state confidently what actual effect on tourism Fallout 76 is going to have in tourism in West Virginia, it’s interesting to see where this goes.