How do you promote the natural beauty and wonder of your state? Why, by comparing it to a post-apocalyptic wasteland, of course!
In one of the strangest collabs I've ever heard of, the West Virginia Tourist Office and Bethesda are partnering up to promote the upcoming game Fallout 76, along with the state of West Virginia.
A post on the West Virginia Tourist Office's website explains some of the thinking behind the move. Players will "explore wild and varied terrain, from Appalachia's lush forests and rolling mountains to oppressive swamps and post-nuclear ash heaps," while "discovering hints and subtle nods to West Virginia's unique landscape, history and culture". I wonder if the tourist board does a radiation bus tour down those famous country roads? I'll have to pack some RadAway.
To be fair to the tourist office, Fallout 76 does look like it will help educate players about the state's history. Some of the game's monsters, for instance, are based on creatures from West Virginian folklore - such as the Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster. The latter of which, by the way, looks much more spooky in West Virginian folklore than the concept art from Fallout 76.
The promotional events from the partnership have not yet been detailed, although it sounds like there will be some "Vault Boy sightings" in the coming weeks.
Fans, meanwhile, have reacted to the partnership with some amusement. One particularly brutal comment by Reddit user mattreyu reads "tourists will start visiting, thinking that the entire state changed to look like a post apocalyptic wasteland, when they don't realise that's what it's like already". Yikes, that's enough to wither anyone into nuclear ash.
Anyone up for tanning in the West Virginian nuclear glow?