These Video Games Take You Somewhere Beautiful
Author: Jo Robertson
Living with the restrictions that the last year has brought has been hard. We are all dreaming of a reality that doesn’t involve our house, garden, local 3 mile walk or weekly trip to the supermarket. All the while social media cruelly reminds us of the exciting places we used to go.
Foreign travel may still be a way off but as we start to emerge, somehow it seems easier to start to engage with the world out there. I’ve been watching travel programmes on TV again and looking back at photos from our trips away. I’m starting to believe that we will get to explore again.
Video games can help here. They are places we and our children go. This might be to escape normality in a fantasy world. But also they offer realistic locations to explore. Sometimes real cities recreated in games. Sometimes places that don’t exist in the real world. Either way, visiting virtual worlds can be both an escape in place of flying somewhere and inspiration for actual travel.
Xbox has teamed up with Rough Guide travel books to create an edition which explores some of the real and fantasy destinations that can be found in video games. Sounds intriguing doesn’t it?
It encourages the player not just to play through the game but to explore the landscape around it. Some of the places and games featured in Forza Horizon are set in Scotland and the Lake District and the fantasy Caribbean island world in Sea of Thieves. The book suggests the best places to visit, the must see views and the secluded spots for contemplation you could easily miss in the game.
I like this quote from Pete Etchells in Taming Gaming Book “Video games offer us unparalleled ways to explore what it means to be human, allow us to travel to far-off fantasy vistas from the comfort of our own homes and can connect us and bring us closer together.”
In the past I have found escape by playing Endless Ocean, such a calm beautiful game, which lets you explore the vast underwater world as a diver collecting information about marine life. We have also enjoyed the narrative and scenery of Firewatch. Set in the Shoshone National Forest in America you play a fire look out exploring the forest for clues.
So whether you want to escape to a real world setting or to an alternate reality. Here are three great lists of games to help you do that.
Here are some games in the search that we plan to try: