For much of my adult life, I’ve dreamed of traveling to different parts of the world I’d like to see–Ireland, Australia, Hawaii. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the opportunity to do so, but I’ll always be able to say I’ve seen some very spectacular places in video games I’ve played. It would be nice if some of the stunning locations I’ve visited in the digital world existed in real life–and were monster-free so I could thoroughly enjoy what I was seeing.
Below is my list of ten fictional places, in no particular order, where I’d love to take a vacation.
1) Fortune City (Dead Rising 2: Off the Record) — Fortune City is a locale that is present in two separate versions of Dead Rising 2–one with motocross champion Chuck Greene as the protagonist and the other, Off the Record, starring photojournalist Frank West. The layout for Fortune City differs in Frank’s story–largely because one of the casinos is replaced with an amusement park. In either game, Fortune City would be the ultimate pleasure-seeker’s dream. The casinos, shopping centers, hotels, gladiatorial sports arena, scenic pavilion, and quickie wedding chapel make it a destination with something to appeal to most every vacationer.
2) Banoi (Dead Island) – The tropical island of Banoi featured in the first Dead Island game stands out for both its natural beauty and luxury hotels, bungalows, and housing. Whether you’re a fan of lovely beachside settings, cityscapes with modest weather-worn architecture, or remnants of a war—such as a concrete bunker—that plagued the island in times past, then Banoi is the place for you. It is a location I’d definitely love to visit, especially if I could rent one of the elevated houses out on the ocean.
3) Havarl (Mass Effect: Andromeda) – An alien world teeming with bioluminescent flora, Havarl is definitely a wonder to behold. I remember being awestruck when I saw just how beautiful it was for the first time. Nature-lovers will adore it simply because of the unique plant life, while sight-seers will love exploring the remnants of an ancient alien civilization. Me—I’d love to visit every now and then just to enjoy the natural beauty of this planet.
4) “Bouncy” Loot Lake (Fortnite) – Fortnite features a landscape that is ever changing; the area that was once Loot Lake has irrevocably changed. But I remember when it was once a massive body of water with a three-story house on the central island. At one point in the game’s history, an alien artifact dropped into the lake and transformed the surface into a purple bouncy material—you could be launched into the air merely by stepping on it. My teammates and I used to forego the gameplay objective of offing your opponents in favor of simply bouncing around the lake. Loads of fun—I wish such a thing existed in the real world, especially since you could get some pretty good height without getting hurt.
5) Queen Zenobia (Resident Evil: Revelations) – Despite being a cruise ship that was used as a headquarters for a terrorist organization, the Queen Zenobia is quite luxurious. Granted, I only saw one indoor pool and spa, the casino is rather small, and I didn’t spot any stores to purchase keepsakes or clothing. But the Queen Zenobia features the same architecture as the mansion from the very first Resident Evil game. It might be said that the cruise ship was made to cater more to those with an appreciation for art than pleasure—I like to think I’m open-minded enough to enjoy both.
6) Rapture (Bioshock) – The massive deep-sea domed city of Rapture might not be the most ideal place to live, but it is one of the most unique. Reinforced glass walkways and habitats provide a great view of oceanic wildlife. Built as a utopia by wealthy businessman Andrew Ryan who invested a fortune into its construction, Rapture is the place to go for the finer things in life. Five-star restaurants, boutiques, and theaters await those with the bank account to afford it. Even if it did exist in real life, Rapture might be the one place I could realistically only dream about visiting.
7) The Institute (Fallout 4) – There are many locations to visit in the Fallout series, though most are derelict or reimagined versions of their real-life counterparts in the wake of a nuclear war. Though I could have picked the Washington DC area, Zion Canyon, or Boston, these are locations I’d have the opportunity to visit in real life. Not so much with the Institute, a subterranean science facility that exists as a slice of perfection in a post-apocalyptic world. Contradictory to the damaged landscape above, the Institute is pristine—where one can find clean food and water—and is a reminder of how good the world was and can be again. Unfortunately, the Institute is limited on space—they don’t open their doors to just anyone. Should Earth ever fall into the state of ruin present in the Fallout series, then the Institute would be the place where I’d want to take an extended vacation if not live.
8) the Carnovasch Estate (Phantasmagoria) – A century-old mansion constructed by an illusionist in the late 1800s, the Carnovasch Estate retains much of its original décor in the modern era. It is a one-of-a-kind house that features Victorian architecture and includes a full-sized theatre where hundreds of guests could enjoy magic shows. The wine cellar, observatory, and reception hall add to the mansion’s charm. The grounds of the estate include a vintage greenhouse, gazebo, fountain, and creekside terrain ideal for hosting picnics. Aside from the fact that the house is haunted, it would be a historical site I would love to visit time and again.
9) Twisty Bridges (Subnautica: Below Zero) – Subnautica is set on an alien world that is mostly water, but also features some extraordinary underwater vistas. One of the most spectacular is Twisty Bridges, a series of rock formations that curve around each other and are partially bioluminescent. It is a scuba-diving locale I wouldn’t mind seeing over and over as a reminder of how beautiful and mysterious deep-sea environments—alien planet or not—can be.
10) Arcadia Bay (Life is Strange) – Though it is a relatively safe locale unless you match the criteria of a deranged serial killer, Arcadia Bay is the place to visit for a glimpse of small-town life. The coastal town features a private academy for gifted students, family-owned businesses, and a scenic lookout in the mountains with a lighthouse and public park. Arcadia Bay is an ideal vacation spot if you wish to just get away from it all. I’d love to vacation there just for the peace and tranquility that the town has to offer.
I imagine there are hundreds of locations in video games that would make a great vacation destination, but these are the ones that stand out the most for me. Whether I’m looking for excitement or serenity, I would definitely pick one of the places on this list. If you would like to share your thoughts on a fictional place you find appealing, please do so in the comments below.
Jeanette, you have taken an interesting view of video games. Marrying video games with vacation wishes is clever.