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So, this is kind of a strange post for me. I’m going to be sharing some awesome background on the new Fallout 76 video game!
Now, as you probably can guess, I’ve never been a video game person – even playing Mario is stressful – seriously. I’m terrible at it. My exposure to video games as a kid was basically, occasionally playing the full-size Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom arcade game my brother bought at an auction in our basement.
The Fellow plays video games which means that I end up watching the games while he plays. His list of games includes the last few Fallouts.
As soon as the trailer for Fallout 76 hit, my social feeds went crazy. Friends from all over West Virginia were posting about it and listing the WV landmarks they were catching in the trailer. At the same time, I saw an out-of-state friend misidentify The Greenbrier resort as the White House. I figured if you’re going to be (virtually) in WV, you may as well know where you’re standing.
Fayetteville, Fayette County
You might’ve seen this on the WV State quarter. It’s without a doubt one of the most memorable landmarks in the state. Construction began in 1974, and for a time it was the longest single-span arch bridge. It now is the fourth longest. Bridge Day (which is always on the third Saturday in October) is West Virginia’s largest one-day festival and draws tourists from all over the world. Bridge Day activities include BASE jumping, music, ziplining, food, and more!
Charleston, Kanawha County
The capital of WV shifted several times between Wheeling and Charleston before citizens finally voted Charleston as the official and final capital. There have been three different Charleston capitol buildings. The first was leveled by a fire in 1921, and a temporary building was hastily raised to replace it. The third and current capitol building was designed by the architect Cass Gilbert.
Construction began on this building in 1924, and Gilbert liked his design of the West Virginia capitol’s interior so well that he reused part of the design for the United States Supreme Court building. You really can’t tell from the screen shot/video, but that dome is gilded in 23 and ½ karat gold leaf applied to the copper and lead roof in tiny 3 and 3/8 inch squares. Also, the 293-foot gold dome is five feet higher than the dome of the U.S. Capitol.
OK, so Watoga Estates may be a fictional place. (If not, let me know!) BUT Watoga State Park is a real place! In fact, Watoga State Park is the largest of West Virginia’s state parks at just a bit over 10,100 acres! You’ll have plenty of outdoor activities to entertain you if you rent an onsite cabin (which are open year-round) such as hiking, swimming, fishing, boating, an observation tower, and a museum for those rainy days you may want to stay inside.
Morgantown, Monongalia County
While I picked quaint, artistic Sheperd University for my college experience, there’s no denying the overwhelming love for WVU, both its sports and college experience. I went home to WV the other day and had aaaalmost forgotten how many WVU apparel items you’ll see in a WV group setting!
I know blue and gold are Vault-Tec colors, but I can’t help but be reminded of a WVU game when I see those blue and gold banners in the vault. My friends who went to WVU were going crazy when they saw WVU and Woodburn Hall in the trailer.
Woodburn Hall was completed in 1876 and is the best-known symbol of the university. Designed by Morgantown native architect Elmer F Jacobs, it is considered one of the finest examples of Second Empire architecture in the state of West Virginia.
As students are wont to do, they find a way to leave their mark. In Woodburn Hall, the place of choice is a small cupola room in the hall’s upper floors. The hall has seen the inaugurations of university presidents and been the setting for the reception of US presidents, but always most importantly, each new generation of Mountaineers.
White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier County
The Greenbrier is the absolute best place I can think of for a post-apocalyptic game to be set. Why you ask? Well, despite being a 5-star luxury resort, The Greenbrier is home to one of the worst-kept secrets in WV. This secret is precisely why I think it’s so perfect for Fallout – The Greenbrier secret underground bunker, or vault if you would like. This bunker was built during the Cold War to serve as an emergency shelter for the U.S. Congress. It’s since been declassified, and code name “Project Greek Island” has become more common knowledge.
Bonus: 6. Camden Park
Huntington, Wayne County
I love old amusement parks and have a thing for old carousels. That’s why I’m so excited to learn more about Camden Park. This old trolley park has immediately gone to the top of my “Must-Do” list.
Camden Park was established in 1902 as a picnic spot by the Camden Interstate Railway Company. It is one of only thirteen trolley parks that remain open in the United States. Its location was unique as it was on the trolley line between Huntington and other cities, so passengers could stop, picnic, and enjoy rides before heading to their next destination.
Its attractions include the Big Dipper – a wooden roller coaster, the Little Dipper (You guessed it – a miniature wooden roller coaster), the Camden Princess (a customized Zamperla Rockin’ Tug), the Carousel, and swan-shaped paddleboats among other rides!
The park is typically open six days a week from late May to early August, with a more limited schedule in late August, and select dates in September and October.
I’ve been to some of the places on this list, and I’m so excited to see them shared with thousands of online players. I’ve heard rumors that the Mothman may be featured, and I can’t wait to watch The Fellow play.
As with all things, when I hear WV is going to be highlighted by a nationally-reaching medium, I tense up. (I’m looking at you, Bones. What is with those accents?!) But I have high hopes that Bethesda Games will do my West Virginia proud.