Image from Fallout 76 game.

Almost Home

The author enjoyed the multiplayer survival game Fallout 76. But her interests lay less with the war wizards, mutated deer, and other artifacts of imagined nuclear aftermath, and more with the real-world tools of Appalachian activism. So she borrowed from back-to-the-land movements to create a viable small-town life online — at least for a while.

The compelling part of the multiplayer survival game Fallout 76 was exploring a fantasy version of hardscrabble West Virginia, a digital recreation of places where the author grew up.

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  • Alan Thomas
  • Barbara Penner

Alan Thomas

Alan Thomas is a columnist for Places. He is Editorial Director for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago Press and a photographer specializing in urban landscape.

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Barbara Penner

Barbara Penner is a columnist for Places. She is Professor of Architectural Humanities at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

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Gabrielle Esperdy

Gabrielle Esperdy is a columnist for Places. She is associate professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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Shannon Mattern

Shannon Mattern is a columnist for Places. She is a professor of anthropology at The New School in New York City.

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