6 video game worlds we actually want to live in

6 video game worlds we actually want to live in

Clockwise from top left: Super Mario 3D World (Screenshot: Nintendo); No Man’s Sky (Screenshot: Hello Games); BioShock (Screenshot: 2K Games); Journey (Screenshot: Sony Computer Entertainment)
Clockwise from top left: Super Mario 3D World (Screenshot: Nintendo); No Man’s Sky (Screenshot: Hello Games); BioShock (Screenshot: 2K Games); Journey (Screenshot: Sony Computer Entertainment)
Graphic: Baraka Kaseko
AVQ&AWelcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences.

This week’s AVQ&A comes from web producer Baraka Kaseko, in honor of the release of the Sony and Microsoft’s latest consoles:

What video game world would you want to live in?

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2 / 8

The Mushroom Kingdom, the Mario franchise

The Mushroom Kingdom, the Mario franchise

Is the Mushroom Kingdom the most pedestrian answer to this question? Absolutely. Has the Mario franchise spent the past 35 years proving that it has one of the most versatile and entertaining settings in all of popular culture? Also true. Call me twee, but you can’t blame a guy who was a kid during the apex of Mario Mania for wanting to ride a Yoshi, vacuum up ghosts alongside Luigi, or chuck a turtle shell at that rat bastard Waluigi while driving a go kart. Coronavirus notwithstanding (maybe we can put Dr. Mario on the case?), Super Nintendo World can’t open soon enough. [Erik Adams]

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3 / 8

Katamari Damacy

Katamari Damacy

Roll me up, short king: I want to live in the world of Katamari Damacy. Sure, the universe of Namco’s apocalyptically charming series of third-person sphere-em-ups has traces of cosmic horror, as uncaring gods occasionally get drunk and smash the entire night’s sky to pieces. But on the other hand, this is also a world where everything is bright, beautiful, and no one ever dies—instead being rolled up into the loving embrace of the katamari itself, to get turned into an asteroid or star dust or whatever. The underlying assumption of the Katamari Damacy cosmology is that it’ll all be cool, eventually, and that you can always roll back from even the worst screw-ups, and I could use that in my life right now. (Plus: That soundtrack!) [William Hughes]

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4 / 8

Journey

Journey

I fully acknowledge that this answer probably has everything to do with the absolute chaos of our current moment, but allow me to take the exact opposite tack from Erik and William’s (admittedly delightful) overstuffed worlds and go in the opposite direction. Journey has empty horizons as far as the eye can see; abandoned ruins quickly give way to more endless vistas of sand, punctuated by the gorgeous views of fluttering fabrics or awe-inspiring heights. Even the odd giant flying creature is just there to push you further on with your wordless, meditative journey through the land—and the only thing that really changes anything is your bond with other fellow travelers. It may seem too spare and contemplative to hold up in the long run—but right now, minimalism feels like the ideal balm. [Alex McLevy]

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5 / 8

BioShock

BioShock

I don’t want to live in Rapture, the underwater city of BioShock, but there is something very appealing about all the most self-obsessed libertarians and dickish oligarchs deciding to abandon society so they can go live in their own little “paradise.” You barely see any of the surface world in BioShock, but it must be incredible. All these jerks who just care about helping themselves have fucked off to the bottom of the sea, exclusively leaving—I assume—charitable people to run the world. And that’s all without mentioning the fact that everyone in Rapture gets hooked on magic sea slugs in an attempt to satiate their bottomless hunger for power. I wouldn’t mind living on land, blissfully unaware that the world’s worst people are destroying each other. [Sam Barsanti]

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6 / 8

Disneyland Aventures

Disneyland Aventures

My answer would be completely different (and much cooler, I swear) if we were living in normal times, but after eight months stuck at home, I can’t help long for the massive crowds and in-your-face cheeriness of Disneyland. I’m by no means a Disneyphile, but at this point I’d happily overhear parents reaming their kids out for not enjoying themselves enough all day long if it meant being around people again. The grounds of Disneyland were painstakingly recreated—down to the trashcan placement—for Disneyland Adventures, an open-world game that allows you to explore the park as you complete missions and help Disney characters accomplish their goals. Instead of the rides, there are whole worlds on the other side of the portals placed at the entrances of all the major attractions. And while a kid could definitely play the hell out of this game, I swear it is difficult enough to entertain adults as well. [Patrick Gomez]

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7 / 8

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky

Like Patrick, my answer would likely vary if we were living in different times, but spending the majority of the year at home has me longing to live in a version of reality where I can escape this dusty-ass planet and explore the unseen reaches of the galaxy. Enter No Man’s Sky, a optimistic vision of the future where interstellar space travel is accessible and scientific exploration is encouraged. The feeling of endless possibilities the game offers—with its procedurally generated universe virtually the size of the real thing—can undoubtedly feel overwhelming at times. But right now, it’s exactly what I need. [Baraka Kaseko]

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8 / 8