New PBS Game/Show asks if virtual worlds like Los Santos should count as real places

If Grand Theft Auto 5 says one thing about games, it’s that guns and cars still rule. But if it says something else, it’s that virtual worlds are beautiful, lifelike, and huge. Take a scenic cruise past the Vinewood sign through the hills and into the countryside and the immensity will soon dawn on you. 

The common belief is that the experiences we have in games aren’t real; that these virtual freeways and winding county roads exist in an imaginary domain that we are magically whisked away to with the push of a button. But what if how we think about digital worlds is wrong? Sure, Los Santos isn’t a physical location, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not real, right? After all, numerous studies have shown that virtual tourism has measurable benefits, and the experiences we have in them linger on, occasionally having profound effects on us. 

Enjoy the episode and comment if you feel so inclined!