For the past six months I’ve been running my games criticism YouTube channel out of a 1973 Volkswagen Bus. I’ve travelled with my wife and dog and laptop for 7,000 miles, riding the byways down the west coast and out into the deserts of the Southwest.

This video delves into making sense of the 5,000 mile journey we took through the deserts of Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and then the arid peaks of Southern Colorado. It covers natural history, the virtual landscapes of video games, and a heap of the bizarre stories and sights along the two-lane blacktop of the American backroad.

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My whole professional career and most of my life have revolved around experiencing and exploring the virtual worlds of video games. Now, I turn the methodology of adventure I learned in those fictional spaces towards the real world— only to find that the real world had known it all along.