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The Weird and Wonderful Fans Still Playing Fallout 76 | IGN Inside Stories

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After a disastrous launch, the hotly anticipated video game Fallout 76 was considered to be a huge flop. But four years later, not only is a surprisingly huge fanbase still playing the online game, but they’re doing some extremely weird things in it.

I’d heard rumblings of live Shakespeare plays, roleplaying cannibals and underground black markets, with none of these activities being designed by the game creators. The rabid fallout fanatics had taken the core game in a very odd direction.


I decided to dive in with the goal of not only meeting the strange corners of the fanbase, but getting to know the human beings behind the bizarre stories. Along the way, I heard tales of obsession, passion and love, and eventually became part of their wonderful community. And it all took place inside a videogame.

Strategy and Execution

The initial challenge was building the trust of the quite insular community. The hosts were happy to talk to me, but it often required getting permission from their respective clans. 


A good chunk of the documentary is presented as fly on the wall, but within a game, which offered not only technical hurdles but also emotional ones. The subtlety of expression was taken away, so it made it particularly tricky to convey stories of loss and love through a videogame avatar. I believe through a combination of storytelling and music I managed to circumvent that issue.

When meeting the Shakespeare troupe I had to navigate interviews through the guise of becoming one of the actors in the group. I auditioned, took part in their rehearsals, and performed in the final play of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


The documentary was not only a huge success on YouTube (in terms of performance, response, and narrative in the comments section) but it was also beloved by the community I made it about. They were not only happy to have their stories told but so excited at the prospect of driving new players to their favourite game.


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