Video games are big business in 2023, a point driven home by the Federal Trade Commission's attempt to block Microsoft from buying Call of Duty and the house that builds it. Even if you aren't the type of avid gamer that I happen to be, you've likely played or seen at least one of the big video game blockbusters of the last fifteen years, even if it was just a YouTube video you watched to understand why Tom Holland's Uncharted was a thing.

Never have more people been playing video games than they are right now, and a lot of that has to do with the giant, detailed and open worlds that seem to be the hot thing in gaming right now. While most of them are completely fictional locations, some of these game worlds are based on real places, including some impressively accurate recreations.

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The state of Colorado has been featured in games more than a few times over the years, to varying degrees of accuracy and quality. Even Montrose has had its name bandied about in the digital world, though not in a game that most people actually enjoyed playing.

In fact, the game Homefront's recreation bears so little of a resemblance to our actual town, it got me wondering if the developer's decision to turn Montrose into a video game world was somehow uninteresting. Well, that can't be true, because if you look at Google Maps, the layout of Montrose looks almost exactly like a lot of maps that I've seen in video games.

Google Maps
Google Maps

I'm sure the same could be said for most towns; maps have a fairly universal structure, after all. Still, it dawned on me while looking at the red borders of our town that the Montrose map looks quite similar to guide maps that players have put together for a game I've been playing a lot, recently: Dark Souls III. It's not exact, but you can see that the general design philosophy is still the same.

With all that border space to work with, I think video game developers are missing a prime opportunity at building an awesome world for gamers to play in. Geographically speaking, Montrose is a fairly interesting place. Riverbottom Park alone could keep a player engaged for at least an hour, just by looking at it.

Just about any kind of game could work with Montrose as a backdrop. Maybe someone could make a narrative adventure game like Life is Strange, where exploring our town is the bulk of the experience? Perhaps someone will take a better shot at an action game featuring Montrose, and we'll be able to wash the stink of Homefront from our gaming legacy. The possibilities are endless.

There are plenty of game developers in Colorado and the surrounding states, so there's no reason these designers can't take the trip to actually see what we're all about, and what beautiful scenery we have to work with. At the very least, we can use the money from their tourism to fund something important.

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