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For those looking to exorcise their post-apocalyptic D.C.-area nightmares, what better way to conquer your fear than the classic Fallout 3? The third-person action RPG game takes place in the year 2277 in an America still recovering from a nuclear war that began 200 years earlier. Players control a customized character with different attributes, but events and decisions in the game can drastically affect the plot and the character’s abilities. Much of the game centers around managing resources and survival, as well as fighting and politicking between the many factions that have taken over “the Capital Wasteland,” a fully traversable zone that stretches from the National Mall to Harpers Ferry. While Fallout 3 set the standard for great open-world video games, its relevance to DMV-area players is even greater. Bethesda Studios took great pains to render the shattered husks of the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Pentagon, and other notable landmarks. Players can walk past their own ruined houses as they ride out the pandemic! The area has been reduced to a sweltering desert/swamp mixture due to the environmental catastrophe, but we should all be used to that by now. Considering the mediocrity of 2018’s Fallout 76, perhaps it’s time to break out the classics as we socially distance ourselves. The game is available to purchase on Steam, and can be played on the Xbox 360, PS3, and Windows. $9.99–$19.99. —Tristan Jung
The Creative Independent
Sometimes, you want to create but run into a roadblock. You aren’t alone in that. Go to The Creative Independent, a growing collection of interviews, how-to guides, and more with musicians, writers, visual artists, and others. A safe place for artists to feel understood and learn, this internet gem focuses on been-there advice that’s practical both inside (your emotional journey) and outside (putting your work out there). Among the many generous people with D.C. ties who share their tips and thoughts here are the writer Marcus J. Moore; writer, producer, and Navajo tapestry weaver Sierra Teller Ornelas; and the musicians and label owners Katie Alice Greer and Ian MacKaye. Just two of the sections I’ve scoured with gratitude in my heart include “Making the time for creative work” and “Overcoming adversity.” Founded by editor-in-chief Brandon Stosuy and former Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler, the website has an utterly simple design, loads of wisdom, love to the world, and charm. If art is food for the spirit, like the great painter Wassily Kandinsky said in his 1910 treatise Concerning the Spiritual in Art, then The Creative Independent is sustenance for artists—artists just like you. The website can be found at thecreativeindependent.com. Free. —Diana Michele Yap