In 2016, I remember how excitedly a group of my friends and I were waiting for the release of Tom Clancy’s The Division. We were all living and working in New York City (and Brooklyn) at the time, and that is where the game takes place. We were looking forward to having an online multiplayer experience where we could run around in an environment we were familiar with. Not just another fantasy world or on a different planet. Little did I know, starting up the game would probably be one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had while playing a video game.

While most of the campaign takes place in Manhattan, the introductory sequence of The Division was in Brooklyn. Not only was I living in Brooklyn at that time, but the game literally starts right outside the apartment building I was living in. It was pretty incredible to see. There was even an in-game representation of the pizza shop on the corner. Shout out to my guy Larry at Front Street Pizza.

Sure I’ve visited locations I know in other video game versions of New York City (like Marvel’s Spider-Man), but it isn’t the same. I don’t think I’ll ever have an experience like that again. And while I don’t play The Division any longer, I will always look back on it fondly for that.

Have you ever experienced something like that in a game? I would love to hear about it.