What happens when we abandon a place? And why is it so difficult for us to leave these places behind?
In this episode, Aleks explores abandon both on and offline. We tell the story of the only permanent resident of Fukushima's radiation exclusion zone. Naoto Matsura stayed in Tomioka while everyone around him fled. He's now the unofficial caretaker of this abandoned town.
Aleks contrasts this with a remarkable example of digital abandon. Meridian 59 was the first massively multiplayer online game. When newer competitors arrived on the scene, many players left. The game has been abandoned and restarted several times over since. Aleks hears from the hardcore community of players who refuse to let the game disappear entirely.
Alastair Bonnett is Professor of Social Geography at Newcastle University and author of 'Off the Map: Lost Space, Feral Places and Invisible Cities and What They Tell Us About the World'.
He explains why people are so drawn to abandoned places, as well as the psychological and spiritual hold they have on us.
Marie Mutsuki Mockett
He tells us about the fantasy world's massive popularity in it's hayday, the decline and shut down of the world, and why he revived the game as an open source platform allowing the die-hard members of the community to play and reconnect.