Afterword: Where Is Virtual Dark Tourism Going?
Memorialization of disaster involves more than statues and sites. The preceding essays make clear that through journeys we participate in the remembrance of devastation and thereby make it a shared, communal experience, even if only in our imaginations. Considered all together, the chapters in this volume not only provide examples of virtual dark tourism but help define the field. For all its variety, virtual dark tourism has definable features and common concerns. Its development reveals the creativity stimulated by new technologies and increasing exposure to diverse peoples and histories. It should also be considered a reaction to the global information age, an acknowledgment of both emerging interconnections and persistent boundaries. Using the term “virtual dark tourism” helps us to investigate the interconnections present when people imagine voyages to disaster sites, participate in tourism to fictional places, or create death memorials in virtual settings, as people clearly do frequently and often with great creativity.