Wandering Ghost Cities in WoW and Irish Identity in Games

Wandering Ghost Cities in WoW and Irish Identity in Games

Hello, Escapist readers! As part of our partnership with curation website Critical Distance, we'll be bringing you a weekly digest of the coolest games criticism, analysis and commentary from around the web. Let's hit it!

First up, on Eurogamer Christian Donlan speculates on the sweet, sweet masochism of survival games and why we love them so much.

Meanwhile, over at the A.V. Club's Gameological Society, Samantha Nelson basks in the beautiful solitude of World of Warcraft's abandoned cities. And Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Adam Smith interviews Shawn Allen about his upcoming, wicked-looking brawler, Treachery in Beatdown City (whose Kickstarter could really use a final nudge to reach its funding target).

Finally, at Kill Screen, Corey Milne considers Irish identity in games through the characterization of a sniper in Valkyria Chronicles.

That's all for this week! If you're interested in more great writing, videos and podcasts from this week in games, be sure to swing over to Critical Distance to have your fill!

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Really, really nice article about survival games. Even if I didn't like Terraria. I found rather boring those endless trips to same-y caverns that never had anything new to reward me with, once I had a mildly decent armor. Maybe it's that I didn't go into it with a "survival game" mindset. On the other hand, I knew it was quite similar to minecraft, and I loved minecraft.

I'm wondering if I should purchase Rust or DayZ, since I want to try one of those first-person survivals. I also will recommend everybody to try out NEO Scavenger. It's a turn-based apocalyptic (paranormal, not zombie) survival game that has surprised me greatly. It's quite unsettling too, at times.

I feel that any discussion in this thread is going to become somewhat disjointed as posters will be commenting on any of the above linked posts which have little to do with each other. Maybe this isn't a problem, but I'm used to, and prefer it really, when a thread is about just one topic, not multiple unrelated ones.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading the Irish identity in games article. I think Irish stereotypes lend themselves very well to character tropes in video games. They can be used to create a lot of stock characters, such as alcoholics, comics, romantics and roguish characters very easily with little effort or talent. I don't think many other nationalities have as many other varied and conflicting stereotypes to draw as the Irish. This is probably because the Irish have for a long while been a nation of immigrants and they've integrated into all sorts of English speaking societies and therefore been lumped with an unusually strong and diverse collection of stereotypes.

Didn't even mention the warlock "opium" den or the leper gnome sweat shop in Silvermoon.

I read the WoW article, and was reminded of why I started coming to this site in the firat place: thoughtful articles involving looking at gaming from new angles. It's really sad to see how short the supply of those are today, this place has gone from having a weekly "issue" of fascinating navel gazing to mostly just regurgitating whatever's on the front page of Kotaku and calling it a news site. Heck, there's even a similar article to the WoW one buried in the archives here about a guy who went online with Deus Ex long after the servers were abandoned.

I too love visiting abandoned WoW cities. It's lonely but there's a certain peacefulness to it. My favorites are Ironforge, Darnassus and Silvermoon. The architecture is just beautiful in those cities and lots of little details to find if you look hard enough.

Me thinks they read a little too much into Catherine's character in Valkyria Chronicles... I mean they don't necessarily present themselves as "Irish" because, as I understand, that particular distinction isn't exactly around in the universe - and aside from the name there isn't anything there to identify her.

I can't comment on her voice either, because well... I didn't waste time using her. Right off the bat I had Marina Wulfstan who, for those not in the know for the game, was only one of a couple of snipers in the game who possessed "Ultimate Accuracy" - a permanent passive that upped her accuracy to 100% no matter what, essentially her reticule was nothing more than a dot of death.

It also doesn't help that Catherine's stats for sniping are... crap, to be kind, as almost all of her potentials are to her detriment as a sniper.

All that aside, of course, their argument is weakened drastically because Catherine isn't an actual character. She has a small blurb, a list of sub-par attributes that no sniper should ever strive for. And, if I'm to be honest, it reads more like someone's personalized fan-fiction about their "waifu" as terrible a term that is. They found one character with a vague connection to a nationality not existent within the game, then project upon what is nothing but a grey slab of concrete everything they think the character stands for and believes in, because we are told absolutely nothing about the character at all.

Because she is a pawn, and a rather terrible one at that.

Nice, a weekly digest! I miss when the Escapist had a theme for a week and we had articles with experiences, studies and personal accounts.

I remember losing a few hours exploring WoW and its cities. During busy hours, I always went to Thunder Bluff since it always felt quiet. Silvermoon was too big for me, but it had its charm.


I didn't waste time using her.

oh cute, another min/max gamer. I have a spreadsheet you may find more milage in or perhaps a crisp roll of bubble wrap?

Simply because you are unable to connect with creative mediums on a human level does not endow you with the authority to invalidate the experiences of others.

Oh cute, someone who is adding nothing to the conversation while making blatant and ignorant assumptions about another individual on the internet. As if those don't exist all around do they? If you are going to spend time trying to think in order to respond, try to actually look beyond your narrow field of view, please? It'll do wonders for you, I swear.

Ignoring the fact that characters aren't exactly available 100% in Valkyria Chronicles (if you never played it, its somewhat random whose available within the roster at a time). When she finally did show up for me, I was already working on the harder missions around the end-game and post-game content. I didn't take more than one or two snipers at most in my roster to begin with, and the few spaces I had left beside my main team I had used to have Vyse and Aika along for the ride.

Which, sorry to inform you, wouldn't be something a "min/maxer" would bring around. So again, please do try again to respond with a more thoughtful statement.


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