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world of warcraft

December 19th

…characters, the businesslike scheduling, the pranks, the snarks, the enquiries after lost yogurts and Ipods, gave them a great deal of humanity.

At The Border House this week, blogger ‘Pewter’ writes about the ‘Archaeology of dwarven women‘ [mirror] in World of Warcraft, uncovering the character of Moira Thaurissan and an unsettling tale in WoW lore.

On the subject of archaeology, for the ‘Playing the Past’ blog, this week Trevor Owens identifies what I think is the chief attraction in the Fallout games, in a post titled ‘The Presence of the Past in Fallout 3‘:


October 30th

…feature (found here). For instance, in the case of auto-aim, Eric says, “Shooters on consoles can still be fun and complex games, but taking out the aiming reduces skill involved and cheapens the play experience.”

And now for what was likely the most talked-about event of the gaming world this week: Blizzard’s controversial decision to end this year’s Blizzcon with a video of Cannibal Corpse’s singer using homophobic language to describe his hatred of World of Warcraft‘s Alliance faction. has coverage of this speech, including an uncensored version of the expletive-riddled video.

This prompted Denis Farr to…

January 15th

…with the article wants to ban all “sexy” characters from video games forever.

Speaking of the 3 Ds, those came up a lot recently in a dustup between World of Warcraft machinimator WoWCrendor and anti-sexist critics, following hurtful remarks posted on Twitter. Apple Cider Mage outlines why the remarks were hurtful.

As a companion piece, although it does not address the same incident, our own Katie Williams declares that WoW players are a “walled city” within gaming. For those who do not play MMOs, Williams’s configuration of WoW as a subculture within a subculture might prove useful…

Uncharted 2

…it for the shooting,” says Gameranx writer Matthew Stewart in his article “Uncharted Series: The Gameplay Gets in the Way of the Story.” Instead of the gameplay serving the story, Stewart feels it did the opposite: “The obstacles in the game can be like someone who knocks the book I’m engrossed with out of my hands.” He illustrates his point with comparisons to games such as Ninja Gaiden, Quake 3 and World of Warcraft in which the story is created by the player rather than pre-determined by the developer. Crecente talks about the narrative pushing the ludic qualities of Among…

May 13th

…in his Pretension +1 column for Unwinnable is a (rather charming and empathetic, in Mastrapa’s usual fashion) reflection on how games will be the death of him:

Part of my problem is that I let myself get derailed. I’ll make some good habits and frequent the gym for a month or two. And then something like E3 will come up and throw me off. I’ll come back exhausted and start the spiral again. For a while I tried to use videogames as a carrot, but my World of Warcraft workout was short-lived. When I made exercise a requirement

May 20th

…privilege, “Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is“:

Imagine life here in the US — or indeed, pretty much anywhere in the Western world — is a massive role playing game, like World of Warcraft except appallingly mundane, where most quests involve the acquisition of money, cell phones and donuts, although not always at the same time. Let’s call it The Real World. You have installed The Real World on your computer and are about to start playing, but first you go to the settings tab to bind your keys, fiddle with your defaults, and choose

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

March 17th

…instructor Celia Pearce has updated her course blog, Game Design as Cultural Practice, with a host of this semester’s student work. This essay by Mary Macheski Preston in particular stands out as a lucid analysis of Pokemon Black/White’s treatment of race, gender and sexuality.


The AppleCiderMage notes an interesting quest line in a recent World of WarCraft patch in which female warriors take center stage.

Meanwhile, at The Border House, Samantha Allen puts her foot down regarding the scarcity of female protagonists in games: “We pride ourselves on being a young but fast-moving medium. Let’s kick…

June 30th

…areas of interest: board games.

Back on PopMatters, Scott Juster recently played Cards Against Humanity with his in-laws and poses that perhaps it’s not the subject matter of games that keep them at arm’s length, but their actual interfaces.

Meanwhile on Paste, Garrett Martin contends that E3 continues to address the press as fans, and the press aren’t helping.


Chris of Not Quite Literally poses the interesting concept that World of Warcraft is inherently queer.

Responding to the recent outrage over transphobic comments by Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik, GayGamer’s Mitch Alexander puts his…

January 26th

…of Warcraft. Essentially, she lifts. But that does not an adventuring hero make.

At The Ontological Geek, Owen Vince seeks game design that can genuinely represent the horror that was the First World War.

Words, Words, Words.

On a rather sad note, Nightmare Mode has gone offline. However, the great writing it boasted is not lost: you can find its basic archive here.

Issue 9 of Memory Insufficient, a games history e-zine edited by Zoya Street, is now available online. So, why are you waiting? Read it now.

Last but not least,…

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March 9th

…hooked us up with the latest from the German language games blogging scene.

On her personal blog, Valentina Hirsch chats feeling ownership over games as medium. Meanwhile, at Polyneux (arguably the best name for a games blog we’ve seen this week), mayaku talks about deserted servers in World of Warcraft.

Gratitude and Departures

We usually end these roundups with a word of thanks to all those who submit recommendations through email or by Twitter mention. You are, as always, incredibly invaluable to what we do here.

However, I want my thanks to extend much further this…