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Archive for the ‘Warcraft Lore’ Category

I’ve a strong interest in how women get portrayed in computer games; partly because I’m a strong believer in equality, partly because I like supercool ass-kicking women and there’s so few in games. With that in mind I’ve often found myself thinking about the depiction of female characters in my beloved Warcraft. There’s a hundred different ways I could approach such a topic, but for today I thought I would stick with the big picture and look at some trends across the board. To do that, I’m going to analyse some of Warcraft’s lore characters with a doodad called the Bechdel Test.

The Bechdel Test is intended a measure of female presence in media. Originally showcased in a comic strip (+1 geek point there) the test examines a film (or in this case, computer game) based on containing 3 simple criteria:

1. Does it include at least two female characters?

2. Who talk to each other?

3. Do they talk to each other about something other than a man?

It’s actually quite shocking how many movies, tv shows and games totally fail this test, which is of course the point. Naturally it is by no means perfect, but it’s useful as a kind of litmus test of how women are portrayed, highlighting the complete lack of well-developed female characters in modern entertainment. So how does World of Warcraft fare under the Bechdel Test?

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Wow.com has an interesting topic up for discussion today regarding whether there is such a thing as an atheist in Azeroth. I made my token comment there, but I thought the topic was interesting enough that I’d share my thoughts in more detail here. After all Azeroth is a world where gods are real, their avatars are real and people wield amazing abilities via worshipping or otherwise communing with them. The prospect of somebody who does not worship one of the Azerothian deities is a curious one. However, I believe that it could be a more common scenario than you would expect. Here’s why.

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Welcome to the second instalment of this series, where I decide to let the truth be known about certain supposed ‘good guys’ who are stomping around the lore being complete jerks. Having shown how A’dal is actually an evil mastermind, today I will be dealing with a terrible threat which may one day soon be released upon Azeroth. The true horror of the forthcoming Cataclysm is not Deathwing or the falling property prices in Darkshore, but takes the form of a rather annoying hybrid boy-hero, known as Med’an.

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When it comes to Warcraft lore, I can’t get enough of it. I love the stuff. Great story arcs, gorgeous settings, cool and exciting characters. However there a few characters in the lore who I’m fond of. In fact I find them intensely annoying! The funny thing is, its not the usual suspects like Garrosh Hellscream or Varian Wrynn (despite what I did to his face), essentially because whilst they can be annoying, they are annoying because of the flaws written into their character, which is totally acceptable. No, the ones that really piss me off are often the “good guys”. You know the ones, the guys who aren’t content with just being a hero and have to go around highlighting how made of win they are. So, in my next few posts I’m going to release my well-deserved fury on my top 3 nice-guy jerks of Warcraft. To start us off, this week I’ll be looking at A’dal.

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Lok’tar, Orc-fans! Earlier this week I started to discuss why I think the Orcs of the Warcraft universe are one of the coolest fictional creations ever. I looked at their difficult history, including their corruption and their subsequent gruelling battle for redemption. I also considered Grom Hellscream in particular as the embodiment of the very worst and best of Orcish nature, and how I admire the innate strength of personality that he and the Orcish people as a whole can represent. In this post I’m going to talk about other aspects of Orcishness I admire, including the blending of violence with wisdom, the shamanistic traditions, and poking peons.

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Orcs. For me they represent not only the most fascinating race in Warcraft, but also one of the most interestingly portrayed people in any fictional setting. Throughout their history they have veered wildly from a noble shamanistic people to demon-tainted slaughterers, and now occupy an ambiguous grey area between the two. As the central race of the Horde their singular identity continues to shape much of the Warcraft experience. So, inspired by Ercles’ recent article declaring his love for all things Troll, I’ve decided to make my own foray into the awesomeness of Orcs and my continuing obsession with them. As can easily happen with my writing this post got a bit out of hand so I’ve divided it into two sections. This first one will look at the history of the Orcs, the awesomeness of Grom Hellscream and why I admire Orcish strength.

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Trolls are one of the, if not the, oldest mortal race on Azeroth. You can find them in every nook and cranny of the world in every size and colour imaginable. It is even rumoured that the first night elves were forest or dark trolls who discovered the Well of Eternity. Your average troll is roughly 7 feet tall and weigh around 200 pounds, the exception are the Drakkari and Zandalari who tend to be slightly bigger and more muscular.

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