Letters to the Editor

Gamers Without Borders


In response to “Those Left Behind” from The Escapist Forum: A good piece, and one that does remind me of when I was somewhat hooked on a MUD (don’t laugh … or at least, not too hard). Anyway, this is the problem with virtual world leisure times – they take you away too much from the troubles of this one, so much so that your real life can suffer badly. I got off lightly, and I didn’t have a wife to worry about leaving me, but I can easily see how such activities can led to wrecked lives.

Reading your piece, I have to wonder if, when I eventually find myself with a girlfriend or wife, if I should give up or reduce gaming (although I’m not on any MMO), or if I should go the opposite way and try and draw them into it.


A really great piece. Thanks for making me feel less alone. Though the “EQ” addiction my husband suffered is years behind us, I too struggled with the sense of selfish-ness since I was a gamer too.

As such, things like WoW Widows (which didn’t even exist then as far as I know) were not for me. After all, I don’t hate gaming. I love it. ^_^



In response to “Penning the Perfect Fanfiction” from The Escapist Forum: I may have tried to read this on my lunch break at work. I may also have wound up looking like a lunatic laughing hysterically while choking on cornbread.

I shall take your excellent advice as soon as I get home. I’m seeing an unlikely romance between Kairi and Thrall. I’m envisioning it unfolding in the Star Wars universe… You see, Kairi can travel between worlds, and Azeroth is actually in the Outer Rim….

I’m gonna be a hero.


Writing original fiction is both harder and easier than writing fanfic; they both have their challenges. With original fic you have to create everything from scratch, and yes, you have everything “laid out on a plate” with fanfic. But the thing to remember is that writing well within the confines of an existing property can be even harder than writing from scratch. You have to adjust your mindset to fit into the established universe, and characterisation in particular becomes very difficult – not least because there are hundreds of readers who will be intimately familiar with the canonical portrayals of the character, and will spot the slightest thing that sounds wrong.

So yes, the prep work is done. But challenges remain.



In response to “Grinding to Infinity”> from The Escapist Forum: The wonderful thing about Disgaea – aside from being “pornography for numberphiliacs”, as a friend of mine charmingly put it – is that it works perfectly well as an ordinary SRPG. The story and writing is full of black, self-referential humour, the item world can be a completely optional extra for producing high-powered special weapons for your favoured units, you don’t even need to get into reincarnation at all… And for the fanatics, you can level your units to ten thousand, reset them right down to level one by reincarnating them into a class that’s functionally identical except for slightly better stats, fight through hundreds of levels for the sole purpose of powering up a single item, and then do it all again for the rest of your team.

Then again, I am a SRPG lover, a Nippon Ichi fanboy, and a Disgaea fanatic, so I might be very, very wrong. But what the hell, I’m going to go play some more Absence of Justice. Because it’s great.


Disgaea is perhaps the most perverse video game series I’ve ever played. The entire system is about breaking the system. Instead of making the player feel cheap for leveling well past the challenge point of any given map, this series fervently demands and rewards such behavior. Your _items_ have dungeons to be cleared…think about it. It’s an amazing well of gravity and you are rewarded for turning eye candy _off_. Turning games back into stochastic math is a service to some of us.

Yes, I’m a fanatic.



In response to “The Art of Fandom” from The Escapist Forum: I find fan art is a great way of being creative when my own ideas dry up. Bringing something new to someone else’s work is something I enjoy. Personally I draw and create a lot anyway, and just recently decided I may as well put some of my work online, which adds an incentive to put a bit more effort in and to actually finish stuff. Actually I’ve done fan art of a lot of things, half of which I don’t even like, but found the designs interesting.


I still don’t understand fan art or fan-fiction properly. Where fan art is bad, it’s painful to behold; where it’s good, it seems like a waste of creative talents, and possibly a bit lazy to boot. There are certainly some fine artists and writers working with materials which they are fans of, but the only thing that typically I’m thinking of when I see these is, “How much wasted potential – why couldn’t they come up with their own ideas?”



In response to “Multiboxing to Level 80 Nirvana” from The Escapist Forum: Ha ha… I’ll explain if I have to?

Basically, Blizzard have said “yeah, go ahead. We don’t mind”, but that doesn’t mean that other players who DON’T multibox are not at a disadvantage.

Imagine you’re taking part in a race (car racing). The rules of the race say “you must drive a Ford Escort 1999, to make the race fair”. Everyone else turns up with the standard Escort, but you’ve gone away and spent lots of money on customising it, meaning that your top speed is higher than theirs. Admittedly, you have had to sacrifice some control, but you DO have a better top speed. The result? You (even though you may not be the best driver out there) have a better chance of winning, simply because you can afford to throw the cash at it. Now, whilst if you’re spectacularly rubbish in comparison to the other racers, you’ll get your ass handed to you, if you’re of level or slightly less than level in terms of skill, you have gained an unfair advantage.


Every individual character of a multiboxer is handicapped. In all of the game’s high end content (raids/arenas), participant amount is limited. There’s nothing to complain about.

Also, “sportsmanship” has nothing to do with WoW and world PvP. Some people are higher level, have better gear and more friends, and ambush you to the best of their ability when you are just about dead. That’s what WoW is about. That’s what WoW is like.


About the author