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Normally I would reserve posts like this for blog entries. I try not to support specific games in my blog though and so I will plop this here. It is mainly to serve two purposes. One, to relate an epiphany that I just had about this game, and two, to kill the last hour and a half of work before starting my weekend, where I will spend more time actually playing games and less time talking about them.
So Age of Wushu (Wulin), what can you say about this game? It's new, it's innovative, it is both easy to play and hard to master. It is apparently difficult to translate for some, while incredibly easy to translate for others.
But what exactly is this game all about? What is the age of wushu?
The word "Wushu" literally translates into "Wu" = Military or Martial, and "Shu" = art *
The word "Wulin" as it is used in this context, is a Wuxia (a martial hero genre of writing) stands for a community of martial artists. *
Each of these terms have been taken from historic fact/fiction to describe a time in China's history when, much like the dark ages of Europe, and the wild wild west of the US, martial heroes roamed the earth and laws were made, and enforced, by those with the power to do so.
You know, you log into these games and you play them, but you never really think about some things some of the time. The games that we are used to being so heavily saturated with fantasy realms and fiction, who (other than an actual Chinese person, or someone smart, which I am not) would have thought that places like Luoyang, Chengdu were actually real places?
In fact, the entire map of the Age of Wushu game is a map of China. The religions in the game religions of China. There is no Rallos Zek in the real world, but there is certainly Taoism, and Buddhism, and a host of other concepts that have been used in this game in both the current, and historic real world.
The Dynasty's are real, many of the religions are real, the lore, the clothing, the landscape, the construction, all real. In fact, to call this game a fantasy role-playing game entirely actually does it a large amount of injustice.
What Age of Wushu really is, if you need to compare it to something using your western mind, is an "Eastern".
It is the equivalent of what we here in the states would make if we attempted to create an MMO based around the early days of our country (i.e. a Western).
So impressively true is this fact, that during the course of play, a player will actually LEARN things about Chinese culture and the Chinese experience.
So Chengdu was on the cover of the Wall Street Journal the other morning, and all of a sudden I'm like "What?" Chengdu is real? I knew that some of the other stuff in the game was real, but I honestly had just assumed that most of what I was seeing and reading was based on some crazy Chinese writers imagination.
No. Sure, people don't fly, or even jump high enough to simulate flying, but then people don't out drive steam drills either, nor are they giants that travel around with big blue ox's, and yet all of those stories are a part of our history as much as the real ones, and that's what I think makes this game so neat. It is a mixture of fantasy and reality that allows the player to actually become a legend within our own world.
That's one step closer to reality. And I think that's pretty cool.
So the next time you refer to this game as an "Eastern" creation, don't think that you are doing it as a slur. It really is an "Eastern" and done before we Muricans have managed to put a decent "Western" together at that.
And why is that do you think? Why are we so stuck in the European dark ages and any fantasy, Tolkien offshoot thereof?
Feel free to discuss.
(Nice, only 45 minutes to go)