Warhammer: Age of Possessive Pronouns




Warhammer LogoSo I’ve been playing Warhammer, and yes, it’s awesome.  And yes, I’ve been playing my uber-awesome Shadow Warrior.  (And yes, there’s a lot of them.)

There’s just one thing bugging me about the game in general.

And it’s such a nit-picky thing, but it’s there, and it’s there A LOT.  The game-play is great.  The quests are fun.  This is really a second generation MMO and I think it’ll be very successful.  There’s just one thing they messed up on.

The friggin’ possessive pronouns.


Yes, that’s right.  Stop staring.  The possessive pronouns.  It never occurred to me how much something as simple as a pronoun could kill the immersion.

And it all boils down to a two letter word, “my”.

Every quest you do… it’s “My people thank you.”  “My people are under attack.”  “My homeland needs you.”


Only problem is, I’m a high-elf TALKING TO OTHER HIGH-ELVES.

Uh, hello, “My people, thank you?” I AM ONE OF YOUR PEOPLE.  How could you not know that?  OH!  That’s right!!  IT’S JUST A GAME!

Yes, I know.  I’m freaking out.  But I’m really just frustrated for the writers.  Warhammer is an awesome, awesome game, and this is such a silly, ridiculously prevalent, easily fixed writing error.  Why not just say, “we” and “our”?

“Our homeland is saved!” If you’re a dwarf talking to a high-elf, you’ll just assume the elf is talking about them self and all of the other elves.  If you’re a high-elf too, you’ll assume that you’re included in that “our”.

Instead of saying “my people” say “we”… as in “We thank you!”

This immersion killing possessive pronoun problem is so prevalent that it had to have been a conscious design decision.  Someone had to have sat down and made a conscious decision to use “my” as the prominent word choice.

The lesson that can at least be taken from this is for all the huge worlds, in depth characters, and cutting edge game mechanics, as a designer, one still needs to pay careful attention to details as small as the choice of pronouns.

Tiny details like this, which are taken for granted, are why game design is so much harder than it looks.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my Shadow-Warrior is ready for a new bow.

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