How StarCraft II helped write my thesis

Well, I should say my thesis is still very much in progress not started, but StarCraft II has played a very important role in helping with my writing and reading sources in preparation. That being said, I don’t actually own the game, but that’s the beauty of the internet.

The focus of my thesis is on the Japanese period of Taiwan, when Taiwan, then Formosa, was a colony of the Empire of Japan. This leads to a lot of vocabulary related to colonialism (colonies are in StarCraft!), war and military terms (your forces are under attack), resources (not enough minerals), etc. etc. So, StarCraft is a veritable hotbed of useful terms.

But what is truly awesome, other than the Wikipedia article, Blizzard’s official StarCraft II website lists all the units, backstory, ‘how to play’ content (including this video which pumps you up), etc. This makes for some fun reading but also really gives you awesome SRS vocabulary, such as for the Marauder–掠奪者.

For me, it is really interesting to see how they translate the units into Chinese. Some may feel disappointed that “Zerg” or “Protoss” seem to have rather simplistic translations of「蟲族」、「神族」respectively. However, and I think this is very important, no matter what translated material you’re dealing with, you need to let go of “how much cooler/better it sounds in English”. Especially with dubbed movies, one can get really caught up with the original voices, the original script, the original names. You just need to let that go and really get into it for what it is, and appreciate how descriptive your target language is, just in different and perhaps more surprising ways.

That being said, get out there and just learn to love the language you’re working on. I’ll be spending the next rest of the month learning unit names and finishing my thesis.

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3 thoughts on “How StarCraft II helped write my thesis

  1. I know what you mean. Don’t speak Chinese or Korean so the alternate names of SC2 units and such don’t mean much to me (other than recognizing the basic meanings of some of those kanji), but I’ve played a few games in English and then in Japanese, and as you say it’s interesting to see the different take on things.

  2. You can also find a ton of matches on YouTube with commentary – you might enjoy these as background noise.

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