Video Game Maps: An Ode to Overworld Cartography

Yeah it’s not the weekend, but I decided to call this thing I do where I talk about whatever the hell I want the “Geekender” and I’m sticking to it. Because these thoughts occurred to me over the weekend whilst watching my girlfriend toil away at Zelda: Twilight Princess. Which has a conspicuous lack of a good map. We’ll get to that.

I’ve always known that in another life I’m meant to be a cartographer. I did a project on cartography in the 4th grade and since then I’ve known that about myself. But here I am in this life, with no parchment and no funding or blessing from the Queen to speak of. Also, in an unfortunate turn of events, some other asshole discovered all of the continents already.

“In an unfortunate turn of events, some other asshole discovered all of the continents already.”

There’s such an intoxicating charm to the unknown. And while there’s an impossible array of stuff we don’t know or understand in fields like neural science, astronomy and and biology, I think we’ve pretty much got mapping the Earth covered. And that sucks. And yeah brains, stars and cells are cool, but I want to discover continents. Brains are confusing, stars are far away and cells? That shit is tiny.

Modern life is such a bummer. There’s no allure of distant, untrodden lands. No unsailed seas to beckon me. To add insult to injury, satellite imaging and GPS  kind of render an unrealized old-school cartographer’s dreams of glory and discovery completely obsolete. But my curiosity and apparent, inexplicable passion for mapping will not be quelled. It will only manifest creatively, in a manner that suits a life navigated by iPhone. My inner cartographer must seek the thrill of the unknown through other means, and that brings me to my point. Or at least my topic; I may not have a point. Video games are my topic.

Some games give us unique laws of physics (see: Braid, Bayonetta), most give us original opportunities. But my favorite games let the player discover a vast new world. And that’s why I like role-playing games. In RPGs, you often begin in a quaint village of some sort. This is my absolute favorite part: the moment you peek out of your starting area or opening level, you are struck by just how vast the undiscovered game world may be. The in-game map either illustrates this vastness with countless unfamiliar towns and obscure continents or it alludes to it, showing you the size of the world you’ve found yourself in and maybe filling in the teensy part of the map representing where you’re standing. This is my most intoxicating moment, though actually unfolding all of the mystery comes in at a close second.

“This is my absolute favorite part: the moment you peek out of your starting area or opening level, you are struck by just how vast the undiscovered game world may be.”

Games handle maps in different ways, and I’ll highlight a few of my favorites. In some games, like World of Warcraft, the combat and generally a lot of the goings-on actually occur on the world map or the “overworld” (sounds like “overlord,” creepy). Some games provide a map exclusively for navigation, and I love these too. To get between towns and dungeons or from one level to the next your character appears on a zoomed-out map and then you zoom them off to where you want to go.

Both kinds of maps are usually a scaled-down aerial view of where you are and what’s between there and where you want to go. Either way I love navigating around the map. Part of it I can explain and part is just this weird, pseudo- nostalgic joy that hearkens back to a time when there were totally unknown places out there just waiting to be discovered. I like it best when these exotic in-game locales unfurl unique inhabitants and architecture that isn’t just transplanted from Medieval Europe. That’s boring and it doesn’t make my imagination all hot and bothered.

So now I’ll showcase a few maps I love, or maps I think I’d love or maps I did love or maps you’d probably love! Maybe we’ll even go vaguely chronologically!

Zelda. Everybody loves Zelda. I actually didn’t play this game because I weirdly didn’t own it back in the day. But when I’d go over to a neighbor’s house and they had this shit up on the screen my eyes would glaze over with lust. In the legend of Zelda, your map was all you had. The map was the game and that was awesome. Or it looked awesome anyway.

I just started Final Fantasy I on my iPhone and it’s pretty awesome. It’s kind of hard to play an RPG on a morning commute, but the updated graphics are adorable and from everything I hear it’s a timeless classic, it being first in the series of soon to be 13. Check it out at the iTunes store. I’m loving the classic top-down RPG style and the black mage is sooo cute I almost wish I hadn’t kicked him off my team. I’m def in the Honeymoon stage with this one- I have no idea how big the world will be or what the greater map looks like and I’m lovin’ it.

My love for Super Mario Bros. 3 knows no bounds. You don’t actually play on the map, but it lets you scoot from one castle or little spade house or scary ghost-infested mansion to the next. I love everything about this map: Mongo Big world! Deserty world! Swimmy world! And the game- oh the game. It’s my fave Mario incarnation. Though it’s verrrry closely followed by Super Mario World.

Speak of the devil! Okay, Super Mario World MAY actually be my favorite. Maybe they’re tied. It’s like choosing between your kids or something. Super Mario World’s got an edge because the map was more focal and it’s so goddamn adorable I almost can’t look at it. Also, Yoshi. I love me some Yoshi. I actually want to move to Super Mario World. That’s my lifeplan.

Oh Final Fantasy VII. What a special sleepless place in my heart there is for you. This map is probs my favorite type of map because when you go from one town or cave or whatever to the next on the map your character appears as a disproportionately large little dude actually walking around on an otherwise proportionate 3Dish (maybe like 2D+) landscape. I LOVE THAT I DON’T KNOW WHY.

And you can see stuff coming sometimes, like this amorphous red blob which is actually the Devastating-Near-Impossible-To-Beat Ruby Weapon. He’s so devastating and scary, he actually shows up on the map! Your everyday critter wouldn’t.

Final Fantasy VIII is the same story. Here’s the main guy, Squall riding around on a chocobo (giant chicken). This is perfect. My eyes are glazing over. Maps like this let me feel like I’m playing Monopoly. Because my favorite part of Monopoly is choosing my piece from among the tiny, perfectly scaled-down miniatures. I love proportionately disproportionate things. Which is weird. Chickens! Look!

FAST FORWARD and now we have the totally gorgeous map of WoW. I love it- It’s beautiful. You actually do play on the overworld here, but it’s very sexy and 3D and fancy. This map pops up when you need to glance at it and otherwise appears as a little mini-map in the corner for not getting lost. This is a great map, all around. And i’d guess its the largest. It’s really big guys.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Oh, EVE Online. Here’s a super involved MMORPG that I tried to play. I really did. It’s in space, so this is a starmap and that’s cool. I know .0005% of the total things  there are to know about this game. I tried to play it for a few days and didn’t have much fun, and I think that’s the point of games. This was a little more like going to work. But this star map is beautiful.

Hey, it’s the New Super Mario Bros game for the Wii! I haven’t played this game because I don’t have a Wii and I don’t like saying WiiMote, but I’d like to play it. This overworld map looks so much like Super Mario Bros. 3 I will probably break into your house to play it soon.

DO NOT WANT:

Okay Final Fantasy XII, you really pissed me off with this map. In FFXII you run around on the overworld for the most part, like in WoW. But this map is so limited it makes me crazy. I NEED TO SEE WHAT’S ON THOSE OTHER CONTINENTS. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’m like 90% of the way through this and I don’t think I’ll get to see much more of the greater world and that frustrates me. Argh! Maybe i’ll print a copy of this image and paste it on a huge sheet of paper and draw the rest of the goddamn thing myself.

Do you have map feelings? Am I the only would-be cartographer? Fuck it, let’s just talk about how much we liked Super Mario Bros. 3.
Also, SECRET BONUS QUESTION: If I made an Autostraddle World of Warcraft guild, would you join it? I think that’d be fun, assuming it wouldn’t just be me. It wouldn’t be for serious L33t gaming or anything, it’d be more for antics, really. And antics mean screenshots and you know what screenshots mean? Less writing for Taylor. JKJKJK I think it’d be really fun. I’ll go wait in Stormwind. Er, you guys are coming right?

Taylor has written 137 articles for us.

68 Comments

  1. oh im having a massive moment of retro happiness. zelda and mario 3 make me feel so war inside. my gf recently got a snes off amazon and i must MUST get zelda and mario 3. otherwise i will be force3d to play donkey kong till the end of time.

    relating to last week – i downloaded the heavy rain demo and am now stuck in a heavy rain/bayonetta/dante’s inferno what to buy quandry

  2. I´ve always had a soft spot for Eve because it´s pretty much the only game that´s Icelandic and if your from a country this small everything counts. But it is just too hardcore for me.

    I share your desire to go and explore unknown continents but with GPS and everything else there isn´t a bush man hasn´t found.

  3. Okaym first off, I love you for loving maps and making an entire post for them.
    Seccondly, super Mario 3 + World FTW!
    Also This post makes makes me want to start plaing Final Fantasy games which I never really got into for some reason.

    I think you should check out Morrowind. Not only is it an AMAZING RPG, but they actually had someone go through the game and hand draw all of the details of the map, and that map comes with the game and is beauuuuutiful!
    Here’s a link:
    http://tamrielchronicles.com/assets/map-morr-enormous.jpg

  4. I have to agree with the Mario map love, including and especially the new wii one, but the Oblivion map is the best evar – mostly because you have those superb options for fast travel or to walk every step gathering herbs on the way.

  5. New super Mario bros is so fun! And it’s completely hectic in multiplayer mode. It’s so fun to try and sabotage each other. – yoshi is adorable here (there’s a pink yoshi!) AND you can make him eat other players! I have to play solo if I want to actually accomplish anything though. You should get a wii just for that game! And if it makes you feel better nintendo insists the controllers are called wii remotes even though everyone calls them wiimotes.

  6. I have a bad sense of direction so frequently when I play video games those poor characters run around in circles for a little while as I get oriented. (Luckily, my girlfriend is practically a human GPS so this happens much less in real life.) When I was a youngster and rockin’ Zelda on my NES my brother and I, little nerds we were, created great hand-drawn maps of the overworld and all the dungeons, including the bomb-able walls. I replayed Zelda on my Wii this summer and I seriously missed those maps.

    One game map I liked was in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. Probably because it is pretty cute:

    http://static.gamesradar.com/images/mb/GamesRadar/us/Games/T/Tales%20of%20Symphonia%20-%20Dawn%20of%20the%20New%20World/Bulk%20Viewer/Wii/2008-04-16/screenshot_141–article_image.jpg

  7. Shoot, Stormwind? I’d get shot down in a jiffy. UNDEAD FO’ (un)LYFEEE

    Seriously though, I have an account that is just wasting away because I stupidly bought 6 months played time only to not touch it since on account of not having anyone to play with so I’d totally sign that charter!

  8. Pingback: Autostraddle — Video Game Maps: I Coulda Been an (Overworld … » Now Playing

  9. An AutoWow Guild? WHAT A STUPID IDEA WHO TOLD YOU TO ASK THAT? j/k I’m in like Flynn.

    And I am actually studying to be a cartographer. Well it’s GeoInfoSystems, coz nobody like draws maps by hand and shit anymore. *sadface* BUT ITS LIKE AERIAL STALKING AND THUS I LOVE IT. I see you watering your lawn there Grandma, BITCH YOU MISSED A SPOT!

    My favourite map was always from some old star wars game that I can’t remember the name off and my little brother would beat the pants of me at it. All the interstellar fly-throughs and stuff were smexy.

    Longest comment I’ve ever typed Y/Y?

  10. Oh oh oh, this might be the best topic EVER. I also love maps and rpgs…now I’m starting to think there must be a particular area of the brain where these two passions exist and feed off each other in a symbiotic frenzy.

    I think the Mario 3 map has to be the all time classic. Also I’d mention the map from Secret of Mana which made use of the snes’s oh-so-fancy mode 7 engine, and was the first game I can remember where you explored the map (by flying your dragon) to find where to go next in a non-linear way.

    And yes, the FF7 map was incredible, I just loved the cute icons and also I think I physically jumped the first time I saw the emerald weapon floating around under the sea.

    I guess there were a few games where you could make marks on maps, but this was probably done best in the DS Zelda the Phantom Hourglass, where you could freehand doodle on it, and is probably the most functional map of the series.

    I don’t play WoW, but I would totally join an AS guild! I would say that I don’t play it because no way would I be so geeky as to play MMOs, but the truth is I’m even more geeky and play online final fantasy instead. I also got into the FFXIV closed alpha/beta, on the offchance anyone else is so supremely geeky to also be in, give me a shout…

  11. I am totally in for the WoW guild!

    I’ve wanted to join a guild so I don’t play by myself (the person that got me into the game now has a life, apparently lol). But, they all seemed professional and scary and like if I didn’t know what I what exactly I was doing (still sorta new at it) they wouldn’t put up with that shit haha.

    So YES, AutoWoW guild! Let us know if you make it! 🙂

    • That sort of happened to me- a friend got me signed up but had no gaming computer at the time & then got 3 jobs & a boyfriend, and left me to fend for myself. After I ran around like an idiot & making it just to level 5, I gave up. I needed guidance.

  12. You wouldn’t mind the whole “WiiMote” thing if you heard a 2 year old saying “I wanna see dat wiiwiiwiimote” all stutter-like, because that’s what Wii remote sounds like to her. It’s hilarious. I should record that shit before she gets it right.

  13. I would definitely join a guild, just to tell people I was part of a guild.

    Zelda has never played a huge part in my life but I am looking for the game for my Nintendo.

    I like the idea of maps but exploring other worlds on the second Crash Banidcoot for PS2 was cool. Riding the back of a tiger and defeating large frogs was cool to me. Never have played WoW though.

  14. I love everything about this. Mario 3 is for sure my favorite incarnation of Mario also yes Zelda FTW. Such a big fan of stomping around all huge on the FF VIII map too!

  15. Oh god, I love my Nintendo and the original Zelda was my gateway drug. Super Mario Bros 3 is clearly is the best incarnation, and OMG I AGREE WITH ABOUT FF WHY SHOW US SOMETHING THAT VAGUE?

    And you can’t start an Autostraddle guild on WoW, because I just recently tore myself away with it because it is a CRAZY timesuck 😛

  16. alright ladies: horde or alliance? pvp or non-pvp? i was thinking it should a) be on a pretty low population server or b) it should be on Proudmoore because there are a lot of gay guilds there. Decisions, decisions!

  17. why whyyyyy is this article about maps so great I DON’T KNOW I LOVE IT TAYLOR THIS WAS FUN TO READ.

    i hear WoW costs actual IRL monies, is that true? also, it will crash this computer, yes? but Taylor i WANT SLASH NEED to be part of this.

    Zelda maps! taylor guess what when you buy the guide, there’s a poster-sized map that you can tear out, unfold and hang on your wall! you probably already knew that but it’s still really exciting. also? i somehow have a fabric map for Phantom Hourglass. it’s neat! how did i get it? i don’t remember.

    • wow! that is neat! tell me about your computer- you may be able to run WoW! The company (Blizzard) made the system requirements pretty low so most people can play! i even play on kelsey’s exploding laptop.

      • right now i’m on a Dell Latitude D510 and also i have an HP Pavilion dv 1000 that i’m hoping to fix soon. both are kinda full :-/

        is there a magical code that turns pc’s into macs? b/c i’d like to have that code.

        • green, the dell will play WOW , you will just lag a bit more w/o some upgrades – i played it on there before it moved to live with you! lol

          and i vote HORDE!!!! TAUREN HUNTER FTW!!! lol… i currently play on Whisperwind both alli and horde toons for about 2 years now! yep, i work in IT so i have lots of free time between helping ppl to waste away in my cube.

          TY for the GREAT map article!

  18. I’m pretty sure I had this conversation with Laneia a few months back – but when I was little, my mom used to play Zelda obsessively. Like, if she had to choose between feeding me dinner or finding the next Tri Force.. the Tri Force one. And she had this giant roll of paper where she had drawn every little square of the world she had been to. Like literally Taylor, she would move to a new frame, pause it to sketch out the general idea and then come back to the map later to colour in the bushes, doors, bridges, everything. I used to be fascinated and a little weirded out by it.. but now that I look back on it.. it was amazing that my mom was that cool.

    Also, I wish I played WoW just so that I could join an Autostraddle gang. (I like gang better than guild i don’t know)

  19. The WoW map is probably the best looking and functioning video game map I’ve ever seen. The addon’s you can install to improve the game make that map even more useful! All the other ones you mentioned are awesome too, I’m WoW biased tho… 🙂 I wonder how the WoW map will change when the newest big content patch comes out–Cataclysm!
    I’m taking a geography class for fun this semester and sadly, I’m pretty sure I can name and place almost every town and area/zone in Azeroth off the top of my head, but not in this world! I’m working on that though, heh! Obviously I’m a huge dork… 🙂

  20. omg i love this post xinfinity. i don’t know why but i also have an obsession with maps. once i wanted to get two matching tattoos — one of the old world/europe before they discovered america, and one of the modern map. now i don’t want to get it because i’m afraid the tattooer is going to SCREW IT UP!

    if i played WoW i would totes be in that guild thing.

  21. I saw the WoW map and had to come in to see what was going on.

    I play in an LGBT Guild in WoW (The Stonewall Family) and it’s totally awesome how many girls have joined since I started. (before there was like 4 of us lol) Lots of easy going LGBT Friendly folks. I’d have to start a new character but I’d totally join the AS Guild fo-sure!

    Ughh… the idea of grinding from the start again makes me want to cry tho…

    Cool maps

    • yayy! i am going to start it today i think. i joined the taint (on proudmoore) but never played there, even though they sound amazing. my old guild was too amazing to leave- daughters of the alliance of bronzebeard. all female and lots of gay ladies to boot! anyway, they’re amazing people.

      i can’t decide if proudmoore or a low pop realm would be best?

      yeah…grinding the levels kills. but i LOVE the new bg system. newbie bgs are so fun!

  22. An Autostraddle guild would be awesome but not for us on the European servers!
    In other news, when I first started playing WoW, I started with a human that was crap and never got very far. But when I realized that there was a whole massive world outside the starting zone it was amazing. Also, even though the graphics aren’t the best out there, when I saw Elwynn Forest it blew my mind. It’s so pretty, you guys!
    Have any of you played Blood Elves? I started one recently to see what it was like and I found that I just wanted to watch them jump around for ever and ever.

  23. Oh! I love maps! There’s something about the scale and scope and POV…and then there’s that episode of “Friends” with Joey in England that I always remember him saying…”so, I was ‘in my map…'”

    Lately all the gaming I’ve been doing has been at the library for my teens, I wrote a grant, bought a bunch of equipment and games for them, and now have to referee about whose turn it is to choose the song on GH. 🙂 New meaning to “fun and games” when you’ve heard “Centerfold” a bazillion times on a Thursday night.

    But there was this one summer in my own teens when I was obsessed with the version of Mario Bros on my Gameboy (please don’t tease, that’s all we had/could afford and my brother and I fought over it a LOT!) the one with them running through the pyramids/slightly Egyptian landscape.

    It haunted my dreams…and I loved it. Then I beat the darn thing and never really got hooked on another game. huh. A bit anticlimatic there, I guess.(Jewelbox and Tetris while procrastiating on college papers does’t count – that was, um, work). My brother went on to be a gamer (we lost him for years…I’m surprised my niece is not named Zelda or my nephew Link, quite honestly, although when they run around he gives them the little “pucka-pucka” sound effects.)

    …but maps…always maps…old world shiny framed maps, stitched maps on tapestries, maps in museums, scrolls and ancient papyri…so frickin’ cool!

    So I hope you’ll let me stay (PLAY!) and in these hopes I have brought you all shiny little linky bits (LIKE COINS!).

    ONe of my all time favorite topics of conversation is pop culture and deep thinking…and this is gamer brother approved, so I hope you all like it: “Legend of Zelda and Philosophy: I Link Therefore I Am”
    http://www.opencourtbooks.com/books_n/legend_zelda.htm

    For those of you WoW fans: “World of Warcraft and Philosophy
    Wrath of the Philosopher King”
    http://www.opencourtbooks.com/books_n/world_of_warcraft.htm

    …and just to mention my personal favorite from this series of books (the company is a reputable real-deal publisher of philophy books for colleges and universities): “Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy
    Mission Accomplished or Mission Frakked Up?”
    http://www.opencourtbooks.com/books_n/battlestar.htm

    OMG – I like this book so much I let my library co-workers make a READ poster of me with it. 🙂 There’s even a chapter titled “The C-word: Queering the Cylons.”

    …so, sorry this is so long and so little about gaming, but please forgive. It’s a great post, Taylor and I really liked it.

    • Just wow. That whole pop culture and philosophy series looks amazing.

      I will order the books, then dream of their progress over the atlantic in the style of the indiana jones maps with the red lines showing where they’ve flown.

      • If you’re into these types of books, I also recommend a series called “Smart Pop” http://www.smartpopbooks.com

        I own several of these titles, too, and if your taste trends toward AWESOME, you should get: “Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon’s Firefly” and “Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon’s Firefly Universe.”

        There are tons of shows, movies and books covered by this series: 24, Alias, Buffy, Angel, Star Trek, House, The Simpsons, The X-Men, James Bond, Superman, The Matrix movies, Star Wars…

        …oh, and there are some gaming related titles: “The Battle for Azeroth Adventure, Alliance and Addiction: Insights into the World of Warcraft” and “Halo Effect An Unauthorized Look at the Most Successful Video Game of All Time.”

        This series is usually hit and miss, in regards to quality, but I can vouch for the Firefly and Serenity titles. The site gives some sample essays, too.

        …oh, and this might not be the best place to post it, as far as getting the word out, but apparently they’re going to be doing one on Glee…so that’s a heads-up to the Gleeks on Autostraddle. 🙂

  24. omg I had the same career aspiration/crushing realization when I was 9 years old! I dealt with it kind of badly I guess and just ended up with a lot of wasted hours and sheets of graph paper spent mapping MUD dungeons and my Visual Basic coded RPG epic, “~*~Essagerak~*~”. Anyway, I really enjoy when video games come with actual paper or cloth maps. Having them all pinned up around my computer makes me feel like an army general or something, just surveying the lands!! This comment is a series of nerdy confessions.

    My love and nostalgia for the FFVII world map is complicated by intense hatred for random encounters. But I really love any game where you spend like 20 hours just getting out of a city and then realise you’ve completed approx 5% of the game when you emerge on the world map. Baldur’s Gate II is amazing for that reason.

    Also ps. I feel weird that I just spent ages on this awesome website that Google Reader told me about and had Very Important Thoughts on DADT and Johnny Weir and Skins but instead my first comment is this long disjointed thing about video game maps. Obviously I have VERY STRONG FEELINGS about this issue.

    • RANDOM ENCOUNTERS!

      Simultaneously the most amazing/frustrating things ever. I think I can forgive their annoyingness because of the semantic enriching of the phrase “random encounter,” which normal people would define as a chance meeting, but for rpg players will forever be tied to swearing, swoosh noises and badly pixellated cross-fades.

  25. I took my mapsession and majored in Geography and Urban planning, so now I get to make the mapz in real life! It’s the best.

    Did you guys ever play the SimCity series? The maps are local, but you get to make them instead of discovering them, which is pretty badass.

    Also, anyone who appreciates maps should check out the Strange Maps blog. http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/

    I will leave you with possibly the greatest work of cartography ever produced: “Area Codes In Which Ludacris Claims To Have Hoes”
    http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2008/03/09/254-ludacris-rap-map-of-us-area-codes/

    • OMG I totally forgot about SimCity (WHICH I LOVE). It will merit a post of its own! It def should have been on here. Also, was I the only person in the entire world who ever played SimLife?

    • Haha oh sim city (and its many varients) I’d spent hours building you up, nurturing you, giving you all I had…until one day I SNAPPED AND SET A FUTURISTC MONSTER LOOSE TO KEEEEEL YOU AAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLL MUHAHAHAHAHA.

      and then i’d start again.

  26. I was trying to find out if there was a japanese compendium of video game maps as a few of my friends are going over there in a few weeks (my reasoning being that in japan they have books about ANYTHING to do with video games).

    No luck, but I did find loads of links to http://vgmaps.com/

    I can’t believe I have been living without knowledge of this most awesome site for so long!

  27. Two pivotal games for me with regard to mapping are from the 8-bit era.

    In Ultima IV (I played on the C64), there was an overland that you played a lot of the game on. It was very stylized and felt very, very large at the time. Ironically, when Ultima Online came out in 1997, they got the scale all wrong and it felt like you were playing on a postage stamp. Given how many other things they got wrong, maybe “ironic” is exactly the wrong word.

    Then there was Seven Cities of Gold. Fantastic game where you get to experience a large world, and then colonize it with whatever level of brutality you desire.

  28. OMG I cannot believe I just found a sight about maps. I’m totally obsessed. I’ve been drawing and making up maps and towns and populations and sports teams for them all for years. I’m 20 now… I’d find map outlines of real countries on the internet too and transport them to “paint” and draw outlines for different states and put dots and print for towns and town names and shit.. I have a binder with all my maps that i’ve made from a certain point. many of the ones i made in the very beginning of my obsession are gone tho 🙁 it’s amazing to remember my first maps and watch how i’ve progressed… I just found a book at books-a-million the other day called “Lost States” by Michael J. Trinklein and it has maps of proposed states in the united states that never came to be. and there’s an article with each map. i’ve read it all in like two days lol. And get this the book cover unfolds into a giant map OMG… If i could make maps my life i would in a heartbeat

  29. And wow.. ok.. this Autostraddle or whatever is LGBT friendly. I’m a gay man. Does this map obsession have anything to do with a certain gay gene or something lol. This is just too unreal. “Maps” and “Gay” I think i’ve found the place where i belong. Ok when is the convention people LOL HAHAHAHA

  30. Oh yeah this is suppossed to relate to gaming maps too. Yeah any game i’ve played with a map, i would sit and stare at the map for the longest time. I’m a pokemon freak. I like the maps on them and like someone had said just exploring to find what’s in the next town is so exciting. And i remember a sega game called primal rage i think that involved dinosaurs fighting and conquering the different continents/regions until the one that you were in particular conquered all the rest and conquered the world then you’d win. Just show me any map, anywhere, and i’ll give you my undevided attention. ok i think i’m done with the comments for the night lol

  31. Yes, Super Mario Bros 3 was the best of the Mario Bros games. Part of it for me is everything that’s hidden – you could go through the game without ever seeing/using the Sledgehammer suit or Kuribo’s Shoe. It felt like more of a big wide world than Super Mario World.

    Also, Cartographer is a great career. Even the word itself is great. “I’m a Cartographer”…”I study Cartography”…the word just has an ancient and somewhat noble air to it. Also, sextants are the fiddliest looking things that you can’t not be awesome if you know how to operate one.
    http://www.buythesea-bymail.co.uk/sextant-in-case-1551-p.asp

  32. ZOMFGJSOJIFIAYBFOG!!!!! i was gonna be soooo super pissed if EvE wasnt on this list! i played EvE for about a year and a half, i was an uber l33t n00b. yes, n00b still after a year and a half. thats how intense this game is. it stole my life. and the sad thing is, id still be playing if i had that extra 15 bucks a month. but yes, maps, maps are very nice. i make maps of maps, and then i make maps of those maps. and then i make copies, and put the originals in a folder for safekeeping. does that make me crazy? meh, oh well. also, in EvE, i flew one of these…occasionally http://www.ravestats.com/public/fen/0_megathron.jpg

    could it be that there are other lady loving ladies that i can go on and on about EvE with?? im such geek at times. also!! TAYLOR!!! your article is uber l33t!!

  33. You should give Final Fantasy XI a try – even if just to look at all the pretty, gorgeous amazing maps. Yes. Mappage. Many maps.

    Also it is the best MMO I have ever played, and you can often pick a copy of the complete game (with 30 free days) for 5-10 bucks

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