I’m Sick Of Games In Britain Forgetting Where I Live

I live just outside Newcastle, a major city in the very north of England. People often talk about Liverpool or Manchester or Yorkshire being in the north, but we’re more north than all of those. We’re so north we’re almost Scotland – but we’re not Scotland, and that’s important. It’s important firstly because, come on, we’re different countries; people fight wars over that stuff. The English and the Scottish did. Many times. But it’s mainly important because Scotland gets to be in video games while Newcastle doesn’t, and I’m sick of it.

Recently, TheGamer.com’s own Cian Maher wrote about his frustration at Pokemon coming within a ferry journey of his native Ireland in the final Sword & Shield DLC. I share his frustration, because even though Galar is ostensibly based on Britain, there’s no room for Newcastle. Dartmouth gets to be in the game, as does the unholy union of Preston and Manchester, along with – predictably – Edinburgh and London, but the Geordies up north do not. Any chance of giving us the Dark gym, since our city colours are literally black and white, and the Team Yell grunts wave Newcastle scarfs around? No? Worth a try, I guess.

When games set in Britain were just set in London, I could live with it. Newcastle is literally the farthest major city in England from London, but I get that London is the capital, and it’s the city everyone around the world knows. Games would either stay down there, or shoot over our heads and explore the Scottish Highlands. Both of those are fine – I understand why Newcastle is being passed over there. But with games that take in more of Britain, why is Newcastle still being left out?

Take Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. I couldn’t wait to take Eivor up to the River Tyne, especially knowing that Jarrow (a small town just outside Newcastle) was one of the first Viking ports, so famously that Jarrow is still called the Viking Centre today. Newcastle is also the closest city to Segedunum and Hadrian’s Wall, two features of the Roman rule of Britain that would have been fascinating to see during the Viking era. We’re also the home of Bede, one of the key figures in British Christianity who died a couple of centuries pre-Valhalla. Instead, the map just stops at Eurvicscire (modern day Yorkshire), a place that thinks of itself as being in the north, but is actually around 75 miles south of us, the real north. Basically, Valhalla made Geordies the Wildlings.

If you’re reading this from outside the UK, you might think Newcastle is a tiny village with a new castle, and I’m being unreasonable – but I’m not. We’re the fifth largest city centre in England, and have an urban population bigger than Boston, Detroit, Las Vegas, and Nashville. We’re only slightly shy of San Francisco. We’re canny massive, as they say round here. And it’s not just the raw size either; Newcastle is a city that the world needs to see. We’re most famous for taking our shirts off in the winter, even though we’re the coldest city in England. Cheryl Tweedy/Cole/Fernandez-Versini/just-Cheryl-now-thanks is from Newcastle. Sting is from Newcastle. Ant and Dec are from Newcastle. Even Mr Bean is from Newcastle – give us a game right now.

Other famous Newcastle sons include Jimmy Five Bellies – so named because he’s so big, it’s like he’s got five bellies. Remind me again, why is there not a game set in my hometown? Scratch that, why isn’t every game set in my hometown?

You might be thinking “hang on, this city sounds amazing, but there must be some games in Newcastle?” and the answer is ‘aye, three’. Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds travels through Newcastle on its way to Scotland, and Test Drive 5 and Test Drive 6 both have a Newcastle map. That’s zero since 1999, then. Our stadium – St James’ Park – did feature on the cover of FIFA 13 with Leo Messi, even though Leo Messi has never been inside the stadium in his entire career. The weirdest part is both Ubisoft and Sumo Digital live here, and we still can’t get a Geordie game.

Even the people and size don’t tell the full story though. We’ve got seven bridges that all cross the same river within two kilometres of each other, just because. Sure, some are only for cars, some only for walking, but do we need seven? No chance. We just like bridges. We also have a 20-metre tall, deliberately rusty statue with its huge, biplane arms stretched out that we all call The Angel, even though it looks nothing like an angel. Ha’way Ubisoft, you live right around the corner. Let me parkour up The Angel. Imagine all the waypoints I could see from up there. Come on, you know you want to…

There’s also the Lampton Worm, a lovely local fairytale of a big worm that lives in a well and occasionally slithers out to eat children. This worm was created when a naughty boy skipped church to go fishing, and instead only caught an eel, which turned out to be an evil demon dragon – better writing than most games, that is.

It’s great to see Britain feature more heavily in video games themselves, considering how involved we are in various different sectors of the industry. Britain is a hugely vibrant place, full of character and culture and diversity, and it’s wonderful to see us stepping out from London’s shadow, or cliched depictions of Scotland. Until the Geordies get themselves in a game though, there’ll be no celebration from me. Ha’way the lads!

Next: Meet The Man Fixing FIFA’s Career Mode – One Mod At A Time

  • TheGamer Originals
  • Pokemon
  • Nintendo
  • Nintendo Switch
  • FIFA
  • PC
  • Xbox One
  • Ps5
  • ps4
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield
  • Xbox Series X
  • Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Stacey Henley is an editor for TheGamer, and can often be found journeying to the edge of the Earth, but only in video games. Find her on Twitter @FiveTacey

Source: Read Full Article