Recently I have been playing the hell out of Skyrim, or Oblivion for any of you from Tamriel out there. Half the time I shouting the shit out of bandits and dragons while I loot the hell out of the rich. Actually I have been caught more times pickpocketing and murdering for the sake of my guild that my wanted poster fills the halls of every Hold that everyone in Skyrim could put them their back pocket. Of course I must say that some of those people do not have back pockets if you are using some of the mods for the PC version. If you don’t want to click that link, just know that some people in the world end up getting naked.
Not exactly sure what my character is considered other than a Breton with volume control issue. I wonder how this guy got away in school whenever he raised his hand and threw the teacher across the room. Productivity for the day would be ruined and those beakers would be broken.
You can easily argue that I am an embarrassment to this game and that no one would ever choose my path. However this game has been filling up a void in my interests that has been left empty for sometime. The last time I played a game like this would have to be Wizards & Warriors for the PC. I know it’s an old game at this point, but I took a break from RPG gaming for a while. Not unless you are talking about Balder’s Gate, then I could talk about a very pleasant summer in 2003. When Balder’s Gate 3 comes out you will not hear from me for a while.
But in Skyrim, unlike these other fantasy based games, the fantasy aspect of the storyline is minimal. At this time, thanks to movies like The Lord of the Rings, we can understand dragons, giant spiders, and sword fighting. Just as if you associate light-speed space travel to science fiction, these are culturally established tropes of the genre. For now, This assessment is referring to the main story-line of Skyrim and I will discuss the DLC content later.
The timing of this game couldn’t have been planned better with the release of Game of Thrones. Debuting also in 2011, this HBO series follows the story-line of the book series A Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin. Without spoiling any aspects of the story, just know that the opening scene establishes the fantasy surrounding the characters. Most of the interactions feel more like a drama, in the way Star Wars acts more like a space opera. There is no need for writers of this series to reestablish what dragons, kings, and magic are. As a culture we understand these elements of the story and they are no longer foreign to us. This series might seem unforgiving to an audience, but there is an expectation of disbelief into the story and prolonged immersion into the story. You are not expected to understand who characters are immediately, but while the story develops you develop your own assessment through their interactions.
What is important to me here, and why you should pay attention, is how these continue the story. But as Skyrim and Game of Thrones grows in popularity with an audience outside of the targeted audience, the viewers have been trapped further into a subject matter that is often associated with geeks in the parent’s basement. By the end of Game of Thrones Season 1 and the DLC content released for Skyrim, the fantasy is obvious and unavoidable to the audience. I have to contain all of my excitement and rage from this as my 15 year younger self would finally fit in with kids in high school. Trust me, I had my share of bullying and beat downs from the kids the swore they were my friends whenever the girls were around.
If you don’t have a console to play Skyrim, I will recommend watching Game of Thrones. Once you have gone away from a few hours, come back here and give me your review.