Quick: Look to your left, then look to your right. One of those people is a nerd. It's easy to tell which one, just look for the nerd-shaped hole in the universe where a person used to be. If you've been wondering why it's the geek rapture out there, it's because November is like gaming's sweeps month. Anybody with excess funds and poor impulse control problems is slowly starving to death in front of their computer or console right now. Zelda, Assassin's Creed, Batman, Battlecall: Field of Duty and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have all been released within a few weeks of one another. The most dangerous siren's call, for me, is sung by the latter: Skyrim is vast, complex and incredibly dense. Every aspect of it breathes authenticity and organicity. It is less a game than it is a fantastical life simulator. And that is very bad news for those of us who might be terrible assholes and still kind of in denial about it. Because so far, thanks to Skyrim, I've had to admit that I have ...
5An Incredibly Boring Personality
One of the first things my wife said, after watching me play Skyrim for a few minutes, was, "What must the computer think of you?"
That's because this is my play-style: "Is that a cave? Wait, what's down this path? Can I go in this house? I can? Rad! Some other time though, because that's a butterfly! I can pluck salmon out of the river, harvest mushrooms from stumps and tan leather? That's amazing!"
Watching me playSkyrim is like reading one of those Family Circus cartoon maps if little Billy paused periodically to fire an arrow into the back of somebody's head to steal their magical boots. The only consistent theme linking my actions together is that none of them, not a one, advance the game in any meaningful way.
"Yes, I will be doing this for hours." -- Me, I guess?
If you had come up to me a year ago, disc in hand, hopeful glimmer in your eye, and said that you'd designed a game about butterfly catching and leatherwork, and asked would I mind giving you some feedback? I would have spat in your eye and thrown it in the sewer, then harvested your tears to sell to a Chinese herbalist.
But in a world where you allow me to do anything -- fuel a political coup, join an assassin's guild, slay giants, battle dragons -- apparently green-sourcing my cooking ingredients becomes priority #1.