As a rule*, I despise the entire fantasy RPG genre. I mean, I really, really, really hate everything about it, and I have an undergrad degree in literature and classics so I know what I’m talking about here. It’s where the worst of the worst clichés go to die and rot and dust-to-dust, only to be resurrected by some stupid dark elf necromancer and reintroduced as the Chosen One / Chosen Born / Inscrutably Lizard-Faced Person of Chosen Significance in a turgid, dreary, predictable narrative arc whose major plot points all prominently feature pretentious dialogue, dragons, and It Was Foretold against a sociocultural backdrop copy-pasted out of the Lord of the Rings appendices copy-pasted out of the Prose Edda, and everything’s resolved with HAHA, MAGICK AND THE REALM WAS SAVED ONCE MORE.
So all of that then, and honestly, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an egregious offender in every category, up to and including the vikings – only they’re called “Nords” because that’s totally not the Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian word for “north” or anything like that**.
But quite in spite of everything, I am absolutely, head-over-cheap iron boots because I haven’t unlocked the arcane smithing perk yet in love with this game. I’m so into it, I even ate a bee. A bee!*** Turns out it regenerates stamina, so that’s nice too – exterminating the mammoths is busy work, you know.
You might be wondering why I bought the game at all. I’d like to say it’s because I’m equitable and open-minded and all about pushing my own boundaries, but the truth is there was nothing else to play in between Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and I was jonesing for a fix. Pretending I didn’t add that second bit, though, and I do think it’s very important that gamers be equitable, open-minded, and ready to push their own boundaries, or you’re going to miss out.
I’ve decided to call this rule Dovahkiin’s Apothegm, which also sounds like a pretty cool quest destination, which is also a clever metaphor.
Because, let’s just be honest here for a moment, gamers have a bit of a reputation for choosing sides and staying on them forever****. It’s kind of like deciding you’re only ever going to eat hamburgers, and as a consequence of this, you reject pizza. The reality is that fanatical hamburgerism not only precludes pizza, but leads to apathetic indifference, then contempt, and ultimately a pineapple pogrom. Or, basically, the DotA community.
So try something new. Or try something you tried before, and see if it’s any different this time around. You might surprise yourself, and if you don’t, at least you can say you ate a bee.
* Fourth Edition, obvs.
** It is.
*** In the game, I mean. I wouldn’t eat a bee in real life because I’m a bit allergic to them. And by “a bit”, I mean almost instant death, and I have a bill from my local Medi-Cross to prove it. Gaming is all about escapism, girls and boys, so don’t try this at home.
**** I don’t know how else to explain PC gaming.