skyrim-cover

Today is the 11th of November, 2016, making this the fifth birthday of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. After a slight existential panic over how quickly five years of my life disappeared, it got me thinking about what the game meant to me. So, to celebrate the event, I combed through my Facebook posts of yesteryear and dredged out the really embarrassing ones of me getting hyped for the game.

I wasn’t publicly excited about the game at first, although I knew I wanted it after watching the first trailer. I only posted about it in September 2011 when the collector’s edition was shown off:

skyrim-collectors-edition

The comments thread showed how excited I was…

Yep, a "Boner-inducing-dragon"

Yep, a “Boner-inducing-dragon”

Now, at the time I had never pre-ordered a game before, let alone a collector’s edition. Skyrim came into my life at the perfect moment where I had large amounts of disposable income (I was a waiter), plenty of time (recently dropped out), and single. This was the first time in my life when nearly every non-working hour could be dedicated to a game, and every cent I earned put in a piggy bank to save for it. My life has only gotten busier and more expensive over the last five years, so this may also have been the last time this happened.

My next posts are from when I learned the price of the game, and its collector’s edition:

skyrim-prices

Yeah, five years ago a brand new game really did cost just R499. For reference sake, the Skyrim remaster for PS4 costs R725 at the same retailer, and console games are climbing higher and higher above the R1,000 mark. And the scary thing is that prices are climbing faster. Five years before Skyrim, Call of Duty 3 cost R385; five years after Skyrim, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare costs R1065. That’s slightly more expensive than the collector’s edition, which, I hardly need remind you, came with a “boner-inducing-dragon”.

My posts quickly began to get noticeably more excited. Have you ever counted off the days until Christmas, or a holiday, or having your braces removed? I did that with Skyrim.

skyrim-hype

It got to the point where “Skyrim Day” became an officially recognised term in my household:

skyrim-day

And thus the countdown began…

skyrim-countdown

Reading through my posts from the last day or two before the game’s launch show that I was clearly going insane from anticipation:

skyrim

People who know me would describe me as quiet, sarcastic, and often thoughtful. But back then, my excitement for a video game had built to a fever pitch. I could not sit still, I was constantly reading up on any news for the game, I would maniacally squeal every few hours. My point is: I was excited. Looking through my Facebook history, I see that none of this was ever repeated. I didn’t countdown until a launch, I didn’t ramble with glee, and I haven’t felt the same level of anticipation since. Maybe I’m just jaded, or a bit cynical, but I keep my enthusiasm under control until I’ve read a few reviews.

And then, at long last, my final post about Skyrim:

the-final-post

And that’s it, no more posts. Maybe I was too busy once I actually started playing it, but the only thing I’ve written about Skyrim since then was this poem at IGN Africa. I enjoyed the game, I’ve revisited it a few times, and it will always be one of my favorites.

The five years since Skyrim‘s launch have gone by quickly. In that time I’ve changed jobs, seen new countries, broke off an engagement, earned my dream job writing for NAG, dropped 25 kilograms in weight, made new friends, and lost loved ones. I’ve lived a lot in the last five years, and Skyrim helped me remember that. So what’s the take-home message here? Hell, I don’t know, this is just my story. Thanks for reading it this far, and leave a comment below if you want to tell yours.