Skyrim-itis: Fighting Addiction

If you’re reading this, then the odds are good that you have a pulse. If you have a pulse, then the odds are weirdly even better that you’ve at least heard of Skyrim. In that way, Skyrim is a lot like the TV show The Office – almost everyone on the planet has at least some kind of run-in with it, and to say you like it nowadays is like admitting you have the intellectual palate of a goat. An especially dumb goat. It isn’t that the game is bad at all, but it’s aged a fair bit and its fans are pretty ardent ones that have a hard time shutting up about it, which is a rough recipe for newcomers or the indifferent.

Skyrim also has the irresistible force of a whirpool, sink hole, sand trap, or any other kind of thing that pulls you in and won’t let go.

Black holes! Like a black hole! Way better example.

Anyway.

I guess all of that means I’m mostly speaking to fellow Skyrim fans with what follows. Because what I’m going to describe is a problem that plagues those of us exclusively, it seems. There was a point where I sunk so many hours into that game, I walked by a fern and had the reflex to reach out and try to harvest it for Spikey Grass pods for my alchemy. I did the same thing when passing an agapanthas and thinking it was Death Bell (I have poisons of ‘Slow’ to brew, after all).

I’ve played through that game, 100%, at least a dozen times. There isn’t a quest of any tier that I haven’t played through multiple times, any NPC’s I haven’t met, any random encounters I haven’t encountered randomly, or any new dialogue I can’t recite alongside the one who says it.

So why the F*CK do I feel a compulsion to fire it up again?

In an interactive medium like video games, the whole point is for emergent storytelling. In other words, not knowing exactly what’s going to happen. But in this case, I know exactly what’s going to happen. In fact, I know I’m barely going to make it through Helgen before I start wondering why the hell I’m burning my minutes on this earth with this again. I’ll counter myself by brewing excitement over trying a new build, but then that will fall flat when I remind myself that I’ve done every possible build fives times over.

There will be nothing new.

But I still kinda want to be a Bosmer archer, communing with mammoths and shooting bandits in the eye with my trusty bow. I want to ignore the Dovakiin story line entirely and roleplay as a hunter that takes down elk and sells the skins in the Hold capitals for petty coin. I want to “fall in with” the Thieves’ Guild of Riftin and ignore the sh*t out of the Stones of Barenziah because finding all twenty-four of them is duuuuumb. I want to complete dungeons, sidestep traps, ambush draugr, and collect treasure.

But I KNOW I’ll get bored thirty minutes into all of that, and rightly so.

So, really, in the end, maybe this is just a lesson, the Great Lesson that Todd Howard has been trying to impress upon us all for the last ten goddamn years in his refusal to progress The Elder Scrolls series into its sixth installment. Maybe the wisdom here is to learn to let go, to recognize the futility in hanging onto what’s normal, what’s comfortable and familiar. To learn to grow beyond those familiar things and seek betterment and change. To accept that good things in life are meant to be savored and then release to the flow of time…

Or it could be that Skyrim can be ported to a refrigerator and still print butt-tons of money, and I’m drastically overthinking it. Maybe I just need to move on and try something new rather than re-playing all the same stuff. Either way, I think it should meet the criteria for some kind of official condition.

Skyrim-itis?

Tamriel Syndrome?

‘You Cannot Run, You Are Overburdened’ Disord-

Actually, wow. That last one hits. Life…might just be a bit busy, and we seek refuge from its obligations in a realm of fantasy, and what we really need to do is some house-keeping of our priorities rather than blaming the…video games…we…distract ourselves with…

Gosh. Look at us. Learning. On the fly and in the moment.

Heh. And they say video games don’t have anything to teach us.

I’m gonna go clean the living room.

4 thoughts on “Skyrim-itis: Fighting Addiction

  1. Oh yeah, I totally get that feel. The only difference is that I end up being stealth archer every damn time. Same when I play the Fallout series. And I also had moments when I’d have the compulsion to pick up red or blue flowers I see on the street for them potions!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, we ALL play as sneaky archers, whether we really want to or not, it seems like. And I also have favorite play styles in Fallout I can’t get away from too!
      I’m glad to know it’s not just me. XD

      Like

  2. So it’s not just me then? Well, that’s a relief! I always play as a sneaky archer, too, even when I insist to myself that my new character will be equally adept at destruction magic.

    And it doesn’t take long to dispatch all the bandits and Forsworn, even if you’ve installed mods that add more bandits and Forsworn. If you’re avoiding the main questline, there really isn’t much to do after that, is there?

    But the game still calls…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, oh, it’s TOTALLY not just you. I always go sneaky-archer (like we all do, because it’s in our blood as gamers) or a sword-and-board warrior. I went Full Mage with it once, it was the greatest playthrough I’ve ever had, and I’ve chased that dragon (lol Pun) from time to time but never managed the patience for it since.

      Would you believe I’ve never played it with mods? I’m a console peasant and I play it base/vanilla mode each time, which makes the endless fascination even WORSE. lol

      My theory is that it’s a case of some kind of Gamer’s First Love, and you never forget your first.

      Liked by 1 person

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