#2. A Fickle, Entitled Nature
Skyrim, like all massive sandbox games, has its fair share of glitches. When you're programming a virtual world, where thousands of individual elements interact under a potentially infinite variety of scenarios, it's practically inevitable that hiccups will arise. We're asking our game designers to take on the roles of demi-gods, and give birth to a complex, beautiful system of life, so that we gamers can murder and humiliate it when we get bored on the weekends. And for the most part, they do a fine job. So when something goes awry, breaks the fourth wall and pulls me out of the immersion, I forgive them, because I'm such a well-rounded and mature human being ...
"That's fine. You worked hard, guys. I forgive you." -- Me, totally.
That is, so long as that hiccup doesn't have the faintest negative impact on me as a player.
If the glitch does inconvenience me slightly, though, every ounce of that goodwill instantly dies, screaming and fear-peeing on itself. I may not have liked the poet/warrior that talked like The Swedish Chef, but goddammit, Skyrim, he was my only companion. He deserved to go out better than he did: Clipping through the floor of a mountain cave in the middle of a fight with a giant spider. I really don't think he was supposed to blink out of reality like that, unless I skipped past the story-arc where Sven met up with and joined the cast of Sliders.
Which, holy shit, you're super welcome for the DLC idea, Bethesda.
#1. The Worst Timing
I have yet to do a single thing in Skyrim in the proper order. I'm constantly showing up to some dude's castle that I've never seen before, only to hand over a mystical item that I'd mentally scratched off as garbage hours ago, and then sit and listen to the story be retroactively explained to me:
King: Wanderer! Thank the gods you've come! The prophecy told us that a mighty warrior would arise, worthy of wielding Fjalnir, the God-axe, and slaying the evil Demon Prince Synraith. We believe you to be that warrior. What say you, traveler? Will you accept this task?
Me: Yea, verily I shall accept thine task and vanq- wait, Synraith? Fiery dude in a floating city? Cape made out of screeching souls? Ahhh, shit. I already killed that guy.
King: You ... already slew the Demon Prince, the Knife in the Dark, the Void at the Heart of All Men, whose identity you did not learn until just now?
Me: Yup. I saw that castle floating up in the sky, and I wanted to know if I could jump up the rocks to get in the back way. It took a lot of reloads, but I finally managed to hop on up in there.
King: You "hopped on up" into the Abyssal Palace?
Me: Yeeeep, yep yep yep. Just squat-jumped on in there and looted the place. Then I killed that Sydney guy-
King: Synraith, Demon Prince of the Abyss.
Me: -yeah him. I ganked that guy. Mostly just to see if I could. Plus he looked like kind of a dick.
King: Indeed, the Foulest of the Foul was "kind of a dick." But you vanquished him without the aid of sacred Fjalnir, the God-axe?
Me: Totally. It wasn't even a thing. I just hid on top of a bookshelf where he couldn't reach me and shot him with arrows. Then I waited until he forgot I was shooting him, and did it all again to get the sneak damage bonus. Took a while, but he died all the same.
King: Forsooth! Thine heroic deeds are ... well, that sounds kind of fucked up, actually. Never thought I'd feel bad for He Who Devours. So you have no need of our sacred totem weapon?
Me: What, the gold dealy, with the shiny bits? Nah, I already stole that out of the display case four hours ago, before I knew who you were. I gave it to Sven, but he Quantum Leaped out of the game with that shit.
King: Huh. So. I guess ... the bards will ... sing of your tale now?
Me: Oh yeah? Sweet, let's hear it.
Bard: The hero came with eyes aflame / his tasks already done / the land was rescued all the same / but 'tis kind of a shitty song.
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Or you could do none of those things, because you're currently playing Skyrim until your eyes bleed, stopping only to read more about Skyrim before returning to Skyrim.
For more of Brockway's video game escapades, check out When Video Games Get Stuck In Your Head and 5 Ways 'Arkham City' Proves I'm Under Qualified to be Batman.
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