The background to this whole problem is as follows: I’m not a gamer. Have no interest in games. Have never played computer games. My Significant Other tried (unsuccessfully) to get me to play Morrowind. Not one to give up, he then tried Oblivion with an identical result.
Surprisingly resilient, he tried one last time with Skyrim. And yes, that one has taken. For the first couple of weeks he was boasting proudly to his workmates that he’d solved the age-old problem of a partner complaining that one was playing computer games too much.
Then came the fateful day, when he returned from work to find that not only was I still playing Skyrim – which was what I was doing when he left the house in the morning – I had failed to make dinner (which is my self-appointed task). Cue uh-oh moment and howling of “Oh no, what have I done???”
And so, I present to you, ten things Skyrim has revealed about me (and which I may not like very much – and which my Beloved must now put up with):
- Apparently, under the right circumstances, I do have an addictive/obsessive personality. We have both learned that I sometimes need to be removed from the computer. Hence, I now operate on a six days off, one day on cycle. That’s six days when I’m not allowed to play and one when I am. Otherwise, there will be no actual writing achieved – nor anything else.
- I am more irrationally stubborn than I would have thought possible – I may not be enjoying the quest, it may be midnight, I may have managed to get myself lost in a barrow, but I will not hit the Escape key and shut down for the night. I (or rather my avatar) may simply be running backwards and forwards along a series of passageways, achieving absolutely nothing, but I am still not prepared to either shut down – or do the really smart thing and look up the Wiki. This is the kind of personality trait that saw both Napoleon and Hitler think it was a great idea to invade Russia in the winter.
- If I am doing a lot of quests that involve me doing nasty things, I get a bit depressed and start to feel bad about myself. Assassinating a bride at her wedding, killing the owner of the orphanage (in my defence, she was an old bat of the first order) – even killing a deer coz I wanted to practise my archery skills – all of these things made me feel a bit grubby and rotten as a human being. So I need to go off and do good and honourable things, like find a veteran’s helmet in a barrow or delivering letters or helping old ladies across the road.
- My fear of in-game vampires is entirely unfounded (I have 35 Cure Disease potions).
- My fear of Draugr Deathlords is entirely founded – they keep kicking my ass.
- In my real life, I am the most honest of creatures. In Skyrim, I am a complete thief – although, I have learned not to steal the red stuff, so mostly my larcenous activities are restricted to grave-robbing. (See? Sounds sooo much better that way.) Significant Other frequently exclaims “How can you get so much money so quickly?” Plunder, baby, plunder.
- I have invested too much time (and too many resurrections) in my first house carl, Lydia, to switch to either Iona (at Honeyside) or the other one in Proudspire Manor (see, I haven’t even learnt her name). Besides, she’s carrying my Blades armour. I leave the other two at my houses, where they appear to sit around and drink beer and behave like surly beyatches.
- If I have a bounty on me, I simply suck it up and pay it. In my head, the words “It’s a fair cop, guv’nor” resound – so I guess my sense of justice is still in evidence.
- I don’t want to wear anything but my Nightingale armour and when my Dwarven Sword of Flames was lost in Riverwood, I thought I would never love again. Then I found (read: looted) the Elven Battleaxe of Malediction, which is gold, with shiny purple bits and steals souls. And it beats the crap out of stuff, including dragons (but apparently not Draugr Deathlords).
- I consider it perfectly reasonable to yell “Don’t you know that I’m the Arch Mage of Winterhold” and “Die, m*therf&%k#r!!”
I’m sure there’s more – like my almost irresistible urge to hit the E key when I see brightly coloured flowers and yell “Harvest mountain flower!” – but those are the highlights of my newly discovered personality quirks – and here are some snaps to go with them. Make no mistake, I am not hardcore – I am what Alan Baxter has lyrically called ‘lamecore’. I’m okay with that.