Ill-Considered Thoughts on Skyrim

So I've played some over the last week or so. It really is an impressive achievement--the customization is absolutely amazing. I could spend hours just designing different characters.


But I won't be playing it much for two reasons, neither of them particularly objective:

1.) As indicated in my early sentiments I'm a bit of computer RPG snob. Skyrim follows in that tradition of Dragon Age where PC RPGs really feel like games made for the console and imported on to the PC. 

As graphics have improved we're seeing so much more . This should be right up my alley--and yet I sort of don't care. I almost never believe the attendant characters  are actual people. The stunning graphics don't make up for that for me. I'd actual rather "see" and "hear" less, in terms of detail. I'd rather let my imagination fill in more of the blanks.

2.) Which leads to the second reason. Writing a book--and particularly writing fiction--is a rather all-consuming experience. You think about it all the time. And it absorbs you in a way that I can't really explain. I was watching Inception the other night and thinking about this. Writing a novel feels like being lost in the dream. And as surely as the extractors were obsessed with how dreams work, I've become obsessed with how stories work. It's shocking how many of them--genre aside--simply don't work, and how often they're just repeated over and over.

This means that rather than enjoying entertainment with story-telling elements, I find myself ever picking it a part. I can't get lost, because I don't believe. I'm having a hard time with Skyrim for the same reason I'm having a hard time getting into Vampire Diaries. (Certain members of this household have a degree of affection for that show.) I think, circa 2007, it'd be a lot easier for me.

This is not an objective review--or even much of a review at all. On the contrary, I'm assuming a lot of you are currently lost in Skyrim and loving it. I'd love to hear about that. I am where I am. I find that elements of geekhood--comic books, hip-hop, video games--are slowly leaving me. But with the major exception of how these genres treat women,  that's mostly a statement on me, and less on the genres themselves.
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In