“No, no! Use the fire rune! Yeeeeah buddy, toast that draugr!”
“Gah, I’m running out of magic.”
“Equip your warhammer and smash his brains out. Or what’s left of them, at least. I think he’s missing half of his skull.”
This dialogue brought to you by The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Bringing couples together since 2011!
I had originally heard of Skyrim through Reddit and one of the guys I went to school with. It sounded pretty cool…dragons, magic, lusty Argonian maids…come on, who wouldn’t like that?! The more I heard about it, the more I liked it. One of the guys at our church, Scott*, plays it, and had nothing but good reviews. He urged us to get a copy, and one Sunday in early December I told him that I was planning on getting it for Jonathan for Christmas. Jonathan, meanwhile, was sneaking cookies from the dessert table while helping prepare the weekly Sunday lunch gathering.
As Christmas drew closer, my mom and I were discussing what to get Jonathan. I suggested Skyrim, among other video games, because it sounded awesome and because it meant that if he got it, I could play it too. She decided that it was necessary not only to get Skyrim, but the preceding game Oblivion as well. I agreed this was a good idea, even if it meant he would spend most evenings with his hands glued to the Xbox controller.
A few days layer, I get a text from Mom: “Hey! Stop talking about Skyrim so much! Jonathan just told me he was thinking about getting it for YOU for Christmas!!”
Oops. I reply that I’ll figure out a way to get him off of that idea, and immediately text Jonathan.
“I hope you’re not planning on buying me Skyrim. I think someone may have already gotten it for you.”**
Meanwhile Mom was texting Jonathan, telling him that for all my talk, I wasn’t likely to play it. Needless to say he figured out that he was getting it for Christmas. Like I said…oops.
So, Christmas day arrives, and Jonathan ends up getting no fewer than 5 video games. Skyrim, Oblivion, Portal 2, Kinect Sports 2, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. That’s not even counting the one he bought for himself for his birthday! He screwed me up with that one, I had bought LA Noire for him, but then he went out and bought it himself because it was on sale. Butthead.
Clearly, the boy is into his games. By mid-January he had finished both Portal 2 and LA Noire. He started Oblivion in late January (gotta do it in order!) and after finishing the main quest, decided he was finished with it in mid-March. He was getting frustrated with it after a while, because it continually froze and had weird glitches towards the end.
On one of the last Saturdays in March, he fires up the Xbox and loads Skyrim. The game begins with you sitting in the back of a wagon with several men. You’re not sure what’s happening, and eventually you’re deposited on some random town. It’s determined that you’re a prisoner or traitor of some kind, and when they ask what your name is, you begin to create your character.
“Crap. I haven’t decided what race I want to be yet.” Jonathan juggles the controller around in his hands, a frown creasing his forehead.
I flip through the enormous game guide he bought, looking at the racial profiles. “Well, you were a dark elf last time, that worked out ok, right?”
He shrugs. “Yeah, I guess. I just need to study this for a little bit, figure out which will be the best for magic and spell casting.”
“You’re a dweeb. Fine, read your giant book and I’ll create a character for myself.” I toss him the book*** and snag the controller for myself.
I decide on a Nord female, and start my game. It’s fun. It’s A LOT of fun. I don’t have any set plans for my character, i just hack at stuff and shoot fire from my hands. It’s awesome. We take turns playing the rest of the day, and since we’re snowed in on Sunday, we play some more. We’re STILL snowed in on Monday too, so…you guessed it, we play more. I am quickly becoming addicted to this game.
I text Jonathan one evening, when he’s working late and I’m playing by myself. “We need another Xbox, so we can play at the same time. Good luck prying this controller from my hands.” He’s created a monster, and now I won’t get anything productive done.
Since then I’ve been a “good wife” and let him play more often, since I do most (all) of the cooking and cleaning. Once I’m done here, however, I’m kicking him off and taking MY turn. After all, he’s up to level 22, and I’m only at level 12! This will not do.
Now, if you’ll excuse me…I have to go take some arrows to the knee.
*Scott is a cool dude. He kind of looks like David Tennant, and is REALLY into Star Wars and video games. It’s fun talking about Skyrim with him, because when he talks about his Khajiit character and how he can kill stuff with his bow, he gets super into it and starts miming shooting stuff, and crouching down and everything. It’s hilarious and awesome.
**Way to be subtle, Alyssa.
***Quite an accomplishment, considering it weighs a bloody ton.