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What Twisted Words: Rhetoric in Skyrim

This week, with the time off my job has so generously given me in an effort to save money by only scheduling me for five hours, I had some free time and decided to maybe give Skyrim’s main questline a shot instead of stealing everything in sight and silently slitting the throats of bandits and Forsworn.

[Spoilers throughout]

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An appeal to my beloved followers

As a not-so-hardcore gamer and a person who feels leech-y for scanning other sites for stories to comment on, I’ve been finding it difficult to think of things to write about. If you’d like, I’d appreciate a bit of help getting this blog back up and running. Please answer the poll below and leave a comment. You can choose up to three answers and even make a new option and vote for it if I’ve forgotten something. This will really help me get back into writing more stuff for you all, and I can promise it’ll help get me off my ass. Thanks in advance!

Skyrim, One Month Later

This is not a review.

Way back in the days when there was only one Halo title out there and I had both the kind of patience required to save my allowance half as long as I needed to buy an Xbox and the frivolousness necessary to sell a third-rate bass guitar to fund the rest of the purchase, I heard about a game called Morrowind. An ad on Toonami told of an expansive game world spanning an entire continent which would “literally take days to get across if your character’s on foot.” I didn’t care what Tom said, I had to see what this was about. Nine years later, I still get starry-eyed when I hear that theme and I never got rid of my Game of the Year edition disks. A few years later I heard about Oblivion and built the best computer I could with what my parents gave me every week. Unfortunately, Oblivion let me down in story and the depth of its world, but just over a month ago Skyrim was released and renewed my love for the franchise.

… Sort of.

I was only able to afford Skyrim after selling my textbooks following a medical leave of absence from school. I couldn’t afford a $60 game, but $5 after using “oh-gods-I’ve-been-shafted-again” college textbook money was something I could swing. I’ve had a month to sink my teeth into it and become the best damn Nightengale-Archmage-Listener-Dragonborn I could without making my character anything more than a sneaky asshole, but I’m beginning to think that even Skyrim doesn’t compare to my love for Morrowind.

Maybe it’s the fact that Morrowind was my introduction to the series, which kept things like Dwemer ruins and living gods like Vivec new and interesting, or maybe it was the use of text instead of voice acting and its inherent limitations, but TES’s third installment had me enthralled despite glaring flaws in combat and execution whereas Skyrim is already starting to feel repetitive despite its improved mechanics. Go here. Kill this thing. Take its stuff. Thank you, here’s your money. Maybe the improved engine makes combat too easy, or maybe my play style (backstabbing, arrow-shooting, sneaky motherfucker) allows me to “cheat” given the AI’s way of just swinging its arms or throwing spells around instead of effectively looking for me for more than a few seconds. I’m not sure what it is, but the world of Skyrim just seems very copy-pasted. Every other place I explore is a Dwemer ruin, or a crypt or tomb. I actually get more excited for Bandit hideouts for the change of pace and more opportunities to stealthily slice throats than I get in ruins and burial mounds.

Sure, the Falmer show us more of what happened to the Dwemer, but they're no Corpus Cure.

Perhaps I just need to play a different kind of character (I’m always an assassin because it lets me get away with being weak at the beginning). Maybe it’s nostalgia goggles making me long for the days of arrows failing to find their mark because they depend on a digital roll of the dice rather than the path the polygons take. Either way, I feel like the mysteriousness of the Elder Scrolls universe is running out for me, especially considering that the world of Tamriel hasn’t changed much despite 300 years passing between Oblivion and Skyrim. New armor types, maybe a new school of magic, or a new race added to my list of choices?

I love this series. Morrowind still holds the title of my favorite RPG, if not my favorite game overall, that I’ve played so far. I only worry that what I loved so much about my first game from this series is the only one which might still feel deep and mysterious, ancient and waiting for the player to discover what’s left of an ancient race or the plot of mad god. I don’t suspect anyone at Bethesda will ever see this post, but if they do I implore: please give us something new in the next Elder Scrolls game. The engine, the visuals, the amazing music, they’re tweaked to near perfection (except for the music, that’s just orgasmic), what this series needs is either new lore and new mysteries, or a further exploration of the existing lore, like the Dwemer or the histories of races which get less attention than the others like the Redguards, Argonians, and Khajiit. I want to spend more time with Skyrim, Bethesda, I just don’t know how I’ll pass it with as much jaw-dropping fascination as I used to.

TL;DR: Skyrim series may have let me down despite being, objectively, the best put-together title in my favorite RPG series of all time.

Miyamoto Announces Retirement

I’m not sure why, but I never imagined this man ever stepping down. He’s the face of gaming for me and for a lot of other people out there, even if he doesn’t line up with what a lot of us think gaming should look like (endless sequels and etc). The thought of Nintendo not having this guy on top of their top projects is… Well, I don’t know what it is. It’s something I honestly never expected to see in a headline, even if, logically, I knew it had to happen someday. Apparently this god of gaming still plans to work on smaller, more personal projects, but he will no longer be involved with the big budget AAA titles.

We’ll miss you, Miyamoto. Carry on being awesome.


I am a complete hypocrite; you saw this coming.

My last post, made about a month ago, was something I was really proud of. Please, before you click away, note the past tense. It is true that for a while I’ve been looking at the industry with more of a cynical eye, but to suggest that gamers abandon the huge developers was a little insane. Sure, giving them the boot for giving you activation codes and DRM and the same game released over and over again EA-style seems like a good idea… No, it is a good idea. I’m only half a hypocrite.

Yes, I have a point. Just keep reading.

Gaming, as it is set up now, can’t survive without the system we’ve got set up, and I love the Hel out of Skyrim just as much as anyone else does, but I wish gamers would look at the Occupy movement and take from it the lesson that when a corporation does something wrong they need to do something about it. Reddit has been all over Origin support being awful, and I used to see posts all over r/gaming about problems with activation codes, but I never heard about anything being done other than an individual complaint.

Is this something we as gamers should be doing? Do these companies need to be grabbed by the balls, or is the Occupy Gaming wiki (along with my stupid, reactionary post) just so much hot air? Leave a comment or something. Isn’t this a conversation we should be having?

“Occupy Gaming”? Oh yes.

Recently, I’ve taken an interest in the Occupy movement; interest enough that I wonder why gamers don’t seem to be into it as much as I imagine they would be. Where’s all the hate and fervor that drove people to write angry blog posts about Sony during the multiple hacking debacles? What happened to the outrage over DRM? Why are complaints about activation codes and launch-day DLC relegated to gaming forums and Reddit? It seems like a lot of people are upset, but no one is doing anything about it. Maybe it’s the nature of gamer culture to sit on one’s ass, but I’m interested in getting into what will really get big developers’ attention.

Naturally, before writing this post, I did a search for “occupy gaming” to see what I could find. The only concrete thing Google came up with was a very short, 8-page wiki simply called Occupy Gaming. I don’t know how old this wiki is, but I suspect that it isn’t any older than the Occupy Movement’s move into the public eye. I hesitate to criticize something for being so devoid of content because it is so new, but whoever it was who made the site seems really passionate about what it stands for. Where’s the content?

Not much to offer, there, OGW...

Yes, I know. You’re all thinking it: “Who the fuck are you, Mr. Hasn’t-written-anything-tangible-since-October-sixth? What do you suggest they do?”

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