So I’ve been playing Skyrim for the past two weeks, you guys. I’ve been playing hard. If you’re reading this, odds are you have been, as well. Skyrim is a fantastic game. We all love it, and yet, we are all in denial. That’s right, DENIAL. Oh, perhaps we notice, somewhere, tucked far back inside our subconscious minds all the weird and embarrassing things we do, but for the most part, we keep these things to ourselves. But I’m on to us, guys. I’ve figured us all out, and now, almost as a therapy for myself, let’s take a look at the top ten things we all do in Skyrim but are too embarrassed to admit.
1. We Sneak Everywhere
Let’s get the easy one out of the way first. I’m not sure if it’s that we love the feeling of being all stealth, or we’re just down to break the game and get points in Sneak, but whatever it is, the slight dip in speed we take for basically crouching all around Skyrim is not enough to deter us. Worst part is, rarely, if ever, does it help us outside of dungeons, because wolves apparently possess more incredible senses than any other living creature and are totally immune to the effects of sneak, and attack us anyway.
The other super crappy thing about this is how often I realize that I wasn’t sneaking. It’s like “Ahh! A fireball!? They can see me? How?! But I’m always sneak…why am I not sneaking?” It’s like I’m taking comfort in the fact that I’m always sneaking but then at the last second I get impatient about not being able to sprint anymore, and then, at that exact second, an Ice Mage Apprentice strolls around the corner like the smug creeper that he is. And why are all the mages so freakin’ hostile? Like, cool it, wizards!
2. We Grab A Few Pieces Of Food From Barrels But Not All
This is a weird one. In our travels, we run into barrels more than anything, and we always look inside of them, because somewhere inside us there’s an optimist who just knows in his heart that THIS barrel’s gonna be the one that has that ultra-rare weapon in it instead of five heads of cabbage. Like some dude decided that instead of placing a ridiculously small amount of produce in there, he was going to place his unique weapon in there, because we all know that guys who are in the business of storing produce in barrels are the same guys who are getting the unique weapons.
And then, when we’re inevitably disappointed by the five potatoes or whatever that we end up finding, do we take all five of them? Nope! Because there’s a voice in our head somewhere that’s like, SUPER-against having too much produce weighing us down when there’s all these awesome unique weapons to find. But then, instead of not taking the potatoes, we like, settle for taking one or two of them.
And then this all goes down the tubes later when we fight a dragon and we eat literally every piece of food that we have at once to get the little bits of health from it that we can. Figures.
3. We Have No Respect For Craftspeople
You know, I get it. We’ve just finished a quest, we have a bunch of heavy sh*t to sell, and in order to maximize the profit from selling stuff you have in your inventory, you go to the Alchemy Labs and Blacksmiths and other various kitchens of the world to craft better items. However, there’s usually a shopkeeper or something using them, so we politely wait for them to finish before we have our turn, right? NOPE. WE LITERALLY STEP INSIDE THEIR PERSONAL SPACE BUBBLE AND PREVENT THEM FROM CONTINUING IN SUCH A RUDE WAY THAT THEY JUST WORDLESSLY STEP AWAY, SHOCKED THAT SOMEONE COULD BE SO INCONSIDERATE. Think about it.
4. We Hope For Glitches To Help Us Kill Enemies More Powerful Than Us
I understand that we want to be the best and the strongest, but something about Skyrim makes it hard for us to admit when we’re licked. Instead, we try to exploit the game engine. Accidentally walked into a place where you’re in over your head with angry giants and mammoths? Simply sprint away quickly, looking for complex terrain like some tall sharp rocks or a burnt out house, try and get whatever’s chasing you stuck in it, and then just calmly and triumphantly murder it with like 78 arrows or repeatedly spamming some crappy spell.
You know those days where you just wanna morph into a rock and die? SO DOES HE.
The worst part is how good you feel after, like you’ve really accomplished something by luring the deadly mammoth to a place where the game engine won’t allow him to be the threat that he is meant to be to you. Good job, us. Way to step outside the game world and prove once again that the computer is no match for the human mind. We’re actually heroes if you think about it.
5. We Complain About Being Over-Encumbered
Alas, you’ve killed a Dragon, absorbed his soul, and taken his bones and scales, but now you can’t run because you’re over encumbered. We all know this feeling, as well as the super huge baby-tantrum we all throw immediately afterward, saying things like “Meh! We should just be able to carry as much as we want. Way to ruin the GAME, Bethesda!” Luckily for us, in lieu of an official response from the developer, I have psychic powers, and I can channel exactly what they’d probably say to us about it.
“Oh, I’m sorry! You didn’t like that we’ve already given an incredible middle finger to physics by letting you carry even an EIGHTH of what you’re able to carry? That wasn’t enough for you? Gosh, let us APOLOGIZE. You know, I bet it wouldn’t be so bad if there was a way for you to leave some stuff there, warp back to your house, put a bunch of stuff down, and then warp back for the rest. OH WAIT. WE F**KING DID PUT THAT IN THE GAME. SUCK IT, BRO. ALSO SHUT UP. THERE’S A THIRTY PERCENT CHANCE YOU’RE PIRATING THIS.”
I’m like the That’s So Raven of video games.
6. We Open To The First Page Of All Books Looking For Skill Points
Another easy one. Apparently we have no care for the probably nearly countless hours that went in to writing these books. We’re adventuring through the caves, hideouts, and other various dungeons, and do we take advantage of the clever and well-researched books the developers have provided for us? NOPE. We just quickly open and shut them, hoping for a little boost to our skills. Rarely do we ever even turn the pages, unless we don’t get a skill point and we’re not really thinking clearly, and so we decide that this time when we turn the first few pages, that the book’s gonna be like, “Oh! Whoops! Here’s your skill point! I forgot! Silly me!”
For me, the worst part about this one comes from when I go back to my house and look at the two books I did decide to keep. One is “Kolb and the Dragon”, a choose-your-own adventure book for kids, and the other is “The Lusty Argonian Maid”, which is basically the first scene of a porn. I don’t know what that says about me.
7. We Almost Never Care What Anyone Has To Say
This one’s even worse than forcing them away from their work. Skyrim has an awesome new feature where NPC’s just continue doing whatever they’re doing while they talk to you. I think the upside of this is that it doesn’t lock you into inane conversations where you have to continuously look at their literally monstrous and deformed faces while they talk to you far slower than you’ve already read what they’re saying. I think the downside is that it enables you to literally walk away from anyone in the game mid-sentence, without even so much as a goodbye.
The thing that happens that causes us to do this 78% of the time is that we find out that the person is either not selling anything or has no unique dialogue options. We’re just like, “Oops, you’re boring.” and then we just walk away! Like, just turn and leave! What kind of…who does that? Imagine if someone did that to you in real life! You’d literally tell everyone about it because of how shocked you’d be! And you know what the worst part is? You walk away, and they just KEEP ON TALKING. Like they’re so hurt and embarrassed by what you’ve done to them that they just can’t process it, and just so that they don’t lose their grip on whatever thin thread of their sanity they still have left, they pretend like you’re still there. Think about THAT the next time you realize you accidentally talk to someone you’ve already talked to.
8. We Linger Slightly Too Long On Naked Dead Bodies
Okay, tell me if this sounds familiar before you get all high and mighty on me. You’re traveling through the forest, probably crouching, and before you know what’s hit you, you’ve accidentally gotten too close to a group of apprentice mages. They shoot some fire and ice at you before you totally murder them for almost no reason. Like any good adventurer, you begin to loot their bodies.They’re not carrying much, except for maybe a spell book. To make up for it, you decide that their robes are worth their appealing one unit of weight, and take them.
The very definition of a sexual puzzle.
So far, not super odd. Then, you exit out of the looting menu, and you see their weirdly naked body, with all its flesh-colored undergarments and awkwardly-placed limbs, and then…well, it’s tough to say exactly. Perhaps it’s just the fact that it seems so vulnerable that you can’t immediately move on with your quest, or maybe…it’s something else. Maybe you’ve got a secret desire to build a stack of naked bodies in your house, and you’re contemplating dragging it all the way home. Maybe you want to hide it because it offends you. Or maybe, the graphical improvements Bethesda have made stir something deep down inside of you…something sexy…AAHHH! WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING, YOU SICKOES!!!??? What am I doing? Ugh. Gotta move on.
9. We Defile Graves
Imagine if you went to visit a dearly departed relative of yours at your family’s sacred tomb. You arrived to see them, as well as everyone else in your family, strewn about the floor filled with arrows and covered in gashes and burns. Everything of any value that anyone in your entire family ever owned was gone.
About 78% of the gameplay in Skyrim consists of creating exactly this type of situation for a myriad of nameless strangers. And if you don’t believe me, head to Hillgrund’s Tomb, and see just how upset old Golldir the Nord is at the idea of someone ransacking his family tomb. We’re all just terrible people, and we barely even think about it. Think about THAT next time you murder a catacombs-worth of Draugr, buddies.
10. We Talk Mad Sh*t on Everyone
So this one’s a little meta, but it’s the last one for a reason. I’m not sure why, but there’s something about gamers where we hate all the games we play a little bit, even when we love them. It’s a special relationship usually reserved for like, bad roommates or good childhood friends, but us gamers, well, when we get a little frustrated with a game we’ve fallen in love with, we take it as an honest-to-goodness betrayal of trust. We’re saddened; somewhere within us, a little bit of our soul passes away into the nether, punching puppies in the face the whole way.
This is what happens when we cuss, guys. Don’t cuss.
So how do we cope? How do we release these built up tensions? If you thought the answer was an ENDLESS STREAM OF HORRIBLE AND UNFORGIVABLE INSULTS AND EXPLETIVES THE ENTIRE DURATION OF PLAY, you’d be absolutely right. Think about the things we say to the wolves and bandits and apprentice mages of Skyrim! What are we doing?! Like, I wanna write an example, but I literally can’t because of how unspeakable these things we say are! My goodness, when I think of some of things I’ve said without even thinking about it, well, I do declare, I just might die. Apparently I’m Scarlett O’Hara. Skyrim has morphed me into Scarlett O’Hara. Skyrim O’Hara. I’m Skyrim O’Hara.