We Are Embarking on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Interesting business facts about the video game industry: As of 2011, the average age of a video game player in the United States is 37. Roughly 58 out of every 100 players are male and 42 out of every 100 players are female. Video games are larger than Hollywood in terms of revenue.
From a business standpoint, the average American spends 28 hours per week watching television, but the average serious video game player spends 21 to 22 hours per week playing games and only 6 hours per week watching television, meaning games are a replacement technology with people who prefer them devoting the same overall time to entertainment as their non-game playing counterparts, who are steadily going into the minority.
My brother-in-law told me about the Elder Scrolls games, which I had never played. The new Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released on 11/11/11 and I had it pre-ordered for Playstation 3 back in September so it would show up on release day. Given the insanely great reviews for the series, it seemed like a good franchise to take on faith, just like we did with Fable II, Uncharted 2, Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, etc. The critics don’t always get it right but game players normally do. In this case, both are thrilled with as near-perfect ratings as you can get.
So far, I’m really enjoying the game with the exception of the camera angles, which are frustrating compared to some of the other big franchises. I tend to prefer to play in third-person and the camera doesn’t swing back far enough from my player to give me any perspective or appreciation for the landscape. It feels like I have to fight the system. Plus, unlike Dragon Age, which allows you to have a quick switch radial dial that is ingenius, here all you have is a “favorites” menu, which is far less fluid and flexible. On a positive note, the quasi sphere-grid system reminiscent of Final Fantasy X looks promising.
The only challenge? The release of Skyrim could not come at a worse time. This is the busy season; the time of the year when my attention is completely and totally spoken for nearly every hour of the day. At the same time, I’m in the middle of the six-month project. I don’t have time to invest hundreds of hours in an immersive, enormous video game. But I’m going to find a way. I woke up and played for three hours this morning before going to work. That’s one of the benefits of controlling your own time and being the guy who signs the checks, I suppose. I need to get a lot done today, but I’m already thinking about turning the system back on, again.
Any of you playing it? What race and stats did you go with? I’m a high elf specializing in arcane magic, as usual.
Update: I did it! I built a mage who is Level 100 Conjuration, Level 100 Destruction, and Level 100 Enchantment thanks to a strategy involving the use of alchemy.