Video game company Bethesda Softworks released the fantasy role-playing epic The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on November 11, 2011. But that’s not where this story began. This story, my story, truly began months ago, when I first read about the game. I’m not sure how long the pre-order was available at Amazon, but I know I never clicked “Add to cart.” I trolled Tumblr for screenshots and early conjecture about the game between classes and on lunch breaks. I watched and re-watched the live-action trailer. I posted links to ten or so reviews on my own blog the moment the embargo broke and gaming sites started publishing them.
I’m in the middle of what will be one of my last few semesters of law school, and exams are approaching. I cannot begin a new video game, let alone a new video game for which I have been waiting, nay, drooling, for so very long. As it is, most days I steal fifteen minutes here and thirty minutes there of Assassin’s Creed II, just as a way to decompress. I am still in control of my time management, of my productivity, of my work/life/school balance.
But it is a tenuous grasp that have on those things, and one that would be easily broken by the draw of Skyrim, even if it is only half as awesome as I have read. Matt Bradford of Games Radar reports that Bethesda has sold three and half million copies after only its first two days on sale. VentureBeat‘s Sebastian Haley said they have shipped seven million but actual sales are unclear. One thing is certain, though: Skyrim, already projected to rake in nearly half a billion dollars in revenue, will be a smashing success. It holds the record for most concurrent players on the online PC gaming platform Steam (more than 280,000 players at once). I am not alone in my game lust.
But I feel alone in my need for self-control. All of my time is budgeted for “grown-up” activities like earning a wage, getting another degree, and “sleeping” (although that last one gets little respect from me these days). I have a pretty good idea of where I want to be in five years, and I feel like I’m well on my way.
But I have a crystal-clear idea of where I want to be in five hours, and it’s in front of my Xbox, playing Skyrim. Alas, it will have to wait for the holiday break, which cannot possibly come soon enough. If you’ve already checked it out, let me know what you thought in the comments.
But don’t be too enthusiastic: I am a jealous, deprived gamer.
Image via Amazon.com.