Mike Brown: Skyrim – The Elder Scrolls Have Got Me By the Balls

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“If Skyrim were a drug, Dave Combs would be my drug dealer.” Illustration: Sean Hennefer

I believe that humans have physically evolved to be mostly incapable of sucking our own dicks and eating ourselves out, for that would be humanity’s most notorious vice and would bring the progression of modern civilization as we know it to a full-blown halt. Haha, full-blown! I came upon this revelation after seeing a walrus suck himself off on YouTube. He seemed to be the happiest animal on the planet for those few precious minutes.

Point being, I believe that every single person on the planet has a vice. A weakness. An addiction. A crutch. Something that, once it finds them, won’t let go. That something could consume their life, dominate their will and control their decisions. That something could be alcohol, it could be religion, it could be a skateboard or it could be chocolate. Addiction is a very deceptive and subtle beast, indeed.

I also believe you could be addicted to something and go your whole life without ever knowing your main vice, because you never partook. This is why I make a conscious effort to not involve myself in certain activities. I have a short list of things I’m afraid to do because I’m afraid that if I started, I would never stop. I have enough bad habits, and quite frankly, I don’t need another activity in my life right now to cut into my quality drinking time.

I refuse to try things such as joining a fantasy basketball league, playing poker, snorting cocaine, illegal street drag racing, underground group orgies or paleontology. I’m just too afraid that I would like these things more than I like myself or my current vices.

The chance of me liking some of the aforementioned vices is somewhat questionable, but I am a man who likes to err on the side of caution. But the one activity that is a surefire vice that I left off of the short list is playing World of Warcraft. I can pretty much guarantee my life, as we know it, would be consumed and shortly ended if I ever download that game onto my Mac.

But in November, I made a very, very bad life decision. A lot of it had to do with the NBA lockout that was going on at the time, which I also single-handedly ended (read my January article to get that reference, stupid). You see, I dedicate a lot of my time to basketball during the NBA season, and I truly believed this season was gone like the Lindbergh Baby. To fill that time, I casually bought a video game.
I don’t fuck with my Xbox very often. Our relationship is like a Mormon married couple—we go months and months without touching each other. And I’m very particular about what games I want to play. To most people’s surprise, I don’t play NBA 2K12. No, I play those shitty RPG games that nerds who never get laid made famous.

The game that currently has me by the balls? Skyrim, AKA The Elder Scrolls V. The game purchase came upon recommendation from my buddy, Dave Combs. Dave plays more video games than anyone I know. I’m actually surprised he doesn’t have some form of carpal tunnel—that or he’s really good at hiding it.

If Skyrim were a drug, Dave would be my drug dealer. He turned me on to Oblivion AKA The Elder Scrolls IV, which promptly sucked up three months of my life that I can never get back. I know I spent three months playing this game because these RPGs keep track for you. They literally tell you how many hours of your life you could have been drinking, fucking, skateboarding, making zines, etc. … all the activities I sacrificed so I could level up.

Skyrim is more intense than Oblivion. If you didn’t see me at your shitty Christmas party that you invited me to, it wasn’t because I was at my family Christmas party. No, I was home playing Skyrim and taking masturbation breaks every time I finally got to enchant a new set of Elven weaponry with a soul trap spell, or fortify my new glass armor to resist shocks up to level 17.

I can’t really blame my video game dealer Dave—I knew what I was getting into. I know that if WOW was crack, Skyrim was just a bump of coke. And I can handle one little bump, right? No, no I can’t. If you don’t see me until my real birthday in May (not my Facebook birthday), don’t worry, I’m not dead—I’m stuck in Skyrim.

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