Maybe you’ve come here before and read one or more of my posts on Skyrim. If you haven’t, and you’re a parent interested in knowing more about the game, please also read my earlier review for parents. It would probably be better if you read that one first, actually, since it presents the positive aspects of the game. And just by way of warning, there are all kinds of spoilers in both posts.
I decided to write this not because I didn’t know about some unpleasant things about Skyrim before (though I know more now) – from a Christian perspective – but out of frustration over the questions presented on a major website. A great percentage of these questions show that a lot of young people like to play all of the bad aspects of the game, and miss the complexities. If you are a Christian and let your teen play without watching and knowing what they’re doing, maybe you’ll want to. My son hasn’t played lately, but when he did, he liked to play bad characters once to see what they were about. I didn’t like that he played some of the roles he had, but I talked with him about it. It gave me an opportunity to find out what he thought of things presented in the game, and if he did something bad in the game, how that might or might not reflect on his real-life actions and attitudes.
There are certain things that I really didn’t want him doing, and he didn’t – like selecting the perk where your character will be able to cut people’s heads off. This is bad enough in quick game play, but in Skyrim slow-motion, close-up cut-scenes happen randomly and they would include the slicing off of heads. If a parent is concerned about what their child can select as perks, they can easily see all available perks from the perk trees, viewable after selecting the Skills menu.
The problem with Skyrim is that it is made by a corporation seeking the largest possible market (the Elder Scrolls series did not start out this way, and previous games were more specifically moral). While the Dovahkiin – your character, the Dragonborn – is SUPPOSED to be a good SAVIOR type of figure, the player can choose to do all kinds of evil things. Not only that, but there is quite a bit more to do in the game if the player decides to do these bad things. Please watch the video below to hear the theme song, which is awesome, and read the words of the song. They talk of the character of the Dovahkiin and of the main quest of the game (though there is a secondary main quest too).
As a parent, you may want to know more specifically about what I’m talking of in order to decide if you want to limit your kid’s game play in these areas.
1) The Thieves Guild. In past Elder Scrolls games, the Thieves Guild was more like a Robin Hood sort of organization. In Skyrim it is not, and it is controlled by Mavin Blackbriar, a super evil, powerful, business woman who has a whole heck of a lot people fooled. The most disturbing thing about Skyrim, when I first started playing, was finding out that you cannot get rid of Mavin and stop her murders and mafia-like activities in Riften – even though it seems like the game-makers intended to let you do something. By the way the characters in Riften talk, and by the notes you find, it seems as though bringing Mavin to justice will be a quest . . . but in the end you can’t do anything about her. In any case, there are lots of quests to do with the Thieves Guild and lots of items unique to the guild to be had, so it would be tempting to a lot of people to be in this guild.
2) The Dark Brotherhood. These are assassins for hire. Mavin is in with them too. You get the picture. Again, quests and loot . . . so it’s tempting to play as a bad guy.
3) Vampires. The Dawnguard expansion allows the player to be a vampire, but the main idea is to be a part of the Dawnguard – vampire slayers. The castle with the vampires is pretty disgusting and I think the game makers did an OK job of making vampires a negative thing, while still providing a mass-market expansion. Vampires of course feed on humans.
4) Werewolves and the Companions. Being a werewolf in Skyrim can be only a matter of being stronger once a day, but there is the option to feed off of a human (cannibalism) in order to maintain the form a bit longer. With the Dawngaurd expansion, however, it can get nastier. Dawnguar adds a werewolf perk tree, and unlike the other perk trees, perks can only be ge gained by eating human hearts. Yeah, gross. There is a non-Companions quest in Skyrim that conveys the evilness of lycanthropy. I not only included the Companions here because it is the group where you acquire lycanthropy, but I wanted to mention the less than charitable intentions of the Companions. They only do good works if they’re paid, and one gets the impression that the more they are paid, the more likely they will be to go out and actually do the job. A good thing about the Companions is that you get the opportunity to cure the leader of his werewolfism, which he very much desires.
As discussed in my original review, Skyrim is a complex game if played the way it was meant to be played. One quest that I found to be bad, that seems like a good thing to do at first, is the Gildergreen quest. In this quest, you are to recover an evil blade (hey, a clue there), which is needed in order to collect the sap of a certain tree. The reason you need this sap is to revive the Gildergreen tree in Whiterun. Before you revive it, it looks dead; afterwards it looks alive and vibrant, with purple flowers. So WHY would that be a bad thing? Well, you wouldn’t really know at first.
The first hint is the evil blade, but then, a lot of things in Skyrim are just things and don’t necessarily live up to their names. But there is another hint. When you go to where the mother tree is, which is in a very large, beautiful, and tranquil lit cavern, you encounter some people there enjoying the sanctuary. When you talk with the lady there, you can ask her about the tree and the blade, and she responds very negatively to you. Ok. So . . . what do you do? It doesn’t seem that bad or anything – you just want to revive the tree in Whiterun. But what happens, no matter how hard you try to control the situation, is that the persons in the sanctuary get killed by the guardian Spriggons when you cut the mother tree for its sap. Is reviving an old tree in Whiterun worth the lives of those people? Not in my book. The Whiterun folks can get a new tree!
I think the Gildergreen quest is actually a good lesson in deciphering information and choosing to do the better thing. Skyrim is full of mental and moral exercises such as the Gildergreen quest. A problem with this, however, as with the evil groups and quests in Skyrim generally, is that the player must choose not to do a lot of available game play. As an adult I’m not very tempted to join the evil groups and do evil things, but for a lot of young people these might be tempting (especially in the presence of peer pressure). I do think Skyrim has A LOT going for it compared to other games: visual and musical beauty, complexity (good luck trying to decipher all the purposefully conflicting books and dialogue regarding the history and religion of not only Skyrim, but that of the continent it’s on, Tamriel), historical and mythological aspects, etc. As a Christian parent, I think it’s OK for older kids to play as long as the parent(s) knows about the game and is at least somewhat involved with their kid’s gameplay.
[Section on lycanthropy updated on Jan. 23, 2013]
75 thoughts on “On Skyrim: A Vent from a Christian Parent (a mom who plays)”
In regards to the Gildergreen, you do not have to fight the spriggins, and this is how: if the follower of Kynareth, Maurice Jondrelle, tags along, acquire a sapling to bring back to Danica Pure-Spring in Whiterun. They had already thought of an alternative. Consult the wikia site for Skyrim for more information. And I prefer to play my Dragonborn as a “paladin” model, i.e. holy warrior. But I will say, the politics in the two sides of the civil war in the game, who is really evil? Both have major faults.
Hi. Thanks for commenting. I’ll look that up, what you said about the follower. The thing is, I did that once with the follower and nothing came up like that. We still had to fight the spriggons. But I will check, and as I haven’t done that quest with my current character, I’ll test it out. As for the sides, I based my view on lots of things. In the beginning of the game, the Imperial soldier wants to talk to the Stormcloaks, but they only want to fight. When you check out being recruited to both sides, the Stormcloak side says you’re an enemy if you don’t join them, but the Imperials don’t do that. Ulfric seems to be in league with Alduin, which is obviously very bad, he’s racist, he kills the king in cold blood (I don’t consider his fight a fair one whatsoever), and if you talk to the court mage in Solitude at the right time or in the right place (haven’t figured that one out yet), she will tell you that they were brothers – she helped raise them. So Ulfric killed his brother, and lies about it later (he says he was an only son). There’s a great deal against Ulfric. The Imperials worship Talos too, but they lost the war and nothing could be done at that time. This is what I gather from everything I read and characters I’ve talked to.
Hey there! Just found your blog (looking for a Skyrim parental controls mod for the PC of all things) and just wanted to toss a heads-up your way that there is a third option for the Civil War questline. It’s possible to stay completely neutral and help the two sides come to a mutual resolution if you play your cards right. You have to go a good way down the main questline, I believe, but I think that’s probably the true “Christian” way to play out that quest. Excellent articles by the way, my wife and I are both Christians and gamers and it’s cool to see Christian reviews on secular games. If you have the time, and or the inclination, there’s an excellent game called El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron that came out a couple years back. It’s very loosely based on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Book of Enoch, but it’s an interesting take on, erm, Bible-sourced material, if you will. Completely devoid of sexual content, and pretty low on violence as well.
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If you’re interested, I (her husband) run my own wordpress/youtube with a new video about things we want in TES VI
This is my second comment. I went and played that out, and yes, this time there is a dialog. I had done that with the guy a long time ago, and so had my husband and son, and that dialog had not come up for them, either. The only thing I can think is that the game was patched or updated – the woman character in the sanctuary is still angry with you, even though the tree gave you a sapling. =S I’ll have to think of a different example for my post, but it’s good to see that Bethesda did something good there. Thanks for the tip.
Hello! I’m a Christian who’s been growing exponentially in my faith recently, and unfortunately I have a nasty addiction to games such as Skyrim. Looking back on it, I have reservations about my character. What I do in Skyrim doesn’t affect what I do in real life, but my character is both a mage and a vampire. Should I feel bad about this, and possibly just stop playing the game in general?
Hi Brian. Thanks so much for writing! I’m glad you’re growing in your faith, and from the sounds of it, you’re experiencing some conviction. I wouldn’t say that I think you should feel bad about it, like I’m going to say, “Shame on you! You should feel so guilty!! Lol. We all change as we grow in the Lord. If you want to know what I would do, well, I guess it’s probably obvious by my post here. I wouldn’t purposefully be a vampire in Skyrim (or anywhere else I don’t think!), but I’ve also been a Christian for quiet some time. Anyway, I’ve played Skyrim a lot and my current character is my third or fourth one. You could always just start over – I find it fun to do things a little differently, especially if I’ve learned about being better at something, or realize I’d like to focus on something else. Also, it’s more fun to play the game with the dlc’s when you’re a fresher character – they are much more integrated into the whole game. I’ve actually stopped playing Skyrim for a bit, but I don’t mind since it will be more fun when the next dlc comes out (my character is high level, but I haven’t finished the game). Do you have any questions related to what you asked, that you don’t think I addressed? I’d be glad to reply more. The Lord hold and keep you.
Well, it’s just that I’ve not been so good in keeping up with my faith. I was baptized at 14, and have felt the presence of God in my life numerous times, but I’m 18 now and in the past few years I find that I haven’t been so good in my walk of faith. Upon moving to a new state, I stopped going to church regularly and it wore down my spirit, especially with the fact that so many of my friends happen to be unbelievers/undecided. So, I began to use profanity, make a habit of lying, etc. etc. and even assumed a manner of pride and arrogance at times. Recently, I’ve had an experience which onset the strongest spree of spiritual growth that I’ve ever witnessed in my life. Now, as I plan to find a church to attend, I’m re-evaluating my life and my friendships. It can be a very trying ordeal at times. So, probably my biggest addiction in life is video games, and I’ve played them from a very young age. Only now am I giving thought to the simulated reality of video games, and wonder: If I do something in a video game, does it reflect on the desires of my own heart, and thus my spirit? Or, can we choose to view it as make-believe, a manner of pretending with no real intention behind it? I guess it depends on the person and the game, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Thank you for taking the time to reply, God bless!
Hey, thanks so much for writing about that concern. I was actually thinking of it later, since a lot of people like to put that out there: “It’s just a game, I’m not hurting anyone in real life, so what does it matter that I’m murdering (and whatever) in a video game?” I always find this odd, but especially so in people of faith (which I see less).
First off, video games ARE addicting – I play too much, as a way to relax and avoid more difficult aspects of my own, real world.
But on to the question. Since so much of our faith is personal, I do believe that what someone does and wants to do in a video game is a reflection of their heart. God looks at our heart – our secret stuff and who we REALLY are – not what public face we put on. Jesus will live in us, the Holy Spirit will live in us – how can it be that “they” would do bad things, even in make-believe? Can you imagine Jesus sitting in his room with his door closed secretly being an evil character? If we are to be like Christ, what does that mean? To me, behaving in a fantasy world contrary to our nature in Christ obviously shows that one is not in fact Christ-like. It is our very nature inside us that gets transformed, so it shows a lack of transformation.
The violence and bad attitudes in video games are just “there,” just as they are in real life. We can sink into those things, as in real life, or choose to be a light in the world in the video games, just as in real life. Video games can feel good for that reason, but real life is harder – in avoiding bad things and in feeling like you’ve actually done something good for people and for Christ.
Anyway, besides loving our neighbor and doing good in that outward way, all else in the Christian life is self-examination and prayer (in secret – God knows us and what we ask/say) and seeking the will of God. These are all interior – and what comes out in how we choose to play video games is showing what is really inside us. That’s what I think. Evil and good are like oil and water – you can’t be unequally yoked and then have a unified thing come out of that union that is good (Godlike).
Again, thanks so much for writing! It’s good to give up on video games, or at least play them a lot less. I’m older and have done the other things in life that younger people do – for education, career, etc. – and I’m much less energetic, too, so I don’t mind as much that I play video games. But I think I would feel that it was more like an addiction and interfering in my real life if I was younger and not “living.” So God bless you! That’s so awesome that God intervened in your life and is working with you! Please write more if you’d like, or come to our board and let us know what happened, have some conversations, etc. Cheerio! Lol.
PS: I don’t know how you played the game out (Skyrim), but I’m not sure that you could do all of the game if you simply cured yourself of vampirism like the other person suggested. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course! But if you play over you can do the full Dawnguard thing – not sure if you can now, since I don’t know if you went through that DLC already.
In reply to anonymous: I’ve cured vampirism and retracted it multiple times. The cure seems more evil than the condition itself, in my opinion.
But, back to the point. I think the problem I have is addiction, and letting the content of the game affect me too much. For example: If you kill someone/something in the game world, you know it isn’t real and that something as simple as reloading an earlier save will bring that person/thing back. I’d never actually kill someone in real life, and as I recall even watching the JFK assassination video made me flinch because it’s so horrifying. The problem with many video games today, like Skyrim, is the level of interactivity and therefore the level of immersiveness. It’s easy to lose yourself in the game world and think of it as a “reality substitute”. I personally think it’s easier to look at a game as a silly little passtime, rather than have it serve as a reflection of yourself, because then the line between you and your character is drawn thin. I’d say it’s better to avoid things that mess with our conscience and could affect us personally. For example: I never play games like Dante’s Inferno and didn’t complete Dead Space because of the morbid theme of humans being reanimated in such a demonic nature. So, the problem is the addiction rather than the content in my eyes. This is hard to overcome because many of my friends are avid gamers, and my own dad is a huge gaming fanatic. Also, as far as other temptations go, a lot of my friends are unbelievers and right now I’m just trying my best not to let them influence me in any way that would impact my faith. I’m still growing, and I know that none of us are perfect, nor will we be free of sin/temptation until the day we die…But, I’m trying to find out how I should best go about living my life right now and it’s a difficult thing to discern. I know I’m saved either way, but I should also try to serve as an example to others so that I can lead other people (such as my non-believer friends) to God.
Ok. So, it seems to me that you just want help and encouragement in getting away from gaming, when so many people in your life find it an important part of their lives. Is this right? Well, if you find other things to use up your time, things that are important to you (like volunteering to help others, etc), then your time will not only be well spent, but for those who like/love/respect you, they should honor that. You wouldn’t be saying that you’re not doing what they like because you think it’s so awful, but that you are doing other things that you consider very important to you in your life.
My husband may reply here, as he is a Christian and a gamer. For him, he likes to do creative things and he likes to help Christians, too, but he has a medical condition that causes him to be very tired, or hurting even, or sick, so he doesn’t often have the energy or ability to go out and do physical things during his time off. Anyway, so he may have some insight that is different, since I honestly see a difference between males and females on this matter. In the end, I don’t know if God will recognize a difference, but there seems to be one. If it is a real difference, maybe a man’s opinion will help.
For the whole cure for vampirism thing, just keep some potions of cure common disease with you at all times, or hawk feathers, etc, and cure it when you get it. That is part of being prepared, and thinking ahead. If this has happened many times to you, then you should take extra measures to keep it from happening.
I see what you are saying about how you think it is not a reflection of you, but I have always lived by the rule if you won’t do it in real life, then why do it in a game (unless of course you are tying to see how the devs have dealt with it….) but seriously, why do it in game? You say you feel bad about it, yet the temptation still comes up? Or is it that you are simply reckless? How do you play the game? Do you play as a guy trying to save the world? Or as a villain?
Also, yes it is good to get away from games that suck you into their world and make you think of nothing else. God should be the center or our lives, and all things revolve around him. If He is not your focus and the reason why you do things, then you should re think it. I know I have strayed a few times, and always feel bad about it, it’s about getting back up though, not being upset at yourself. While we should grieve in our sins, we should get back up swinging 😉
I know what I have said here is kind of random and all over the place (I am very tired….) but my point is, do what you feel lead to do, and if you don’t like the result of your character, just take some precautions.
Hope I helped in some way!
Also, don’t forget that this blog is a sister site for our website and board. We have a forum (the link is in the blog roll in the right column) which has a way better format for posting than word press, it would be nice to have you on there, I think we may get along 🙂 If you need the link, let me know 🙂
Cure the vampirism, it can be done. Just like with lycanthropy. So think of it as your character saying, “whoa, what am I doing?” Consult the wikia site for elder scrolls, you will find everything there, well, almost everything.
A game is a game to me personally. I got into Dungeons & Dragons in middle school. I never had all the problems with thinking any of it was real like the few out there that cannot separate fact and fiction. Playing a pirate or blood lusting barbarian or the gentleman knight or holy warrior, they are roles, acting in a game. (Stage fright, never could pursue acting. Role playing is next best thing.) Skyrim is not much different, except a bunch of programmers and graphic artist worked many thousands of hours to build the best game they could for you to just cut lose and have fun.
I cannot comment on addiction, never had one, maybe it is how my head is wired, I can stop whatever and whenever and not do something again for years. I am laid back to the point of being comatose I guess. I do not stress either, unless it is driving in the snow, which I have a phobia about. So I will only say that don’t read more into the game as being anymore than it is, a program with a decision tree that changes as you make choices, some nice artwork, and just one of many things to do in life.
If you really need something to remove the addiction that is felt, then just pray, go cold turkey and read the Bible. His holy word will do the rest through you. Like the song from 10th Avenue North says, “i will be by your side whenever you fall, in the dead of night, whenever you call, my arms are holding you.” His help is always there. Just my humble opinion, take it or leave it.
Hi M.A.D. I appreciate much of what you say – good to encourage Brian. I do wonder about some things, though, and didn’t feel like just ignoring them. I don’t get the impression that the games you’re referring to are ones that have your character using a chain saw to cut people up. Skyrim doesn’t do that, but that’s the kind-of thing I’m getting at. When you play a non-vampire in Skyrim, it’s obvious how aggressive and evil vampires are in the game (you don’t even need to be a nonvampire, as the castle has human cattle in it, many dead of them, etc.). I don’t see how a Christian can enjoy participating in that, even if it’s just a game.
It reminded me of what a man told me once about relations with different women, and what he said was true of other men I met who had wives but who fooled around with different women. He said that men will compartmentalize things in their mind, so that while they say they love their wives (and maybe they do), they think of that relationship as separate from their affairs, or whatever else in life they actually know would bother someone if they knew about it. From my experience, this is true of some men, but it doesn’t make what they’re doing any better.
My son had played a vampire for a while in Skyrim, and I asked him about it. I mean, I talked to him about it before, but I just asked him about that again – and gaming in general with bad characters. He said he tried it but didn’t like it, and that when he does play a bad character now, it’s only to unlock the achievements. He doesn’t like playing a bad character, it does make him feel not right. Just from watching him, however, I know some things don’t bother him in game as much as they bother me. I will say that he is maturing fast in this regard (he’s 15.5 now). When Jesus or any of the NT writers write about how we’re to live and think, I don’t see them accepting compartmentalization.* I see them addressing the whole person, and how our actions affect ourselves and others.
I myself play some of these games too much. Christianity is an active, a proactive religion/faith. We are to be not only hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word. That includes improving ourselves as well as improving the lives of others. So I think we need to take care with what we are feeding our minds, and where we are letting our minds and hearts wander, and, how we use our time. I don’t like where I live, and I’m often tired, so I play games with some of my time. I would encourage others to go out and do other things though, go and create things yourself, don’t just sit around and consume, but create. God bless!
*PS: Jesus said that if we think things, it’s as if we do them. He said that if we think of having sex with another person, it’s the same as doing it. He said the same about hate. If you think of someone with hate, it’s like killing them. Now, Jesus overstated things a lot in order to make a point, and we at least should be taking in the point. We pollute ourselves with our thoughts, and we can also be found guilty for the things we harbor in our minds and hearts.
Valid point, to a degree, but then one would have to question the mental state of an actor or actress. Let us take the great Anthony Hopkins, whom has been the villian in Silence of the Lambs, but the fatherly hero in movies as Thor and Zorro. I would doubt any roles seriously affect his life choices. That is how I approach a role playing game or any form of “immersion” game like Elder Scrolls, etc… I feel it should be approached as a chance to pretend, to act for a pretend audience, but enjoy technical aspects as well as the interaction, whether other people or a decision matrix in computer code running on an xbox.
Compartment thing, maybe I do. Never thought of it. I work as a programmer, logic dictates everything. Faith, feelings, all part of my life, but are aspects to purpose, not the overriding determination of how I live. I see them as guides, just as Jesus guides things in my life, for me to figure out. I see birth as a set event, death as a set event, everything in between is for me live. If I am benefit to others as I feel things tug at my decisions, then win-win. If it is a selfish act is done, maybe in future review I will evaluate it as either it is ok, or maybe never again. Life is black and white to me, saying “I do not know” means “no”. Shades of grey are not tolerated in my mind.
Hopefully my two sons are pratical in mind, not given to whim and feelings of the moment. Right or wrong, make the decision, but realize the consequences are of your own making and accept them and own up to it if it smacks you in the head. I think God gave us free will to decide.
That’s cool – we’re all a bit different, and yeah, we’re responsible for our own thoughts and actions in the end. I find the actor thing interesting and I’ve wondered about it for a long time. I’ve always been interested in how people think and handle things, and will read articles in that vein.
You bring up Anthony Hopkins, but did you know that he had been an alcoholic and dropped out of the scene for a while? This was in the past, and he’s gotten over all that. Was his alcoholism at least partly due to his roles? I don’t remember from what I read – it was a long time ago – but I wouldn’t be surprised; I think it was. I’m very sure it depends on one’s motivation in acting, and how one gets prepped for the role. If I acted as a bad person in a play or movie, a play or movie where it had a good message that is was trying to get across, I would have no problem playing that role. That’s different. It’s like punishing your child for doing something bad – you are doing something you don’t especially like in order to have a good result.
Also, there is the young man who played the joker in Batman. From what I read, he did indeed have emotional problems with playing bad characters and this contributed to his death. So, I don’t think we should take these things lightly, but examine our motives – that is ALWAYS the case in the Christian life – and then, of course, pay attention to the affects of our actions. If only that actor could’ve walked away from what he was doing, the path he was on, well, maybe he’d still be alive.
Thanks for writing. It’s good to think of these things and it’s good to learn of other people’s experiences and to understand them. I hope Brian reads these things and considers how he fits in.
There is no perk to cut off people’s heads…just saying…that is a random kill animation and if you really dislike these animations there are plenty of mods to disable them at either the Steam Workshop or Skyrim Nexus.
There are actually two perks one can use to do this. If you use one handed weapons, it’s Savage Strike, which, as quoted is “Standing power attacks do 25% bonus damage with a chance to decapitate your enemies.” This you can achieve with a one handed skill of 50 with the Fighting Stance perk before it. For two handed it’s called Devastating Blow “Standing power attacks do 25% bonus damage with a chance to decapitate your enemies.” Also at level 50 in this skill, and you need Champion’s Stance before it to get it. They are really easy to get to, and needed really if you wish to use full power in all attacking with either one or two handed…. I just enchant the living day lights out of my gauntlets to give my attacks more power…. so while they are not truly needed, IE a player doesn’t have to use them, you will see it from the NPC’s and it is needed if you wish to max out your power with said weapons.
Not if you have it on console.
Yes, actually there is (regarding the heads – it has to do with dual wielding knives or swords, something like that, in the perk tree). Regarding the mods you speak of, they aren’t available for XBOX 360 users. I write regarding the game “as is.” For those playing on PC, sure, there are absolutely tons of mods. Lol, my husband will clarify the perk info after he gets off of work, he tells me.
There isn’t a good side to Skyrim’s civil war.
Ulfric is a terrorist, but that doesn’t justify the Imperials backing the Thalmor inquisitors.
That is like the Catholics and Nazis saying that they were justified in killing Christians because they were just following orders.
The first time I played the main quest line I played on the Imperial side, but then I remembered how they wanted to kill the player simply because he entered Skyrim.
My second time through I’ve simply been creating mods and studying The Elder Scrolls lore.
My “Tombs of Anak” mod can be found at Skyrim Nexus.
The Imperials aren’t perfect, but from what you say you don’t seem to have listened to all of their dialog at all. They were forced to go along with the treaty . . . or the Thalmor would’ve taken over everything and the mediating presence of the Imperialists would be gone. And then at the end of that quest line the Imperials say they are going to go after the Thalmor next. So your analogies don’t ring true. To get the true context all the dialogue needs to be listened to. The info provided by the dark elf in Solitude is only open at certain times and circumstances, too. Ulfirc is a flat out murdered amongst others things, and those that follow him are very very exclusive (racist). The Imperials, on the other hand, throughout the game are much much fairer. The game gives you a chance to explore all these things, beginning with your escape. I do think the game is very good in this way – it reflects reality and how we should approach difficult contexts.
First of all, let me apologize for this being so long.
I’m not ignorant of the fact that you bring forward. I did take that into consideration, and have also watched the layout as a friend played through the quest line as a stormcloak.
Perhaps I need to clarify that on my first time that I played the main quest line, that I played as an Imperial, and joined the Imperial Legion but I played almost every possible quest line trying to find out the different options that existed and upon disliking most of the quests I returned to my save game prior to each quest and went to another. After doing almost every quest line I started over with a fresh Nord version of my character and didn’t join any factions, or do the main quest. I have all the DLCs and have played Dawngard, but not Dragonborn on my account yet, though I did play it all the way through for my friend on his account because he wanted me to get though it quickly while he watched.
By saying that Skyrim “reflects reality and how we should approach difficult contexts”, are you saying that the fact that the Imperials engage in torture is ok and necessary? From what I can see the terrorist stormcloaks don’t torture, they will just kill you, (if that is any consolation). I’m not in any way trying to justify Ulfric or his Stormcloaks.
As a Christian doesn’t it bother you that by joining the Imperials, you would be condoning this?
The fact that the Imperial Soldier who guides you out says that he personally wishes that they didn’t “have to” use torture and that the one doing the torture is a Thalmor is irrelevant.
Torture is cruel and ineffective and never works against a real enemy, rather it is a sign of weakness on the part of a tyrannical decaying godless government and it is always the common people particularly Christians, (not the real enemy), who are tortured. Torture only works in the false reality of the media.
“13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his
eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his
sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him,
Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.
… ” -Joshua 5:14a
“…We ought to obey God rather than men.” -Acts 5:29
“8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we
say,)Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before
proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable;
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” -Romans 3:8-12
I am not a pacifist. I do believe in the physical defending of the weak, to the death if necessary using the means that God has placed in our power, (see also Luke 22:36), and the punishment of the wicked for their deeds not their beliefs, (God will judge the heart).
In 1 Samuel 23:8-13 we remember David’s 3 mightiest men who stood victoriously with him against the Philistines, doing supernatural acts of valor.
But as a Christian, I would not give up my heavenly crown of responsibility as a witness of Jesus by agreeing to back up a system that requires me to disobey my LORD and Savior Jesus Christ in real life, so I will not do it in a game either.
There is always a choice and if it is join or die, I will gladly die.
Perhaps you do not have this same conviction.
I have also extensively studied The Elder Scrolls lore both in and out of the game, and on the lore wiki sights, (though I have not read every scrap, there is far to much out there for that).
What is your take on the shrines of the Aedra (Nine Divines) and the Daedra and all of the amulets, and magical items armor and weapons associated with these beings, (Deuteronomy 12:1-4)?
Do you “enchant” your weapons? (Leviticus 19:26, 1 Samuel 15:23)
In another post that you make reference to “the goddess Mara” who you say “quite obviously corresponds to Mary, mother of Jesus.” On this point I must both agree and disagree. Mara does represent the pagan Catholic goddess who they call the “Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 7:16-20) (the weeping statues and paintings, etc), who supposedly has great compassion upon mankind and intercedes on their behalf before the Father, (who is consider to be otherwise hard and cruel). There is no connection, however, to the Biblical Mary who was just a simple Jewish virgin girl who was chosen to be the earthly vessel for God in the flesh. Mary also called Him, “God my Saviour” (Luke 1:47).
Dwarves are mentioned in the Bible, (Leviticus 21:20). Elves have also had dealings with the Druids and have always been driven out by the preaching of the Gospel, by men like Succat (also known a St. Patrick). They supposedly communicated with the Nazi’s and are known in Ufology as “Nordic Blonds” and many other names. They are very real and evil, and they are Nephilim not space aliens.
Personally, I can find Biblical parallels in a lot of the lore, but there isn’t a clear allegorical representation of Jesus, (God come in the flesh to suffer and die in the place of mankind, and rise to free us from the power of sin, and the Holy Spirit of God indwelling us to do the impossible task of being the hands and feet of Jesus to the world), in the Elder Scrolls games. Therefore it is not and cannot at this point be considered even remotely Christian, as Jesus is the Creator and is the heart and soul of Christianity. Like our own world, Nirn is fallen, but it has yet to be visited by the Savior.
By the way, I did also like Fallout 3, (and the movie The Book of Eli), but the bad language was really getting to me in Fallout 3. The Elder Scrolls games have none of this however and the player does have the option of not playing most of the bad things in the game.
The most subtle and dangerous problem in this game however is that it can consume so much of our God given time. And I think we can all agree on this point.
I think you’re way over the top in accusing me of agreeing to torture just because I see that one side in the game is more out to do good for the most people than the other side is. LOL. If you want to get into discussions about this kind of thing so much, it would probably be better to discuss it in relation to our own country and the real world. This is a game . . . you can only make the best choices in regards to what is provided in the game.
I like studying culture and the symbols used in cultures, how they tick and even what makes people tick. Our culture uses symbols to convey certain meanings, and they may not all be precise. Mara can mean many things! But I think she represents what a lot of people think of Jesus’ mother. I never said what I personally thought of Jesus’ mother, or how the Bible depicts her – what reality is as far as we know it. I’m a student of anthropology and history. God’s word is most important for our lives, definitely, but that doesn’t mean we can’t study history and culture. In fact, if you can understand where people are coming from, you’ll be more effective, for sure, in talking with them about the gospel.
I haven’t gotten into the Elder Scrolls all that much, but my husband loves Morrowind and knows the background more than I do (so I have to look things up). But they’re just games. I write so that parents, primarily, can know something about them, but also so that as Christians we can be engaged with the culture enough to converse with people.
I’m sorry I was kind of seeing this concept of the game as an outgrowth of the real world to you, and I was questioning whether you were defending it in the real world. You already said that
“it reflects reality and how we should approach difficult contexts.”
I was questioning whether that is what you really meant, but you didn’t give me an answer.
“It is man’s work, of two evils, to choose the least. But God is not tempted of us to evil, neither tempteth he any man. Christians, of two evils, should not choose or use either if they would be like God.” -Francis Asbury
I’m personally more concerned with sharing the truth on this subject with my own generation as they are rebelling against your generation because they can see the corruption in the church and state. The Word of God is no longer the standard in most of the “churches” and thus everyone does what feels right and good, in their own eyes, at the moment. Most of your generation no longer points my generation to the word of God, but rather to traditional morals, philosophy and “Christian” psychology. They are dead, having sacrificed Truth for Unity, and have therefore lost true Manly Love & Grace. My concern is that so many of those that I have talked too, no longer believing in atheistic Evolution, are turning instead to Zeitgeist and the Luciferians, rather than the LORD Jesus Christ who is our answer.
I can see the Spirit of God is at work however and the mighty men are arising once again, even as the Adversary is sowing the tares.
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The
Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name
of Christ depart from iniquity.” -2 Timothy 2:19
I think that what you’re doing is reading more into my writing that is there, and on the other hand, not trying to actually understand what I wrote. You can see things from your perspective, but maybe there’s more to it than you see. You seem to be simply wanting to argue, instead of actually trying to understand. That seems obvious to me.
I think the church, generally, is in pretty bad shape. BUT, I certainly can’t see all, and I bet I don’t know that much, in reality. It may be like what Elijah thought (there were no believers left), but God corrected him (there were quite a few).
In any case, it shows that you want to argue when you say “my generation.” That’s pretty funny, actually. I didn’t become a Christian until I was a mature adult and don’t carry the baggage of growing up in a post-WWII church. I think a lot of evangelicals are way off base in their views of things and what they value.
There are many spiritual – true – followers of Christ out there, but yeah, it’s often hard to see them. Besides that, God is the one who draws people. It’s not as if we’re to do nothing, but in the end, it’s up to Him. And what did He say? More and more would fall away, apostasy would grow, etc., until Christ came back. God isn’t wrong in His prophecies.
And regarding games, if you don’t like some of the ethics or activities in games, don’t play them. Because something is included in a game, doesn’t mean I agree with it. That’s pretty absurd! There’s a ton I have to go through in life, like what has been happening lately, that I don’t agree with and that I know is wrong, but it’s there. Should I tell God that I can’t or won’t participate because there are bad things around me? No, I do the best I can with what’s given me – that’s all we can do and what is expected of us (instead of just copping out). Games can indeed reflect that, if they’re not just shoot-em-ups or something like that. Personally, I don’t play games that glorify evil or are just there to shoot people and the like. Whatever. You’re really barking up the wrong tree with your insults. It’s weird.
What is with y’all? I’m an atheist (Former ‘Christian’), and I have a full-on heart-to-god christian friend who absolutely LOVES Skyrim. Seriously, take it easy. as M.A.D. had said before, as he seems to be the smart one here, ITS A GAME. Play it. Relax. It’s not the trap of Satan or anything. You can choose to be the purger of all evil in Dawnguard and in Skyrim both. Games are games. If you feel bad about reading the Bible AND playing a video game, just don’t make a fuss about it. Just choose not to and move on. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, all make video games. Videogames are honestly the ‘second chance’ at life, regardless of how much ‘But God can forgive you and give you a second chance!’ I’m talking about creating a situation YOU want to see or live in rather than this dreary world we live in. I’m going to get bashed on this comment for being an atheist on this site but this site caught my eye on a hyperlink so i just had to read up on it, and admittedly i Did read the full article. Religion =/= Videogames. Leave it in the scabbard.
Ryan, the only reason I went ahead and posted your comment is to show how atheists say they read something, say they’re not judgmental, etc etc, when in fact they didn’t read and they did judge. You obviously haven’t read the articles here on Skyrim. Many Christians do like it and play it, including everyone in my family. You say it’s just a game, so don’t worry about it, but then you say that it can do something important like making a new situation for yourself. Well, it can, to a very small degree, but then it’s just a game and illusion anyway, so . . . ? Most of these games are in fact a big waste of time, but I’m older and like to relax with them. Your last comment is so ridiculous, lol. Either you can’t read with comprehension, or you didn’t read the article (there’s another on the site that is the main one – obviously you couldn’t be bothered with that . . . this is a side article). The main gripe is the game maker, not playing games in general.
You know, Skyrim is an M (17 and older) game. If you’re following through to be a good Christian parent, you wouldn’t let your kids play a game that syas on the back of the box Rated M For: Blood and Gore, and so on. Just saying from a logical point of view.
Each person needs to see the game themselves. But honestly, as I’ve written before, there’s not all that much blood and gore in it – it really depends on how it’s played (and which DLCs) and the age/maturity of the person. As a good Christian parent, I actually don’t hide things from my son that are basically life things (he’s a teen). He sees blood and some gore on the news, or in documentaries and such things; if you read of past and present martyrs, you’re going to run across worse blood and gore than is in Skyrim. That’s life. The issue is interest and motive, as it is in all the things we do in life. To see blood, gore, or anything else unpleasant is not the same as liking it or glorifying it. I have never seen Passion of the Christ because it seemed like it might be too gory and psychologically difficult, yet Christians see it . . .
Hey ive been wanting this game since it came out but my parents are afraid to let me get it from it being open world and making your own choices (we live in a strong christian family) and I was wanting your opinion if its something I should get (even though I’m only interested in being the “good guy”) and I’m very familiar with elder scrolls so I should know what choices would lead to what
I saw this very late and will get to it tomorrow!
Hello there! Well, I gave some pretty long responses to two other young people with the same general issue, Jacob and Steven, at my main article, https://withchristianeyes.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/37/. But to what you more specifically ask, I do think it’s one of the better games of that genre to play if you’re a Christian. My husband loves Morrowind and so knows about the Elder Scrolls games too, and he likes Skyrim but doesn’t love it like Morrowind. It has less story and fewer realistic interactions with the characters, apparently due to games having more visual aspects that take more memory or whatever (some of it is just laziness or oversight by the game makers). So sure.
As for the open world and making choices, well, that’s the point. I guess it can be a test for some people, but I do not find it hard to be a “good” character. I have no desire at all the be part of the thieves guild and do their unpleasant jobs – my understanding is that in the past, the Thieves Guild was more like a Robin Hood organization, but in Skyrim they are just bad – and the characters do talk about this. I don’t resurrect dead bodies, either, but I do use some other aspects of magic that seem neutral to me (and it’s all fantasy since there is no real magic like that).
One thing that I learned, and surprised me some, is that when I first saw this game being played by my son, I was put out by the violence. Now, I mostly mean the slow motion kills aspect. I talk about this more in my main article. But what I wanted to say is that, as a parent and inexperienced game player at the time, I was offended. So, I can empathize when another parent may feel the same. But the point is, after I played the game myself, it definitely felt different. When you’re in the game, doing the actions, the reaction is different. It’s not as bad because you’re defending yourself (normally). The slow-mo actions can be minimized in certain ways. I do not get certain perks with certain weapons so that I won’t have the grossest slow-mo kills. Just thought I’d mention that. As far as violence goes, Skyrim is quite mellow compared to other games. If parents play the game, they will probably criticize it less in that regard.
So, if you haven’t seen my other answers yet, you may want to check them out. After reading this answer and those, please come back with any specific questions or concerns, so that I know where else I can go with any possible answers. It’s fun to converse about it. I wonder whatever happened with Jacob and Steven? Thanks!
Hey so I looked around your comments and they were helpful but when my dad “reviewed” the game he said it had sex in it (which I’m 100% positive it was a mod) but I don’t think he beleives me??
Hi there. There is no sex in the official Skyrim game, so I’m guessing he saw a mod. There is a hint of sex, I suppose, if you figure out how to say to your companion at a bed, “Let me show you something ” (or something like that; it’s not as easy as other conversations to bring up). That’s all there is. So, if he saw something else it must be a mod, or else out of all the tremendous amount of hours we have played here we missed it! There are a lot of yucky mods out there, but they are only for PC. I hope that helps.
Hey I read the comments and they were helpful but when my dad “reviewed” the game he said it had sex in it (which I’m 100%) sure was a mod) but I don’t think he’ll believe me?? PS please reply quick!
The difference in watching the news is not the same as causing the killing and blood shed your son creates in the game.
Teenage minds aren’t fully developed and these games will have a negative impact. Fantasy verses reality for a child is different for an adult.
Gamers attempt to justify their addiction sadly are missing their part in the great commission. I am witnessing it as I watch my husband waste away his life going from one game to another. It’s a sad situation that is causing division in our marriage.
I think that’s one reason games are rated M. But parents don’t pay attention or care about the ratings. Playing too much is a problem for some people, for sure, but it’s not any different from doing other things that either help you relax, or more negatively, tune out the world (in my case, part of my game playing time, or the majority of it, is a compulsiveness to finish something). Maybe with some honest discussion, your husband might admit why he’s playing so much. Just saying. I don’t know what you and your husband have talked about or gone through so far.
Thank for posting your opinion. I agree with you that the game is complex and is full of exercises. In fact, Bethesda has thought of an in-game morality. For example there in Riften there is a character, Mjoll the Lioness, who detests the Dark Brotherhood and the Thieves Guild and if she is the characters companion and witnesses any crime (like stealing or anything) she will leave the character and ever since she is lost for the character.
I actually really enjoy this game as even though it is made up it really reflects a lot from real life. And it has many true moments that I can see since I live in Scandinavia. Bethesda really did their homework. They studied Scandinavian culture, history, etc. I can see impact of Roman Empire there, ancient England (like think of the druid times and some later when it was Anglo-Saxonia). Women of Skyrim truly exhibit northern characters. Moreover, racism is depicted the same way as it is in reality. Nature is also exact. Same with Stormcloacks. In Finland they are called Perus Suomalaiset (True Finns). Though there is no civil war but they have very similar views. And just the way the Nords of Skyrim cannot forgive the Altmer the Great War, the same way Finns focus on Winter War with Russians. And of course they treat Russians like Ulfric treats the Dunmer. I saw a lot of this in real life.
Also I believe it is common knowledge how in Scandinavia warriors were honored.. And how they would be buried after death. The Vikings would either burn the bodies and send them down the river or create those enormous tombs with everything that the warrior might need in his afterlife.
The Companions are not so evil. In fact, they are strongly connected to historical reality. This is how long ago Scandinavians lived. Or any tribes in fact. They would mainly got o battles to loot (e.g. Vikings) and their skills in battles and looting were considered to be good. Then songs and poems would be made about them.
And think, the Greybeards’ monastery is based on Tibet… It even has this very special atmosphere…
Personally I believe that there is nothing bad in joining any of the Guilds. Virtual reality does not correspond to our reality… You can search a pretty useful info, just google video games based on psychological type. Basically it will explain why some people prefer to play as bad guys etc. I am an explorer/escapist. Moreover, the player ACTUALLY has an option of destroying the Dark Brotherhood! All you need to do is to kill Grelod the Kind (the evil mistress of the orphanage). Then Dark Brotherhood sends you an anonymous letter saying “We Know” and after that if you sleep anywhere you would be brought into some house where Astrid (leader of the Dark Brotherhood) tells you to kill any of the three victims present there. But instead you can kill her. Then all you need to do is report it to the guard and you will be sent to Solitude. Then you will receive a quest to destroy the Dark Brotherhood’s sanctuary.
Also, Mavin is not the leader of any of the Guilds. She just uses their help. The Thieves Guild there is first controlled by Mercer Frey and later the player has an option of becoming the Guild master. But in fact, their main quest line is based on eliminating the evil guy – Mercer Frey and re-establishing the Nightingale order (their religious order that serves Nocturnal).
In fact I would have advised you to not look so negatively on the Guilds. The reason is that through playing through their quests you learn some things that happen in reality. Like the Thieves Guild. This is very real and how they have someone they protect and patronize etc. It will allow to open eyes and see some of the real world too. Living in a good and kind dream world is great when you can afford it, but majority of us can’t. So it is good to walk on real ground where people are not always kind and not always moral, when the rich and powerful use all sorts of methods to achieve what they need. Where it is not just hard work and talent that are needed but also luck, the right time and connections. And in fact assassins guilds also used to exist in history.
I really enjoy the complexity of the game. And I believe that if you actually see the immense intertextuality that is present there and provide your son with the corresponding historical facts, your son will enjoy history and might even develop a new perspective (: Also, knowing reality he will be able to compare it to Skyrim and see the fantasy bits. Involuntarily that will force him think creatively as in how could he have made it different or imagine some other twists to real facts. Which again I think is not a bad thing.
Anyway, sorry for such a long post!
Hi. Thank you for providing some neat info and perspective from Scandinavia! It seems like you haven’t read my main article on the game, though, since I like the game and have given a heads up about the historical aspects, let my son play, etc. I do believe I gave the link to the main article.
I do take issue with the guilds info, however. From what is known in the Elder Scrolls, the guilds have gone downhill and are therefore in the state you find them in Skyrim. The thieves guild is indeed controlled by Maven – not officially, of course – as a number of characters will let you know. That’s why the guild is so ugly now. I was aware that you can get rid of the Dark Brotherhood, and I’ve done it a couple of times. I just hadn’t brought it up, but someone might be interested in knowing that. I’m not sure why there are more comments here than with my main article, although, thankfully, that article gets more views.
My husband is big Elder Scrolls fan, and if you listen to him and other Elder Scrolls fans, you can hear their vents with Bethesda over issues with the Elder Scrolls world and view, and this more modern, lets sell as-much-as-we-can-game. This is the point, not that Skyrim isn’t a good game. I obviously like it a lot, if all my posts on it are viewed.
As far as the psychology of playing bad people, that is some people’s opinions and perhaps excuses. I don’t actually care about it much, but as a Christian, knowing that Christ indwells you, doesn’t make any sense – if you know the faith – that people would secretly want to act out evil acts. If a person is not a Christian and doesn’t have Christ, or the Spirit guiding them, then it of course wouldn’t be surprising or unusual to find people doing normal worldly things like playing evil characters. All people are sinners and it’s just the way it is. Only after submitting oneself to God can anyone hope to expect change. I write my posts on games from a Christian perspective, for Christians.
Thanks again for your post and the info. While it’s great that Bethesda put in the effort to make things somewhat realistic, there is a lot missing, too, if anyone wants to get a taste of the real history of Vikings and all. As I mention in my main article, there’s enough “real” stuff in there to hopefully inspire some players to look into the actual histories of the peoples, beliefs, and technologies in the game.
Actually I am a Christian myself! However I was never the kind who would blindly follow anything the priest or someone says… I would always let my heart guide me. Problem is that I have seen so any extremely religious people who are actually perverted and horrible beings yet always cover themselves and their deeds with religion… Also, there are many things that for example I wouldn’t even think are evil or dirty and yet they accuse others of bad intentions just because they thought so themselves… If you know what I mean. For example I dance, since I was a kid. I dance Latin American dances. And the point of those dances is to be part of nature, environment, be one with animals and all. To show how you love this life, world, express your emotions through it. But majority of Westerners only see sexual calling in it… Like they interpret actions of people the way they think and judge everyone (yet those who actually dance know it is not so). Always one phrase comes to mind – all is pure to the pure…. I have been hurt a lot in my life by those very religious ones who supposedly follow everything the Bible says and yet don’t have a hint of a kind heart.
Anyway, I agree with your point that Bethesda has missed out a lot. Because I personally always preferred to play as a “good guy” and have some inner problems with playing evil things. And it is sad that they haven’t created more guilds to join that are not all bad and dark. So that one can make their character some noble warrior or something.
I wonder if Bethesda is going to do anything about it later on… I don’t know if you know it but it is rumoured that a new DLC will come out – Redguard. Maybe there they will add some new factions (:
laurel we get hurt in life to teach us a lesson. As I am no longer christian you probably wont want to hear what i have to say. I was abused both sexually and emotionally by my family and by my friends. I hear the line turn to Jesus not man but I feel that my personal experiences taught me something. Dont listen to what others say is true and I dont have to worship Jesus or acknowledge him. After all the pain my friends gave me I feel like I had to let go of them to learn that some people are better off without you to teach them how to treat others with kindness. As for me, I cant be christian again because I do feel my own spirit within and it calls me elsewhere. I am just here to observe not to go back to the sheep pen as some would assume. I met my Buddhist husband after i deconverted and i feel that is my sign.
Hi Laurel. I’m sorry you’ve been hurt before, but I also think sometimes we do indeed do things the Lord doesn’t like but try and justify it. I’ve had an important issue in my life, yes, and I don’t just accept it, but study what God says about it – altogether within contexts – and consider how God communicates with me (I’m still not free of this issue). I of course try my utmost to be realistic about that too, as I’ve known people to read signs in just about every way to confirm their own desires. I think it is also wrong and rebellious to skip scripture or read it in such a way as to confirm our own desires – which can include the judgment of others! Yes, there are many Christians that want the Bible to be a rule book, and the OT is in a lot of ways, but those under the new covenant aren’t Israel and do not have to go by Israel’s rules (one has to differentiate between rules for that nation and God’s character and what He says about humans and His relationship with them overall).
However, there is still sin in the world. Christ died for our sins. Which ones? Only some, or all? And what are those sins? Do we mock God by repeating them after He died for them? (And no, I don’t see dancing as one, since David and the Israelites danced!) As far as the innocent being pure or innocent in all they do, I would have to disagree. I say that because a very main doctrine of the Christian faith is that humans fell–I think that what you said would be true, actually, if humans hadn’t fallen. We gained the knowledge of good and evil and saw that we were naked . . . what Christ didn’t change that, just forgave our sins and clothed us in Himself. What God considers sin hasn’t gone away, but He gives us a new nature and the Holy Spirit to help us live lives pleasing to Him (and we can’t get Christ to re-sacrifice Himself for us – we can only try our best and pray for forgiveness, and God keeps His promises). Remember, too, who the founder of our faith is and what He was like, as our role model, and compare that to what the current ruler of this world (Satan) tries to get us to do–and subtly, as he spoke with Eve.*
So anyway, enough with that. As far as Skyrim, that would be neat if there were another DLC, but I doubt it. My son said he heard that rumor too, quite a long time ago, and since there has been no real word about it, he thinks it’s false. Since we haven’t heard anything more real in the way of DLCs, I think what people had been saying all along – that a new game will come out next instead – is probably more likely. It’s really too bad, I think, but I think it’s even more crappy that they couldn’t fix all (or a lot of) the glitches in the game!! The fact that a DLC that includes the old Morrowind aspects came out last – a huge thing for Elder Scrolls fans – may indicate that it was the last DLC. But who knows . . .
* It came to my mind about a certain false teaching that the apostles were dealing with in the NT (I haven’t been able to find the main verse quickly – I’ll have to look more). Some were leading people astray by saying that, since we’re free in Christ and our flesh counts for nothing (so they falsely claimed), we can do whatever with our bodies. This is just false. Paul told a guy to not sleep with a prostitute because he would become one with her, and there are other related verses. The freedom we have in Christ isn’t freedom to sin, but quite the opposite – freedom from slavery to sin and from the leader of the world. We finally have the freedom to choose God and listen to Him and follow Him, and develop our purity, whereas in our fallen state we couldn’t get far on our own that way. We are now slaves to God instead of slaves to sin, to put it in those terms.
Now here is your chance to do a good deed. When you get to Rannveig’s Fast, you will encounter the subjugated ghosts that Sild has enslaved, relatively easy to dispatch them via archery or flame attacks. Now here is something you may not know, once Sild is defeated, go to every dead bandit, loot it of course, need them septims, but use any of the reanimate/raise dead conjuration spells on the bandits, then blast them with sparks to hasten them along to ashes. Now you ask, “but why?” Well, I discovered by accident, that you will hear the bandit say “thanks”. You have just released them I guess, but all these trapped bandit’s said it as I did this. Sild’s assistant won’t. But it was kind of nice to help these poor little souls go on. Just wanted to share that with you all.
Thanks so much for sharing! This reminds me that I need to go back to my FallOut New Vegas post and edit it. I had mentioned the people you could “sleep” with in the game, but not in any in-depth way; I just didn’t think it merited much time or effort. But . . . I played the game again and because I had a higher speech skill, I was able to talk with a certain prostitute more. Turns out that she was being forced to do what she does (as so many are, in reality) and she wanted help out of there. Through various things you’re able to get her out of her situation, and it’s one of the most satisfying quests of the game. Regarding Skyrim, I should also update the part on werewolves. I didn’t know that the werewolf cut-scene was changed, and other related things, with a Bethesda update. It’s quite gross and over-the-top, and parents should be aware of this. Thanks again for posting here!
Hi I’m a growing Christian And I’m having some conflicting Issues about rebuying to game. I had the game previously and I destroyed it because of a youtube video my Aunt sent to me about the Symbols and references to witchcraft used in the game. However I myself never lost any love for playing it. However i see the new expansions for the game and I’m considering rebuying it however I can’t forget about the symblos, or my Aunt for that matter about the witchcraft references. Perhaps you can help my indecisiveness.
Hi David. Do you know what Youtube video that is? Do you have the link still? I’d like to check it out (though I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard finding more than one on the subject!). What is amazing to me, when you think about it, is why would any Christian know the symbols used in witchcraft? Why bother looking them up? I think this in itself is odd, unless you have a specific reason concerning something that matters in real life – like your teen comes home and wants a tattoo of some symbol and you want to know really what it is (of course, this is just an example, since I’m sure most parents wouldn’t let there minors get any tattoos at all).
So, you’re ignorant of something until someone points it out, like supposed witchcraft symbols. Are you guilty of anything for just having seen them? Of course not. Many many symbols are used, and have been used throughout history, by completely varying people for completely different things. One of my favorite Christian symbols is the triquetra, but it is also used by witches!! So? The swastika was used by the Nazis, but it is an ancient symbol that was used all over the place and that, before Hitler, meant positive things; in Hindu it basically means good fortune, well being, etc.
So I would need to see this video and the claims to witchcraft symbols. Maybe they are used by witches, but maybe they are all used by other peoples for other reasons, too. You never know, there can be references to stories, people, and all kinds of things in these games, and you wouldn’t know unless you were familiar with those things. In any case, seeing a symbol on some wall or artifact isn’t going to turn you into a practicing warlock, is it? We see things all the time. Seeing Putin doesn’t turn me into an imperialistic communist, and seeing Obama doesn’t make me want to marry a black democratic politician (just saying). Do you get my drift?
PS: When I was young in Christ, some Christians said that “Lord of the Rings” and writings like that were bad for the same reason. I looked into it myself and came to LOVE LOTR – it uses evil in the proper context, of course, and has more difficult issues in there relating to created things and whether they are inherently bad or not. If God created them or approved of them, they can’t be evil, but people with evil intentions can abuse them.
I’ve enough of a rational mind to put a solid dividing line between the real world and video games. I’m a Christian yet I have played a character that became an assassin and joined the Dark Brotherhood- something I would never in my lifetime even consider doing in real life, but for the sake of following an intriguing storyline I play through it. I even have a character crush on Lucien LaChance, though I would be disgusted by people like that in the real world. In Skyrim I became a werewolf and even laughed when heads went flying through the air- but would I laugh if that happened in real life? Absolutely not.
But then again I am a 31-year-old adult. I would advise parents to give their children under the age of fourteen about the “fantasy vs reality” speech before allowing them to play Elder Scrolls games or anything else- it really isn’t meant for child audiences- anyone younger than nine should just stick to “Hello Kitty Island Adventure” or something like that.
And the moral impact of playing a game in which there is rampant polytheism, sorcery, theft, and murder? None if you are confident enough in your Faith to not feel threatened by it at all- just don’t take any of it to heart.
I am extremely slow to revere them as gods, even if they are just characters. I normally just say “One of the Nine” or “Deity”. I’m confident in my Faith, but that would be stepping outside my comfort zone.
By the way, if you believe video games are the reason people are violent just remember Jack the Ripper existed before the gaming consoles.
Whats your take on the Daedra Lords? Some of them in Skyrim, such as Mehrunes or Molag or Boethiah seem downright evil. Yet others such as Sanguine or Sheogorath do not seem as bad. I am a Christian, and while Sanguine may seem like an interesting character in the game, hedonistic revelry, debauchery, and dark passionate indulgences(his spheres of influence) have no appeal to me at all in real life.
Hi Jason, and thanks for commenting. I haven’t spent any more time looking up what they may correspond to specifically, but they seem pretty typical of the behavior of the various pantheons of gods. There are some that are more sympathetic to humans/what is evil than others (Mara, Azura, and Meridia). The way I view them is in the context of ancient peoples who thought there were spiritual beings or forces that influenced their lives, for good or ill, but they didn’t have much to go on for actually understanding those beings or forces. They at least seem like they can think and be reasoned with, to a degree, unlike more ancient (it seems to me) mythical “beings” that simply personified nature and wholly lacked a sense of human morality and reason. And then there is Talos in the Elder Scrolls/Skyrim, the man who became a god, and who represents the opposite of what the pantheons do: order and civility.
The gildergreen quest is a good thing if you collect a few book on the deitie Mara the mother goddess and goddess of love the gildergreen is a gift of Mara and the people that are killed you don’t have to worry they go to Mara’s realm of oblivion which is a beautiful realm with tree exactly like the one you see in the cavern and ton of majestic and friendly animal
I played Daggerfall many years ago. I dont care what others think really, and kids will do what they want to do whether someone likes it or not. As for games being a waste of time, video games can teach hand eye coordination and games like skyrim can teach that there is consequences for ones actions. For example if my character goes out and kills a guard, they either get fined or go to jail for it. What is right for one is not right for another and that is what the big hoo hah with skyrim is. For some its just a game. For me its an escape from an otherwise boring life. What others teach their kids is none of my concern, because it is the parent that suffers when the child turns on them for being insufficient at meeting that child or teens needs.
I’ve been reading many of the comments on here, and I can’t help but feel one question keep rising to the surface of my mind: Is it worth it? Is it worth it to take the good with the bad in this game and play through it while constantly fighting an internal battle? Is it worth it to enjoy a game like this, have an awesome time using spectacular abilities and marveling at incredible scenery, only to wake up and find out your relationship with the living, infinitely worthy and supremely satisfying God of the universe (!) has gone nowhere?
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37)
One argument that I saw stated that since we must sometimes do the best with what God gives us on this broken Earth, we just have to play through the game and make the best possible choices. The thing is, if none of the choices you’re presented with in the game truly honor the God who gave the blood of His beloved Son to save you from eternal torture, there is a third option: close the game and walk away. Make the choice that glorifies Jesus. In fact, that option is even a good choice in the real world when both options are sinful and ISIS has a gun to your head: put your trust in Jesus Christ, brace yourself, and choose the option where you lose. Choose the fiery furnace. (Daniel 3:17). If you are faithful ’til the end, there’s no stopping the inexpressible joy of God that awaits you on the other side of death’s door!
“Jesus said… “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25)
A game is not worth comparing to God. In fact, nothing is! Not the sweeping scenery of the Rocky Mountains, not the taste of a wedding banquet, not the most state-of-the-art graphics the world will ever see. Only Jesus can satisfy, so why not put down everything you think is valuable and run to Him, the only person whom you can spend hours, days, months, years, CENTURIES with and still not get tired of His glory? I guarantee you, from personal experience, the games you think are the most fun will run out of entertainment and get set on the shelf, and you’ll turn to a new game, one with better graphics and the same old promises. But don’t let the flashy lights fool you; our treasure is in heaven, and our duty is to bring God’s love to people, not vengeance to NPC’s and computer environments!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
You obviously haven’t played this game, and apparently don’t do a single thing in this crazy world to relax. It would be great, it’s very true, if we were all in a state of spiritual completeness or connectedness 24/7. It’s true, I think, that many people use entertainment as an escape too much. Life can be exceedingly hard and challenging, and it feels good to give your brain a break from thinking by being absorbed in something like a book, show, or game; it’s better than getting drunk or high, I think. Just because the NT doesn’t describe people in Jesus’ time doing similar things, doesn’t mean they did not. In fact, it seemed pretty normal to drink and socialize; no doubt they told stories and such to entertain themselves. I’m guessing that the amount of physical labor most of them did kept them occupied and too tired to do as much in the way of “entertainment” as we do today.
One reason Skyrim is of interest is because it somewhat reflects a real past, and some people like to imagine what that would be like. There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re not mindless beasts, but creative, imaginative beings made in the image of our creator. Skyrim, and more so with some of the past Elder Scrolls, has morality in the game. Part of the discussions have to do with the changes in morality in one game to the next — viewing how our culture is changing and why. There’s also nothing wrong with that, and there’s nothing wrong with making more righteous decisions in game, even to the point of not being able to play it all. It doesn’t hurt, either, to be able to talk with people in a culture about things they know about–in this case, games.
In any case, it would be great to live in a monkish community, relating to God and one another, and doing service for the surrounding community, if there were such places. I would love to start one. How about you? Or should we just all sacrifice ourselves to ISIS? We are all called to do things, different things, if we’ll listen. Even when we do listen, we often have to wait. We may be only called to help our immediate families and communities, to do ministry locally. We should all be in the Spirit, yes, but each person’s spiritual life and journey is their own. I can’t force my son or anyone else to be closer to God. Can you? (No) When people feel forced, then you have all kinds of fakery happen.
Hopefully, any person that is entertaining themselves too much will at some point realize it and seek a closer relationship with God. In the meantime, I don’t think it’s helpful to tell people that they can’t do any form of entertainment. Games that require thought and choice are better than just watching movies or reading certain types of books or magazines, I think, or as I said before, getting drunk or high. Also, I’m not sure why you’re assuming people who play games some don’t also try and bring Christ’s love to people . . . it’s not one thing or the other, or certainly doesn’t have to be. I had two cousins, a brother and sister, who had parents that were strict, like you’re sounding. They both came out crazy, going the opposite way of Christianity. We are not to be lovers of the world, but we can’t deny our physical, individual, and creative natures while we’re in this world.
I think that, maybe, if I get any more comments like yours here I won’t approve them. There’s enough like it that anyone can get the points being made, and agree or disagree. I can say that, from experience, that if a person has never played a game, the impression you get from just watching can be quite different from actually playing it.
Let’s get straight to the point. I play video games, and enjoy them, and actually record them and put them on youtube for others to see. Why? Well it’s not for what you’re thinking. Many Christian gamers play games in order to reach out to others. Either via instant chat in multiplayer games, or via showing Christ-like actions in the games, to the world. It is a form of witnessing that we as believers cannot afford to let go of if we want to reach a large and growing population.
In a way, what you’re saying (in an ideal world mind you) is right, and we should be away from these things and constantly with God. In fact, in an ideal world we’d be away from all forms of distraction. Jobs, books, tv, sports, all these things. However, the world we live in is not an ideal world. It is a world of sin, and lost sheep who need to be guided to Christ. What’s the best way to do that? Well not by telling them to stop doing what they enjoy and pay attention to what you have to say about your faith. That will, most of the time, get a negative response and push them away. I speak this from experience mind you. However, if you are in a similar venue, then you’ll be able to witness to them while you engage in such activities. Now, there is a line that must be drawn. Obviously doing drugs, sleeping around, murder, gangs, are all things we should never be in, and those people who are in them need a completely different kind of approach. Things such as working at the same job, being fans of the same book series, liking the same TV show or game, or the same sports team can be a way to open up the discussion of faith. In my years at both work and play, people have asked why I’m so nice, and why I help others. The answer is always my faith and relationship with Christ, and yes, that has got them thinking and wanting to know more about my faith.
Now, can these things be bad and consume you and keep you from witnessing? Yes, that is why we need to be accountable to other believers. Games are not the only things that cause folly in faith. Your job/career takes you away from God and faith, if you don’t do it for Him and in His name. My hope is that in every action I take, and in every place I work and play, that people will see a difference in me (as many have) and ask about it. We are to let our light shine in ALL activities. With what you’re saying, we should, instead, do nothing but glorify the Lord, and we should, but we can’t, not on this Earth. We are called away for such things to witness to fellow believers in all walks. Whether it be through feeding the homeless and poor, or engaging in things such as research and reaching out to a fellow researcher, or gamer, and leading them to Christ. If we, as Christians, shun this, then we are guilty of letting these people burn in hell because we didn’t see a need nor desire to reach out to them. There isn’t only one way to reach people, but many.
It’s like a forest that has many paths, and you’re told there are people lost down each one of them. Do you ignore some to only save others? As the Body of Christ, we are to go down any path necessary to reach out to others and save them. Something like this blog that has posts about Skyrim and Morrowind is enough to get started, but it isn’t all that needs to be done. People who are not saved but do play games have run across this blog from time to time.
I’m sorry, I came across the wrong way, and I really didn’t mean to say that all video games are evil or anything like that. I really like playing video games; it’s one of my favorite pasttimes! All I meant to say in my post is that some games have some edgy stuff, and if that stuff is creating division between us, maybe it’s best to just put them down. Jesus is supreme over all things, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy things here on this earth; after all, the Bible does say that God gives us all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17). At the time I wrote what I did, I was struggling internally with what I prized most in life: pleasure or Jesus. I guess I just went extreme talking about how awesome and worthy God is because I needed to fight against my own tendency to give in to distraction.
Also, I never meant to say that no one should play video games or be entertained. Far from it! Books are great, movies can be awesome (I’m a Lord of the Rings and Star Wars fan, myself), and I’ve enjoyed video games my whole life. It’s just when we start to compromise on some of the things the Bible teaches us that we need to put down the entertainment and start thinking about which one is really important.
All of what I said I meant to say in joy, in excitement about living a life for God. Actually, what I was saying wasn’t intended for the lost sheep who haven’t found Christ yet, but for people who already know Him and are getting trapped by the tough temptations of the world, areas that I’ve messed up in way too many times. Going back and looking at my post, I saw that it easily could have come across as angry and condemning, and I had no intention of sounding that way at all. That’s one of the problems of the Internet: no facial expressions or tones.
I totally agree, we can’t be monks in this world. In fact, I’ve always been sad to see people trying to deny themselves everything (including a huge pile of things that are good) to seem “righteous.” Video games are fun, and they could even be used as good witnessing platforms by forming friendships you never would have had otherwise!
So, once again, I’m really sorry for the way I came across. Some people have different struggles than others, and I just didn’t want people to get sucked in by distraction the way it dug its claws into me.
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One last thing: I completely agree that we should let our light shine in all our activities (John Piper once said there’s even a way to drink orange juice to the glory of God), whether it be sports, TV, video games, books, you name it. I don’t want to promote asceticism in any way, shape or form. Yes, let’s feed the homeless, let’s help our neighbors build their garages, let’s hang out with atheists and outcasts of every faith to build loving relationships with them! That’s 80% of what Jesus did when he was on the earth: build relationships and help people. He didn’t come into a feast breathing fire, he sat down with sinners and ate with them as a friend.
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While it’d be fun to continue this discussion in depth, I have to ask, since you like Star Wars… do you like KOTOR?
Also, thank you for your clarification! The internet is hard to communicate over, I agree, but where there’s a will, there’s a way 🙂
I do, but I have to say, I really enjoy the sort of spiritual successor to the KOTOR games, The Old Republic, even more. I feel like the interface allows for a lot more action and movement as opposed to strategy alone (no problems with pure strategy, just not my favorite style). I really love the choose-your-own-character parts of games, which is why I like SWTOR even better: more aliens to choose from (Woo, Cathar!).
Anyway, I think I’ll put Skyrim on hold until I have a freer schedule. With classes coming up and work to be done, I don’t think I can afford to get distracted, even if I do keep it in the right place. Thanks for your input, and thank you to Vicki for the helpful post!
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Hey. Im 14. Im a Christian and I have a great love for Skyrim and it’s lore. But, with all do respect, I think you might be looking into the game a little too much. Its meant to be a role-playing game, and it’s suppose to give you options and choices on how your character is going to be. And if someone wants to make an “evil” character, that doesn’t necessarily mean that person has evil intentions in real life, or evil intentions in their heart. At least it doesnt for me. Whenever I play Skyrim, I base my characters actions and choices based on his/her race and personality and fighting style. And i think that is what makes rpgs fun. I would much rather have my own made character rather than an already made scripted character with a personality that is chosen for said character.
It all depends on someones perspective on how God wants us to do things. If someone doesnt feel right killing someone in game, then they don’t have to do it. Either way, i dont think it would be a sin to do something like that in a fake game. However, if someone were to do that and have the desire to do it in real life, than that person needs to not play the game. But, in my case, I have no desire to slam a blade through someones neck. Im a Christian, not a member of ISIS XD. But, if I do that in game, I dont see that as me sinning, as long as i dont have the desire to do that in real life. (Which I don’t) Overall, you are right about parents monitoring their childrens games and mods, but this should be done with any games. Btw, I was in no way trying to sound rude or disrespectful in this post. I was just voicing an opinion. Thank you for reading ☺. God bless or (Talos guide you) if you prefer.
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Hi Tristan. Thanks for commenting. It’s always good to get different perspectives. I do think, however, if you read your comment when you’re 40, you might not agree with yourself. Only time will tell. What you’re saying, to me, is like being an actor. Taking on a role of someone else. For me, I am who I am, and playing something other than I am feels wrong. I think as Christians, that is all we can be – who God made us. While Jesus ate with sinners, I doubt if he’d actually role-play one. In any case, I’m talking from my age and experience, and I don’t think it could mean much to you. As in almost all things in life, we have to experience them to really understand them. The Lord bless you too (but not Talos – he’s not real, lol).
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I definitely agree. Video games may be fantasy, but it’s way too easy to get caught up in a make-believe character to the point where it starts leaking into your real mind. That happened to me once, and I was almost trapped in that nasty snare when God opened my eyes to the stuff the game was doing to my heart! It’s so important to keep your eyes on Jesus, even in the fun stuff.
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Thanks so much for this well thought out article. I think in some cases there is a kneejerk reaction too Christians playing Skyrim because ooo the game has ‘magic’. I think you’ve written a good review with balance and looked at some of the flaws. I think games can be imaginative sandboxes to explore morality and consequences etc. I think problems arise where you don’t see consequences play out properly or they are inconsistent. I also think you were right about the Companions quest which annoyed me no end because it forces you to be a werewolf (pretty pointlessly?). There did seem like there should have been a route to unseat Maven in the thieves guild. It seemed downright unrealistic that there wasn’t. Maybe she would have called down the Assassins but factions have worked against each other in previous Elder Scrolls games. It almost seems like they didn’t want any route barred to the player, for you to always have the option to join every faction (with the exception of civil war quest because each side has *the same quests*!)
I actually agree with Tristan above about role play and acting a part. Still doesn’t mean what you said doesn’t have weight though. Most game developers *do* write with archetypes in mind and even in an open world there should be enough options for a truely good, heroic archetype.
i have a question for all the “christians” here talking about Skyrim…. and to the original poster, you concerned about the “evil” or “chopping off of heads” or playing a “bad character”… but one thing you failed to mention is ALL idol worship that goes on in skyrim… ya the game is “entertaining”…. but from a Goldy/biblical stand point… honestly The whole game is bad and in NO WAYS GOOD FOR A CHRISTIAN LIFE or for our Spirit man.
If we truly are christian and living a life pleasing to God then we shouldnt be taking part of the evil thats in this world and having fun with it..
For Pete’s sake, please go and tell all the people who have money as their idol here in REAL LIFE that they worshipping falsely, then we’ll have something to talk about. Do you ever READ? Just because you read a book doesn’t mean you worship or idolize what’s in it; same exact thing with a game. Games are the same as moving, interactive books. This is why the church is so weak, or nonexistent now in some areas. You’re distracted by unreal problems.
If you want to follow by blog, that’s great. But since I’m the original poster/author, I’m surprised you want to.
OK. I am just going to put this out here as a christian, but a huge fan of Skyrim. I know that in the past Elder Scrolls games, morals played a huge part in the game, and it was “less” of a secular game in a way. But I personally see nothing wrong with Skyrim and it’s plot.
The way I see it, the game has a christian-like story. The protagonist is symbolizing Jesus, being sent to the world. He is to be crucified (executed) by the Imperials which symbolizes the Romans. The dragons symbolize demons, with Alduin as Lucifer (Satan, the devil, whatever you prefer to call him) Your job is to save the world from the demons, and eventually banish Alduin. I see the spells as a representation of the miracles Jesus can perform (or punishment)
I can understand your comments about the moral choices like the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild, but I agree with many people, that this is a game. It can affect your real life, but only if you let it. Some people use these things like virtual killing to vent real-world anger, so as to lessen the real-world struggles they may be going through.
This is also where the secular part of the game comes into play. As Christians, we have the choices just like all secular players. We can do these bad things, or we can not. I personally don’t care about the choices. Sometimes you just want to have fun in a game, and do your own things. If that means becoming a vampire, and slaughtering innocents, that is just a part of the game.
Also, let’s just be honest. How many of us would actually buy and play a video game if it was a purely christian game? Even if we did play it, it wouldn’t feel as good, or as fun to play as playing Skyrim would. If you are simply going to hate on Skyrim for it’s secular and immoral content, why even buy it, and why play it so extensively?
This might make me sound as if I am not a Christian, but I simply speak my mind, and I don’t think that you should speak about the game as if you are convicting all the Christians that play it and enjoy doing so, even if we don’t make perfectly christian choices in the game. IT IS JUST A GAME.
I’m not sure who you’re talking to, lol (if it’s not me, I can’t tell in this admin area). Have you read my main piece on the game, and all my comments? Obviously not (or you’re picking a fight). You should read more before making so many negative or unfounded comments on what I think. This piece is just a vent, as in the title, about certain things, and if I remember right (I don’t read all my things over frequently), I was upset most about missing out on game parts that are reserved for players who role-play bad characters (Bethesda’s newer games keep this up, too). You shouldn’t be so hard on people who in all good conscience can’t “compartmentalize” their thoughts and actions. Men who have affairs on will give that excuse. We are whole beings, and our actions and thoughts, whether they’re only in our head, or are acted upon, or in the sort-of inbetween realm of game playing, are a part of us. Would God say that I was a good and faithful servant by playing a vile murderer in a game, because I enjoyed it? I doubt it. Does Christ call us to harbor thoughts of murder to vent about people? Quite the contrary!
Everyone has to deal with their own spiritual growth and relationship with God, and your own comments here (despite starting out in some mild or thoughtful way) show that you want to tell people how to live their (perhaps) Christian lives as much as anyone out there.
For anyone who plays as a member of the Imperial Legion,
I don’t understand how even here there are Empire supporters. Ulfric and his freedom fighters, the “Sons and Daughters of Skyrim”, are fighting for the religious liberty of worshipping Talos (also known as Tiber Septim or Ysmir). Talos is somewhat of a Christ-figure in Skyrim – he is honored by the Nords and still honored in the afterlife in Sovngarde. Ulfric himself is doing what is best for his country folk and for his honored and true god (in which the Thalmor are trying to rid of the worshipping of Talos). Talos (Ysmir) is real, as shown by him being mentioned in Sovngarde (Nordic afterlife) when the Dragonborn travels there to destroy Alduin (main antagonist). The Empire is no less guilty of the terms of the Thalmor (Aldimeri Dominion). The Empire gave up Talos (a Christ-figure) and are opposing their rule on the rest of Skyrim. If anything, the rule of the Imperial Empire over Skyrim with the Thalmor’s rules is much more like the secular ruling portion of today’s world–this interaction further reminds me of some classic tale of independence, such as Celtic/Gaulic tribes fighting off Roman rule or even Americans fighting for independence from Great Britain.
With that said, Ulfric and the Stormcloaks are the most Christian faction in the game, if you ask me.
For the most part, I agree with Davon. In all things it’s your duty to be Christ-like. However, I feel peering into the life of a thief or assassin is as harmless as watching a movie, or reading a book (I usually play as a holy, Raiden-like, warrior of sunlight). It (sin) exists in real life and if one would be tempted by it, then you choose to not enjoy or revel in it.
Also, chopping a man’s head off isn’t exactly a bad thing… though death isn’t a natural thing (sin entered the world and death through sin), chopping the head off of an evil person seems more like righteous judgement.
I like your comments, but it seems like you haven’t played the game much/talked with many characters, to think that Ulfric is a good guy. The game makes it known that he’s very racist (and players generally talk of this, so this would be a bad reflection on Christianity), is in league with the violent pagan peoples of the game, and is basically doing what he does for power. The Empire had its reasons for forbidding Talos worship, but the important point brought out in the game is that many of those within the Empire secretly worship Talos and know that Ulfric is simply a usurper. The game is good in that way — it reflects the complexities of real life and points out that things aren’t always as they seem. What’s on the surface is only the surface, and to know the truth we need to get at the heart of things (what’s hidden beneath the surface). Blessings.
I’ll tell you about my experience with this game. My teen son got the game as a gift from his grandma and I was unaware. At around 2011 I think. This was 3 years after his father passed away.
I started feeling a very dark presence in our house. I could see a difference in my sons attitude. I couldn’t put my finger on it until one day I felt God reveal it to me as I found the game. Long story short at some point I finally took the game away and broke it and threw it in the trash.
At that point things felt better. I no longer felt this dark presence walking around my house!
Until one day, I felt it again. I couldn’t understand why it was back. I went to my sons room while he was at school and found another Skyrim game hidden. Back in 2011 this was an expensive game. I questioned my son about it and he said he got his grandma to buy another one and she told him to hide it.
Needless to say things have gotten worse.
My son hasn’t been well. He had a 4.0 GPA in a great university but suddenly everything crashed. He is fighting schizophrenia, bi polar and psychosis on and off. Talks of spiritual things. I won’t go on.
But I can say for sure that the game SKYRIM brought demonic entities into my home.
Do not Allow DOORS for the devil into your kids lives. It Is not worth it
Thank you for writing. I very much disagree, however. My ex-husband, who also really liked Skyrim, also had demonic activity in his life (and it began to poke at me before he left). Skyrim wasn’t the problem, though. I don’t know what your son liked about Skyrim or what he focused on in the game, but I can say with certainty that even if he picked-up on some thing in the game that featured the demonic, there is no end of such mentions or focuses in our culture–or any culture, really. If he is attracted to such things, he would find something else sooner or later that brought out his problems and/or focuses. Something else would’ve influenced him to allow the demonic to come into his life. But since the game seems to have a bad influence on him I may very well have done the same as you. It seems obvious that your son needs more help than not playing Skyrim or having all games, literature, and art that might have demons in them kept out of his reach. He needs to not be attracted to spiritual forces that are in opposition to God. I’ve heard of many examples of people being “scared straight,” so-to-speak, and maybe that will happen to him. He needs prayer (of course) and hopefully God will draw him to Himself, by whatever method.