Before I laid my hands on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I already knew that it was an absolutely fantastic game. How? It won several 2011 game of the year awards and garnered the praise of hundreds upon thousands of gamers. That’s more than enough evidence to know it must be good, so I caved in due to peer pressure and started playing it about two weeks ago. Yep. Caved in two weeks ago.

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Pretend I’m the guy in the left corner, and you guys are the dragon. You’ll want to do that to me in a second.

If you guessed right, I actually tried avoiding Skyrim for as long as I could. Ha, you may be confusedly staring at my blog wondering why any sane gamer would stay away from one of the greatest games of this decade. The reason for my perplexing resistance to Skyrim is that it’s mainly a combination of open world and RPG elements. These categories connote, in my opinion, that a lot of time must be devoted to these kinds of games. I’m not the kind of person that likes to sit down for several hours to play one game for several months. Take Final Fantasy X for example. I think it took me 40+ hours to complete the main story. I definitely liked it, but a single-player game that lasts that long normally starts to wear down on me after 30 hours. I start to feel like I’m wasting my time. I could bring up my obvious hypocrisy by saying that I can play multiplayer games for even longer.However, the glaring difference between these two contrasts is that I play multiplayer to play with my friends. I’ll rarely get on something like Modern Warfare 3 and play it by myself for 30 minutes or so, but I do play it often with my friends because it serves as a nice “backdrop” for our conversations. This is why I have 50+ hours of playtime in the multiplayer of MW3. Skyrim is a different story. It’s a single player game you play for hours on end, and I’m not keen of that because of time. I’d rather devote my solo gaming sessions to shorter games like Resident Evil 5, Alan Wake, and Amnesia: The Dark Descent (games I’m planning on playing). They’re full experiences like Skyrim, except these games normally last around 8-15 hours. As a result, I can play more games in less time and still have a lot of fun. Skyrim could have been a game I would still be playing daily if I had bought it in November! The point is that I’d rather have diversity over the same thing during long courses of time. The fun factor is still there; it just comes in two different options.

NO! I MUST NOT GIVE IN, DOVAHKIIN!

Well, I actually did give in and have put over 20 hours into Skyrim. My opinion above must mean that I’ll get bored soon, give up on Skyrim, and start playing shorter games that are just as fun…right?

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This is where I’m at a crossroads. I’ve got a huge list of games and other accomplishments I want to make this summer and now Skyrim has entered my gaming life. I want to play it all the time now because of its surprising effect of being able to draw you in. I’m a level 17 Argonian in a breath-taking world with endless quests and dragons to kill with magic, swords, and bows…that’s kind of awesome. I don’t want to play it all the time…but I do at the same time. Make sense? ‘sigh’ I really hate Skyrim because it’s so time-consuming, but I love the game in itself and plan to play it for a while. Since this is the case, I’ve decided to meet somewhere in the middle with my conflicting interests. I’m going to keep playing the game, but for shorter durations of time (maybe 2 hours). That way, I can satisfy myself to some extent in both areas.How about you? Did you start playing Skyrim months ago or have picked it up recently? Love it or/and hate it? What about games in general…do certain games feel like time-wasters to you? Or do you enjoy playing games that you can get lost in for hours? Let me know in the comments below! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to practice my Thu’um. ‘clears throat’

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Dr. J

This was an article originally published as a user blog post on Game Informer.