(and I’ve still not beaten the damn game)
Over a year ago now, I wrote this piece, detailing how the largely cushy, but occasionally annoying and life-threatening world of London provides a much more tangible threat to its inhabitants than that of the fantasy nation Skyrim, a land dominated by bandits, dragons and sorcery, but where its people are encouraged to be armed and vigilant at all times. And this being Redux Week, in which I revisit ideas and themes from my old posts, and update them with my new, apparently university-educated, writing style, I thought I’d offer some more ideas about how London is more of a bitch to live in than Skyrim.
The first problem with London is that its dangers are as life-wrecking as those in Skyrim, but are substantially less cool; in London, you can die from being hit by a cab as you drunkenly stumble home after a night out that really wasn’t worth the three quid drink prices and fiver for entry, that you only went to out of pity after your sad friend invited you when their unnecessarily capitalised Facebook event only got three ‘Goings’ and four ‘Maybes’, but in Skyrim, you can get roasted by a dragon atop a flaming tower infused with the raw energy of the universe itself, with your mate Lydia who’s wearing quite a cool hat.
And I don’t know about you, but I’d quite like to die in a cool way like that, so that my last impression on the world will be to have a more original caption on Twitter, when my dickhead grandkids inevitably take a shit-load of funeral selfies in front of my vengeful corpse, than ‘#RIPGranddad’. Speaking of which, you’re likely to be killed in really tedious ways in London, either through the steady decay of your internal organs through smoking and alcohol, whether you choose to indulge in them or not, or by numbergeddeon, as you’re forced into abject poverty because blah blah something economics that’s somehow your fault. Meanwhile in Skyrim, death is quick, glorious, and delightfully frequent, to the extent that your family and friends, if you haven’t done something to offend their honour will probably treat your untimely demise with a brief ‘meh’ and a shake of the head, instead of the drawn-out, frankly unnecessarily sentimental response to death, the only certainty in this ever-changing century, that we buy into here in London, and indeed the rest of the Western World. So if London isn’t necessarily a tougher place to live, it’s certainly more annoying.
But London is a tougher place to live: you get thrown out of bars for wearing the wrong clothes, and social conventions here prevent one from smashing the bouncer to pieces with one’s handy Mace Of Molag Bal, so you have to walk home like a loser; you get kicked off buses because you’re using the wrong plastic card representative of debt for the privilege of riding the bus, and you can’t even sell your boots to the driver to barter your way on; and sometimes you have to get to Heathrow Airport with luggage, which means you become one of those wankers who sits on the tube with their big-ass suitcases taking up either every available seat in the carriage, all the standing room in the carriage, or the wheelchair spot in the carriage, whereas in Skyrim you can give all your crap to Lydia and she magically stores it away somewhere, where it’s perpetually accessible, yet never cumbersome (for you anyway).
And the Throat Of The World has better wheelchair access than most Tube Stations; gods I wish I could live in Whiterun.