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Welcome! This blog is devoted to considerations of morality in the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Bethesda. Rather than a fansite, review, or walkthrough, it is a serious attempt to examine the game through a moral lens. Please note that the purpose of this blog is to discuss morality within the context of the game, not to determine whether playing the game is immoral in and of itself; the latter type of "discussion" tends toward tedium and inhibits, rather than promotes, a meaningful conversation.

If you have not visited this blog before, it might be helpful to read the posts labeled "Orientation," most of which are the first few entries in the blog archive (see right). These posts include a short introduction to this project, a content-specific author bio, and a few other pieces that explain key concepts relevant to this study. These posts are of particular use to those readers less familiar with Skyrim (or video games in general).


If you have visited this blog before, thanks and welcome back!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Note on Person and Persona

The conventions of writing about video games are still being codified, so some explanation of my use of the point of view in this study is in order.

When discussing the game in general, external terms, I tend to use the third person to refer to the player, as in “the player is required to choose a race for his character” or “the player may want to save her perk choice until later.”  I usually switch genders in order to avoid both the sexism of using one gender over the other and the inelegance of “his/her.”  I also use third person to refer to my PC from an external player perspective: “I chose a stockier body type for him because I thought it fit my warrior-oriented gameplay.”

When describing general in-game events that are not part of my own gameplay, I most often use the second person, as in “in order to join the Legion, you have to prove yourself on a solo quest.”  The inclusiveness and informality of the second person works well in these cases.

When narrating my own playthrough, I use first person almost exclusively, as in “I attacked the troll with a war axe.”  I find that trying to maintain the third person, which would otherwise be appropriate for this kind of storytelling, both tedious and contrary to my project of discussing moral agency.  “I chose to join the Legion” is more active and concise than “I chose to have Lothar join the Legion.”

As with all of my guidelines, stylistic or otherwise, I am sure I have deviated from these several times already.

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