Review 2011-11-13_00001

Published on November 22nd, 2011 | by Chris Hayes


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – An HCG Review

Bethesda Game Studios is a name that is ingrained into the head of every RPG fan. Made popular by their legendary flagship franchise, The Elder Scrolls series, Bethesda has redefined Western RPG’s several times over the last 15 years; and with Skyrim, they’ve done it once again.  Skyrim isn’t perfect, but is a wonderful diversion.

The World


The new world that Bethesda has crafted is simply astonishing.  It feels real.  There were many places in Morrowind (TES III) and Oblivion (TES IV) that felt 100% like fantasy.  That cannot be said of Skyrim.  Every place on the map feels like it actually exists here on planet Earth; from the rugged, snow covered crags in the north, to great, grassy plains in the south.  There is a vast number of climates and environments to experience here: dark evergreen forests, windswept plains, brooding mountains, arctic tundra, hazy swamps and more.  In addition to the landscapes, there are the cities.  There are five major cities in the province of Skyrim, and each has it’s own architecture and culture.  One city features stick-built houses, while another offers medieval stonework buildings, and yet another sees more natural buildings that have been carved into the rocky hillsides.  This may not be the biggest world in a video game, but it’s certainly one of the more varied offerings.  That’s not to say that Skyrim is a small place by any means.  It is at least as large as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and due to some changes, it feels quite a bit bigger.

The Gameplay


With Skyrim, Bethesda took a long, hard look at all of the gameplay elements from their previous two games (Fallout 3 and ES Oblivion), and decided to totally rewrite most of the book.

To start with, the Elder Scrolls team did away with the whole leveling system from Oblivion.  Now, players have no initial specializations.  Normally, in an Elder Scrolls game, when you create your character, you choose specific areas to specialize in (One Handed weapons, Archery, Destruction magic, etc.).  That’s been taken away in Skryim.  Now, you simply play according to your preference, and your character gains skill in that area.  This means that you can level every category to 100 (the maximum skill level).  The specialization now comes from perks.  Each level you gain grants you one perk point to spend, and each category now has it’s own perk tree.  So, while you could level your One Handed skill to 100, you won’t be nearly as effective as someone who has dumped several perk points into their one handed tree.  Perks can provide things like better damage, or better chances with a particular weapon type.  In Skyrim, you can be good at anything, but if you want to be great at something, that’s where you’ll spend your perk points.


Each level also comes with the opportunity to increase your Magicka, Health, or Stamina.  You’re Magicka determines how many spells you can cast, how long certain spells will last, or possibly, if you can even cast certain spells.  You’re health determines how many hits you can take before you go down, and your Stamina governs how many melee hits you can dish out, and how far you can sprint.  You can preform melee attacks without stamina, but the stronger attacks that deal much more damage will require stamina.

Speaking of attacks, the new combat system is terrific.  Melee combat is now more than two characters whacking each other with fancy looking sticks with damage modifiers doing all the work behind the scenes.  Combat has something of an ebb and flow if you’re holding a melee weapon now.  Also, the bows feel wonderful and can be great tools for stealth.  The magic system has also been improved and feels much more lifelike, more weighty than it has in the past.  Best of all, you can dual wield anything that’s one handed.  You can have a traditional Sword and Shield combo, or you can opt for the more unique, Flame spell and Shield combo.  Be it two one handed weapons, two spells, or any combination of the two, it can be used.

The crafting system has also received an overhaul.  Players can now craft weapons and armor, as well as enhancing plundered weapons, and armor.  Enchanting weapons is also possible, and basically involves placing a magical effect on a weapon to enhance it’s use.


Finally, we’ll look at movement.  One of the biggest changes that Bethesda has brought to Skryim is the way that characters can move about the world.  Yes, there is still fast-travel, and yes there are horses (which are significantly improved), but there are no Speed and Acrobatics skills.  Both have been removed, for the better.  In Skyrim you’re character moves just as fast (or slow) at level 25, as they do at level 1.  This may bother some, but this is one of the key reasons why Skyrim feels bigger than Oblivion.  It simply takes much longer to traverse at high levels, and that’s a good thing!  Also, with no acrobatics to level, you won’t be bounding over mountains as in Oblivion.  In Skyrim, mountains are much more serious.  They house many of the tougher enemies in the game, and will seldom be the shortcut that you were hoping for.

The User Interface

The UI in Elder Scrolls games has always been one of the series week points.  Sadly, that trend continues here, but for completely different reasons.  In the past, the UI has failed due to being too cumbersome.  It often provided plenty of information, but was difficult to use or navigate quickly.

Skyrim has the opposite problem.  The UI is one of the sleekest, easiest to navigate UI’s ever put into an RPG.  However, it’s very difficult to find all of the pertinent information all in one spot.  A large portion of space is dedicated to showing off the items you have or the spells you want to equip, and while each item and spell looks fantastic, most RPG fans would rather have more information instead.  Your character’s inventory is split up into categories (weapons, apparel, books, potions, etc.), and each category is listed alphabetically.  I typically don’t mind this, but if I’m looking for a Potion of Strength, I have to look through about 30 “Potion of’s” before I find it.  Alphabetical listings aren’t bad (it’s typically my preference), but a couple of filters would’ve been helpful.


Finally, as smooth as it is, the UI has very few real features.  There is no ability to search for something specific, no option to “compare” two items (you have to do it manually by running up and down the list), and no way to see you’re character’s outfit in the menu.  While Skyrim is played in the First Person view by default, many Elder Scrolls fans have become used to seeing how awesome their character looked through the equipment menu in the UI.  Now, players have to equip an item, close out the UI, drop to 3rd person view, stop moving, and rotate the camera to see their new duds from the front.  Yes, equipping things has become much easier (especially with the new Favorites option), but often, it almost seems pointless from a visual perspective to equip anything better than the rags you start with.  I often forget what kind of armor I’m wearing or how good it is.  That wasn’t an issue in Oblivion.

The Dragons


One of the big draws that Skyrim offers is the ability to fight dragons.  Depending on where you go, dragon-lore can vary quite a bit in fantasy.  Sometimes they speak, sometimes they can’t, sometimes they are benevolent, and sometimes they are evil, but they are always smart.  Pulling off believable dragons may have been one of Bethesda’s biggest challenges, and they pulled it off brilliantly.

Dragons live in the mountains, and will randomly swoop down to see what’s going on.  Sometimes you’ll be near a city, or in on of the games small town’s, other times you may be out on your own.  Occasionally a dragon might soar overhead, make a bunch of noise, and leave, but many times, they spot you can swoop down for the kill.  During a fight a dragon might hover above you and spew fire, or they might fly around “strafing” you and any other “enemies” (everyone is a dragon’s enemy).  Maybe they won’t though, maybe they’ll perch on a building and attack from there, or maybe they’ll land full on the ground and bite at people.  It’s difficult to tell what exactly a dragon will decide to do at any given moment, but it will always be exciting.

My only complaint with the dragons is that I have yet to see one come into a city.  I’ve had them swoop down right outside a city’s gates, and I’ve seen them inside of small towns, but I have yet to see a dragon inside one of the five major cites.  Still, that’s not a big issue, and everything else about the dragons is simply amazing.


The Content

Something that can be a sensitive issue with Bethesda’s games is the content.  Bethesda is known for putting plenty of choices into their games, and Skyrim is no exception.  You can, if you wish, “murder” an NPC.  You can steal from NPC’s.  You can lie about certain things on occasion.  You can join The Thieves Guild or The Dark Brotherhood (an Assassin’s Guild) if you so choose.  You can get married and even marry a character of the same gender if you want.  The thing to remember here is that none of this content is forced on the character.  It is all optional and can be avoided by players wishing to avoid that type of content.

As for content that is forced on the player, there is plenty of violence and a fair bit of blood.  There are some swear words, but the Lord’s name is never abused, and the language is not strong (Language isn’t even mentioned on the ESRB rating).  Part of the reason the Lord’s name is never misused is because the Elder Scrolls lore has it’s own deities.  They are referred to as the 9 Divines.  They are in the game, but the player isn’t forced to worship them or anything.  They simply exist as part of the world.  Some character’s don’t believe in them, others do.  The presence of the 9 “divines” in the game reminds me largely of any major polytheistic religion.  It’s there, but it’s phony.  The ESRB rates Skyrim for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, and Use of Alcohol.  I haven’t run into many instances of Sexual Themes, and the one’s that I would classify under that certainly weren’t inappropriate for an adult in any way.  I’m not even sure they would be inappropriate for an older teen.


The Conclusion

All in all, Skyrim is an amazing experience.  It’s a true sandbox game that puts everything in the user’s hands.  The world that has been crafted is stunning, and the improvements to the gameplay welcome indeed.  The User Interface is still creating some minor quibbles, and some of the content may be too much for some people, but that doesn’t stop Skyrim from being one of the best fantasy filled outings every created.

I reviewed the PC version of this product, and have approximately 50 hours of playtime at the writing of this review.

– Chris Hayes

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About the Author

Profile photo of Chris Hayes

is a primary contributor (and former lead editor) of the Hardcore Christian Gamer, a longtime Christian, and a married man. Chis has been gaming since 1989, and views his contribution to game journalism as a good way to make use of all the skills he gained while writing academic papers in college.

43 Responses to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – An HCG Review

  1. fvslacker says:

    Great review. I’ve read several across the web and even watched IGN’s four hour live stream, but little real attention was given to the UI. I’m still going to buy the darn thing, but it was nice to hear a real opinion on it… and on PC no less.

    Thanks again!

  2. Profile photo of Chris Hayes Chris Hayes says:

    No problem. The UI isn’t terrible, it’s just that it could be better. They need a fusion of the Oblivion UI and the Skyrim UI. I love the ease of use, but they could display much more info instead of allowing you to rotate every object. It’s neat at first, but once you get so many carrots, health potions, Iron Daggers, etc., it loses it’s enjoyment. The ability to see your character in the UI is almost necessary for quick equipment references, and the ability to compare two different objects at once would be really nice as well. Those are really the biggest things. You get used to it after a while.

  3. Circut Board Bandit says:

    Awesome review Ghinao! I would, however, like to address a few issues. You mention in the movement section that your character will always travel at one set speed. While that is true, the character has the ability to sprint. They move much much faster, and the duration is only limited on your fatigue. One could, if they wanted, dump all their points into fatigue and sprint around like a man man/woman. I have no idea why someone would want to do that though. And Point #2. You mentioned the lack of visual when equipping armor in the UI. There is a very very very simple solution to this problem. The UI, unlike in Oblivion, is see-through. All I do is hop out to third person mode, spin the camera around, and then enter the UI to equip armor. You can still see your character through the menu, and pretty clearly too.

    Anywho, awesome review… I just got off work myself, and instead of sleep, Im going to eat some waffles and play me some SKYRIM!! :D I LOVE THIS GAME!

  4. This is professional grade game review! Excellent! I give this review 5 stars….if I could! Thank you!

  5. FuZZ_E_BiZkitZ says:

    Yep 5 star review. Well done.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad to hear a review from a Christian perspective.
    This was a very good review, except for a few grammar mistakes. “You’re” and “it’s” were misused a few times. Just a pet peeve of mine; I’m sorry :)

  7. Spartan352 says:

    Great review!! And concerning never seeing dragons enter the main cities the first time I entered Solitude a dragon came flying in and landed on the houses and shops with the guards and I finally killing in the middle of the city!!! :D

  8. AndrewBaker says:

    Great review! I had a dragon come in the city once in Solitude, it was funny how every npc was booking it to there house.

  9. Selkie Peddler says:

    Just to let you know, some of the books,(if you spend the time to read them.) contain relatively explicit talk of sex.(Including and affair.)

    Also, have you encountered the gay aspects yourself? I did read a single unconfirmed article on it, but so far haven’t encountered it myself…(Not that I was trying, but as a fairly conservative gamer, I would like solid confirmation before I decide how to feel.)

  10. Profile photo of Chris Hayes Chris Hayes says:

    Well, it’s confirmed that you can marry persons of the same sex, but only certain NPC’s are “eligible”. I haven’t encountered any offhand, but I haven’t gone out of my way to find any either.

  11. ALopez says:

    I appreciate the review of Skyrim. I am considering buying this for my 14 year son. Can you sight examples of what maybe considered “sexual themes” in t his game? Would you classify the blood and gore and intense violence to be equivalent with the Modern Warfare series?

  12. Profile photo of Chris Hayes Chris Hayes says:

    Well, there was a quest that involved a lady who was “sleeping around”. Nothing too serious came up, and I was pleased to see that the town didn’t look at the situation too favorably. If you’re 14 year old goes to public school, chances are he’s heard (and possibly seen) much worse.
    The gore and violence would actually surpass the MW series (in my opinion). Blood spurts out when enemies are struck and occasionally, a fight will end with a special cinematic that can be (isn’t always) particularly gruesome.

  13. Chris says:

    My dad really dislikes M rated games, he hasn’t let me buy one yet and I’m 15 years old. I love video games and play most T rated shooting and other violent games, I really want this game and think i should be aloud it. Any suggestions on how to make him let me get it? :)

  14. Profile photo of Chris Hayes Chris Hayes says:

    Well, my answer is going to be that you should listen to you’re dad. You can talk with him about the content, and try to make your case, but if he still says no, that’s where it should end. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but honesty really is the best policy.

  15. Tdibden says:

    HELP!! i cant find anywhere were the review covers the magic…let me start by saying my family never approved of harry potter because of the elements of a normal human child becoming a wizard and having supernatural (by a process and culture that experts say is very similar to the actual occult) But the reason they are ok with…lets say Gandalf from Lord of the Rings is because in this a “Wizard” is a race that is separate from humans and as far as we know, those abilities are God-given. With this in mind, could someone please explain how the magic works?

  16. WARRIOR 4 JC says:

    Thanks Chris. Great review. This RPG is new to me, but I do agree on how amazing it looks. I am not a big fan with the magic, but I am having fun anyways. Sure appericate the over view of this game. Tim

  17. Bob says:

    Hey Chris, I got the same problem. I’m 15 and my dad wont let me get M rated games. I do think its important that most of the negative content is not forced upon you, its only there if you want that junk. But id tell him about things that go on often in the game that aren’t bad, like hunting, forging your own armor, opportunitys to help people, things like that.

  18. spicy says:

    Thanks for the great review… I am contemplating purchasing this game, and was told by the clerk at the game store that you can choose your path in skyrim. I am not at all interested in using magic or any involvement with idols at all. Is it feasible to advance in the game and still avoid magic and idols?

  19. Magic Selkie says:

    I would like to point out to Bob and clarify to Tdibden that magic is forced upon you whether your character ever casts a single spell. Although there is much fantasy magics involved, there are witches, necromancers, and Hagravens all expressing the darker side of magic, including stepping into real-world gunk all used by humans and elfs alike. So if you or your family has a problem with that, then this isn’t the game for you.

  20. Atrades says:

    I am not a Christian but have an opinion here.
    This game and practically every RPG ever made involves killing things and stealing things!
    There is no gay element to the game unless you are gay, and that isnt going to bother you is it?
    Thou shalt not be gay is not a commandment ! thou shalt not kill/steal are so if homosexuality bothers you that much due to your beliefs then killing and stealing will be far worse for you so dont by the game.
    I cannot believe that any review of a computer game would even mention the Polytheistic Gods involved in such a game and for the information of all of you there is as much evidence for Talos and Dibella as there is for your Monotheistic God (None)
    Magic is a fantasy not reality it doesnt exist, There is no such thing as Dark or Light Magic (Except in game terms)

    Bottom Line from somebody who is not biased and doesnt have their parents telling them Fairy stories 24 hours a day

    This is the best game I have ever played by far. You can be whatever character you want to be and do whatever quests you want to do. I have played well over 75 hours and not even scratched the surface
    You will have to interact with the Divines but hey its not you its your imginary character, you will not go to hell I promise and if god is listening he can hold me to it.

    You kill stuff, you find stuff, you buy stuff you sell stuff ,you cast spells, you dress how you want, you can get married you can get a dog, you can buy houses, you can invest in stores you can make your own armour and enchant it,you can brew your own potions and like i said i havent even scratched the surface yet.

    Get this game and enjoy from this thread its the closest thing to enjoying yourselves in the real world that some of you will ever get.

  21. Obviously – some of the commentators above didnt read the review – this review was given 4.5 out of 5 stars only real issue was the UI of the game and just re-iterates the ESRB rating (M – Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, and Use of Alcohol). The great thing about all games is that you can play if you want, or dont if you have reservations. This game is on my “todo” list, but am mashing my way thru BF3, MW3, GOW3, F4, and AC:R….

    But, by all means, thank you commenting on the review!

  22. Greatheart says:

    I’m posting a modified version of a post I made on a review of another game involving wizards/magic on this site, because having read through this review and the comments, I can see it badly needs repeating!

    I came to this site looking for games and/or a community I could recommend to a gamer I know, thinking a site that overtly claims to be Christian would surely respect some of its clearest positions on topics like witchcraft, so I looked at this review to see what would be said about it….

    If you’re remotely serious about being a “Christian” gaming site, there is absolutely no way you can both “abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thess. 5:22) and recommend engaging in a game that is steeped in mysticism and witchcraft. Period! It’s clearly stated multiple times that the gameplay involves occultic practices and sorcery, such as casting spells/enchantments, brewing potions, interacting with the “Divines,” not to mention the so-called side issues of sensual themes…!

    I can’t buy the weak arguments that it’s just fantasy and you can just avoid parts of the game, especially where the reviewer says about the polytheistic religion in the game, “It’s there, but it’s phony.” If you know it’s there, you know you should avoid it altogether! You’re forgetting 2 Corinthians 6:14-17: “And what communion has light with darkness?…And what accord has Christ with Belial [the devil]? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God…. Therefore ‘COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, says the Lord. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, and I will receive you.’”

    Guys, for the whole topic of witchcraft/magical games, wake up and remember Deuteronomy 18:9-14: “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who PRACTICES WITCHCRAFT, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a SORCERER, or one who CONJURES SPELLS, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. FOR ALL WHO DO THESE THINGS ARE AN ABOMINATION TO THE LORD, and because of these ABOMINATIONS the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.”

    What’s an abomination? Abomination n. “A cause of abhorrence or disgust.” And it’s no wonder, since they use the power of the devil, the enemy of God, to do these things. That’s how the Lord feels about it, and that should be the most important thing to you as Christians!

    The totally objectionable nature of this game for a Christian is all too clear even to a non-Christian reviewer, like “Atrades” above, or to a commenter like Magic Selkie above who points out that “magic is forced upon you whether your character ever casts a single spell. Although there is much fantasy magics involved, there are witches, necromancers, and Hagravens all expressing the darker side of magic, including stepping into real-world gunk all used by humans and elfs alike”–so why are Christians putting on blinders about it?

    I’m not claiming that I don’t ever wrestle with gray areas myself, but when something is this clear, where’s the debate? How could any Christian reviewer or commenter say things like it’s okay to play this game “if you have no reservations” or “if you feel comfortable” with these things, in the light of clear Scriptural commands against them? Where is any mention of Leviticus 19:26: “Ye shall not…use enchantment [spells]”? Think about your true motives in explaining these things away vs. how acceptable you know these disgusting abominations are to God.

    I have to conclude that this reviewer is unfortunately in blind denial and unwilling to be, or forgetful about being, intellectually honest with himself and us. Come on, anyone who’s been “a longtime Christian” should already know what I’ve mentioned here! If you need to further refresh your memory on God’s utter condemnation of witchcraft, including wizards and spells, here’s a page with a handy list of verses:

    Sorry for the caps letters (I wish I could italicize but can’t) and the length of this post, but I put a lot of thought and research into my reply because my mouth was literally hanging open in dismayed disbelief, for the second time on this site, by the time I got to the end of this review and the comments.

    To and reviewer Chris Hayes: Please remember whose name you’re claiming to represent and what it stands for, and act accordingly, without compromise. Search deeper in God’s Word and make sure you have His backing for what you’re condoning!

  23. GlaDos says:

    Greatheart, you are entitled to your opinion and argument. Though i recommend that you take time and read this book by Kevin Schutt called Of games and God: A Christian exploration of video games. Condemning like this isnt the answer while you dont know even what against youre talking about. It should open some new views. This is just a suggestion and advice. God bless you :)

  24. Michael says:

    Greatheart, thank you for your lengthy reply. While I wouldn’t have commented on this review in the same tone, I completely agree with you. This is a sensitive topic to talk about in today’s culture.

    I’ll start off by saying that this review alarmed me and did not surprise me at the same time. It initially alarmed me because of the trials I have personally gone through because of this and similar games. I thought to myself, “How could a christian review be so comfortable with content such as this?”. However I quickly remembered my not so distant youth. By not so distant, I mean within the past year. I logged in literally hundreds of hours into Skyrim and other similar games. I remember my mindset…I had been a long time Christian, raised entirely in the church, and I did not have a problem with these games at all. They were fantasy, just fantasy. A lot my Christian friends played, and we would talk about it when we hung out. Nothing ever alarmed me at first. Which is why I said this review didn’t surprise me at the same time. This review, and how I use the view these games is simply the popular opinion. (Which makes this topic difficult to talk to with other Christians). My family and I have been praying for discernment in our lives to detect and avoid content that is harmful to our spiritual and physical lives for years. As I got deeper and deeper into Skyrim red flags went off in my head, but every time I told myself that I was being ridiculous and that again, it was just fantasy. However at a very advanced stage in the game a tormenting (demon, spirit, what have you) actually is summoned by the main character and talks to you. This seriously unsettled me. I had to turn off my xbox, and sleep was hard to come by for a couple days, among other things.

    I’m not trying to scare or discourage any of you guys, especially the guys that are excited to play it. I just want to let you know that sorcery, magecraft, conjuration, necromancy, and others are specifically stated and used in the game. There is a whole lot more here than meets the eye.

    Which is specifically how Satan works in our fallen world. As Christians, we believe that the evil one is a sly and cunning enemy, just like in the garden. He used his convincing words to tempt Eve into partaking in something very detrimental. Just as he did in the garden, Satan can enter our lives under the radar if we aren’t careful. If the game trailer/commercials had demonic entities being assigned to the players on a couch, the game wouldn’t be nearly as successful. For example, my former youth pastor plays Diablo in his spare time. A game heavily involved in damning demons by your own strength, something forbidden in the bible, but again it’s a “game” so most people find it alright.

    This whole subject just disturbs me that it’s so involved in our Christian community and infrastructure. Spiritual warfare, while we don’t like to think about, and is seldom taught in the church anymore; is a very real thing. It didn’t cease to exist at some point after the life of Jesus. He performed an “exorcism” by commanding demons out men and into pigs by the power of God in Matthew:8:28-34 so as Christians, we can open doors through which the evil one can attack us. Which is precisely what happened to me.

    I’m not trying to scare anyone, or even suggest that it will happen to you, and like other long opinionated posts on the internet I need to clear some stuff up.

    I’m not saying the game developers are evil, they are simply trying to create and intense, satisfying RPG. Satan can just expose us to pagan practices though these things. I’m sure they’re very nice people.

    I’m not saying that everyone will experience the same feelings or oppression I did. I have Christian friends that played through the whole game and for whatever reason haven’t experienced anything. Also I’m not saying I’m a “better” Christians than others that don’t have the same opinion.

    As Christians we are going to be targeted by the evil one simply because we are followers of Christ. We just have to keep our guard up and be on the lookout.
    My intention of this post is to hopefully reach someone who’s on the fence about this whole thing to prevent unnecessary harm to his or her life. As you grow as a Christian I promise things such as this will be much more clear. Sorry for the mile long post but I just had to share. As I said earlier it’s difficult to talk to fellow Christians about this.

    Here’s a link with a guy that is in a similar situation as me who has a lot more scripture to reference

    Feel free to disagree I’m just trying to help.
    Oh and btw, I’m not some hermit who doesn’t enjoy video games anymore. I still love destroying my friends in FIFA and play the best sport in the world, Ultimate Frisbee.

  25. Greatheart, may ask you if you have read or watched the Lord of the Rings and if you find them sinful, or Chronicles of Narnia, or any of the other Christian written books that contain magic? If so did you have a problem with them? and why. In fact skype me and Id love to chat with you about this subject. add HCG.Neverwinter to your skype and Ill chat with you about it.

  26. Michael says:

    Deaths Crowbar, you make a valid point, however there is a difference between the game being reviewed here and the two famous novels you just mentioned. Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings are arguably both allegories (Even though Tolken denied his was). The heroes, who represent us Christians, are battling the forces of evil with the help of God. God being Aslan and Gandalf respectively.
    Gandalf might seem strange in this position but he is guiding a group of men, dies, is resurrected, and casts out a demon, so it’s a fairly safe bet. It’s up to the reader.
    Anyways, these two characters guide the groups both to vanquish the enemy.

    The magic you mentioned is used exclusively by outside characters from this group. Susan and Peter never raise the dead or cast spells, and Aragorn or Frodo never use conjuration or magecraft.

    My point is, these guided groups are trying to defeat the enemies that are are using this “magic”, to ensure they never return. Precisely the same as spiritual warfare.

    Now Skyrim is almost the opposite, you’re actively playing a character that engages in all the activities I listed above and more. You kill people with spells, you summon spirits to kill people for you. You mix together witch feathers and bear claws to make potions..and the list continues. This is the difference in your comparison.

    Again this is all my opinion and it’s perfectly fine to disagree with me, just trying to clear things up.

  27. I wasnt necessarily comparing the two as much as wondering to what extent you guys find it ok or not where you draw the line etc.

  28. Jordan says:

    I’ve never felt that games like Skyrim should conflict with with our beliefs as Christians, that they are meant as a source of entertainment and nothing more. Evil exists in both the real and fictional worlds and in games like this I think it’s more up to us and how we play our characters and respond to the game’s world that determines whether or not it is a bad influence. I have spent many hours on Skyrim since it first came out and have never killed someone premeditated or married someone of the same sex. While the temptation may be there to do those things, can any of us say we live without temptation in our lives? The internet is a sea of temptation at our fingertips and yet we have come to this type of site so I think anyone actively coming here to read about this sort of game is on the right path to being a responsible Christian gamer.

    Magic is a touchy subject but I’ve personally never had a problem reading stories or playing games that contain it because to me it is all in innocent fun. I truly believe that God wants us to avoid bad influences in our lives, but magical settings have not had a bad influence on me. If anything it is thanks to these elements that I have been able to tap more into my imagination and grown as an amateur writer, all of which I consider a gift from God. I do not believe casting a fireball in Skyrim is the same as believing in the occult, and although there are necromancers and other dark mages in the game you yourself do not have to play that way. Those same elements existed in Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia, but I would not discourage Christians from enjoying either.

    When I was a teenager growing up I played D&D games with my friends and my parents were worried that it might affect my belief in God but they are great parents and my faith is rooted deeply within my heart so they were relieved that it never poisoned my mind like it has for some. I think a Christian gamer who comes from good parenting and has a strong faith should be able to enjoy this type of game if it suits them without letting it control who they are as a person.

    The violence in this game is certainly high and I can’t blame any parent that does not want their child playing this game based on that. Everyone is forced to see a very gruesome scene at the start of the game and it more than earns its M rating based on that. I believe you can control the level of blood that is shown and I know there are mods out there that disable to the special cutscenes that sometimes trigger at the end of a fight so there are at least ways to minimize the blood and gore, but I don’t think there’s any avoiding the opening scene without turning the camera away or getting a mod that changes the start completely.

    I would suggest that anyone who has concerns about the game being friendly to Christians but still wants to play the game to consider the PC version and to modify it with the Construction kit. Many things can be changed or disabled through the construction kit so if something is truly offensive to you chances are high it can be removed so that you can still get the most enjoyment out of the game.

  29. Greatheart says:

    Thank you all for taking the time to read my comment and think about it. I’ve taken several hours of research, prayer, editing, and carefully reading over what you’ve said to make my reply.

    Michael, regarding your comment about my tone, if you felt that my expression of my points was in any way lacking in love and grace, I do apologize. But if you were referring only to my firmness on the topic, I can’t say I regret it, because this is a very clear issue in Scripture. I appreciate your sharing your insights and experiences, yet I cannot understand why you say “this is a sensitive topic in today’s culture” when there is no middle ground on it according to the Bible.

    Surprisingly, there seems to be a lot of confusion as to whether incorporating witchcraft into a game is as wrong as its practice in reality. It becomes evident very quickly that this is non-negotiable when we search for Scriptural support, which Michael has been the only one to do in the comments so far. I have to say many of the responses leave me very troubled on that score.

    DeathsCrowbar, the book you recommended, Of Games and God, would be relevant if we were exploring general issues and stereotypes of the compatibility of the Christian faith and gaming. It seems mostly to address topics such as violence and escapism. But my focus in this discussion is on exactly ONE thing: the acceptability to a Christian (especially a Christian game review website) of witchcraft–in Skyrim specifically, but also in any other game or media. You said I talked against something I knew nothing about, but that is not true. Not only did I read the detailed review of the game as well as the comments by those who have played it firsthand, all of which agreed that there was significant witchcraft involved in this game, but I’ve since read interviews with game creator Todd Howard and the Skyrim game plot on Wikipedia. What I found is actually even worse than what is described in this review, which fact was made more explicit in some of the comments that described unavoidable occultic elements. Remember also that we’re talking about a game whose ENTIRE point is the imitation of the practices of wizards, those who partner with demonic forces and cast spells with the backing of those forces. How can that possibly sound to any Christian like entertainment, a “game,” the consideration of whose merits is actually worth our time?

    As Christians we are to stand totally against any association with demonic practices or personalities, particularly in this case the casting of spells and other practices detailed by Michael and others–even in fantasy. Why do I say that? Because of my personal opinions or concerns, or personal comfort level? Again, I emphasize, no–because it is expressly forbidden and completely condemned by God in multiple passages in His Word, just a fraction of which I quoted in my first post.

    Knowing that, as Christians, we are REPRESENTATIVES of God Himself in a dark world, His temples (1 Cor. 6:19)–what can we answer if we read the following questions once again (allow me to re-quote)?

    “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial [the devil]? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.” (2 Cor. 6:14-16)

    God honors us with His presence in each of us Christians. And can we place that presence in the midst of witchcraft, even in fantasy imitation, that is totally opposed to Him and whose goal is to work against His kingdom? “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, SORCERY, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21)

    “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:43-44, 46).

    Nowhere in Scripture is there allowance for individual conscience regarding witchcraft (unlike several other topics elsewhere, such as whether one is comfortable with eating meat)–it is absolutely forbidden. Can we desire to dabble in or imitate, as we say, only “in fun,” something that works in complete opposition to Jesus, whom we say we love and follow, something that gains power by oppressing with spells and other Satanic means, while He came to set captives free and break this oppression (“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” [I John 3:8b])?

    “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.” (I John 3:11). Really, can it be any clearer than this? We’ve already established beyond question the abhorrent and completely evil nature of witchcraft itself.

    Jordan said that his strong faith in God made it permissible for him to–I hesitate to repeat the word “enjoy”–magic in games such as Dungeons & Dragons as well as Skyrim–I think of what Paul said to the Corinthians (regarding immorality): “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.'” Why does Paul warn them not to be deceived? Could one reason be because the ill effects of such association could occur so slowly that they would not be apparent until too late to remain free of the corruption? Right after that he continues, “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame” (I Cor. 15:33-34). I realize this can sound unduly harsh, but–unlike the case of mere differences of opinion on areas left gray in Scripture according to a believer’s maturity in faith–Paul had a reputation with the Corinthians for being hard-hitting when it came to clear-cut sin. This is all too clear! Can it be shown otherwise from the Bible?

    It greatly distresses me to read comments like Jordan’s, where he says he values his faith but makes statements like, “Magic is a touchy subject but I’ve personally never had a problem reading stories or playing games that contain it because to me it is all in innocent fun.” What I keep trying to point out in many comments, not just Jordan’s, is that I notice a lot of phrases such as “I felt,” “I consider,” ” personally,” “to me,” etc., all statements of opinion, as though the topic were negotiable. But what does the Scripture say? No commenter besides Michael refers to a single verse. We already established from Galations 5 quoted above that sorcery/witchcraft/magic is a form of evil, and that “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” If it’s evil, it’s to be avoided. “Abstain from every form of evil.” (I Thess. 5:22, NKJV). A form of evil is neither “innocent fun” nor the sort of thing from which to receive inspiration for your imagination.

    I’d like to bring to your attention a passage that illustrates that magic is far from “innocent fun”. See what happened to those who dabbled with demonic forces and what the resulting effect was on believers who had previously been involved in magic:

    “Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs
    or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and
    the evil spirits went out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it
    upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits,
    saying, ‘We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’ Also there were seven sons
    of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.

    And the evil spirit answered and said, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’

    Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed
    against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known
    both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the
    Lord Jesus was magnified. And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds.
    Also, many of those who had PRACTICED MAGIC brought their books together and burned them in
    the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.
    So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.” (Acts 19:11-20).

    Notice a few things here:
    -Dealing with evil forces as an amusement or pastime and thinking it won’t affect you adversely is utterly foolish.
    -As a result of what happened, believers realized how dangerous the magic they used to practice was, and gave up their valuable magic books, despite its costing them thousands. After they realized the malevolent power behind that magic, and how much greater God’s power was as demonstrated through Jesus and Paul, they wanted nothing more to do with the magic. Although they may not have had any such obvious bad experiences yet themselves, they realized they had opened themselves to the possibility through practicing magic, and renounced it.

    How about one more short passage, this time Jesus’ talking about Heaven in Revelations 22:14-15? “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs [i.e. people of impure minds] and SORCERERS and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”

    To put it plainly, in summary, once again: according to multiple Scriptures, from the Old Testament to the New, engaging in witchcraft in any form is is evil and therefore absolutely forbidden, and should also not be imitated–“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.” (3 John 1:11). “Imitate” here comes from the Greek word “mimeomai”–you will recognize the English word “mime”–to mimic–the whole point of a role-playing game (RPG).

    When you consider, apart from all we’ve mentioned about spells and enchantments, the “Divines” or “Greybeards,” monks in a high temple in this game, from whom you learn “the Way of the Voice” and more and more powerful “Thu’ums” or dragon shouts, it really amounts to idolatry. How about the fact that you as a player are “the latest ‘Dovahkiin’, a Dragonborn, an individual with the body of a mortal and the soul of a Dragon…anointed by the gods to help fend off the threat Alduin and other dragons pose to Skyrim and Tamriel” (Wikipedia)?

    You say they’re not real demons, just fantasy, or like this review’s mention of the polytheistic religion in this game, “It’s there, but it’s phony”…

    The Apostle Paul answers that best (I Cor. 10: 14-15, 18-22): “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say…. Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” Paul is saying, of course the idols are phony, just as the Divines/Greybeards are phony, but it’s still fellowship with demons regardless. Imagine that.

    I agree with Michael with regards to being on guard against the occult. His personally having had a bad experience with demonic forces through this very game illustrates how real it can be. But I would say even more strongly, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (I Peter 5:8-9)–in this particular case, you could say, your brotherhood of fellow Christian gamers who want to love God above all else!

    In keeping with this, I want to remind anyone who realizes he needs to let go of this game or other media because of such issues, that God can provide us, if we just ask Him in faith, with even better replacements that would actually be personally and spiritually profitable for us! Following God does not mean being deprived of good things–just the opposite. “…No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).

    Thanks once again for your patience with this very lengthy post–I wrote it all night from a full heart and I hope it is helpful.

  30. actually Greatheart Glados was the one that recommended the book .Of Games and God. I was just wondering if you were ok with Tolkien’s and Lewis’s fiction.

  31. Ok, so here is the defense. It is all fantasy and fake. It is all imaginary, and if games, books movies and stories cant be watched, played, read, acted out, or listened to because of witchcraft neither can any with murder, adultery, or sin of any kind, because by your logic it would be taking part in it. Either that or accept the game, world it is in, laws of it, and story of it are not real and just fantasy they do not affect you.

  32. Michael says:

    Joshua, I completely see the point you are making and understand the dilemma you are presenting. We live in a fallen world and sin is all around us. Life is not full of easy decisions. Like I said two comments ago, Satan is deceitful in his tactics and it is not always going to be obvious to make the correct decision. That is something we must pray and strive for as Christians; to build up our defenses against the evils of the world. If you look at my previous comment you can see where I draw the line as far as entertainment goes.

    This is the part that gets difficult to address as Christians in our culture (Greatheart; sorry for the confusion but I wasn’t implying this is grey area, I’m saying its difficult to confront others on this subject because it is not popular opinion.)

    Joshua, in the way that you extended the logic that’s being used by those who’s opinion is different that yours, You are correct in the third line of your comment. We should do our best to avoid movies and other entertainment where adultery is involved AND is presented as okay. This applies to the other negative things you mentioned in your post. This part of your comment truly saddens me (naturally we can’t avoid everything that incorporates sin, we live in a world engulfed in sin) but we are called to avoid things that portray sin as acceptable and okay. It’s not appropriate, and can only hurt, as apposed to helping, our walk as Christians.

    It saddens me to see people I know that claim to be Christians, talking about movies like the Hangover and 21 Jump Street and how much they like them. I can assure you that God is no where near happy when his followers engage in activities such as these, it is detestable to him . Like most people, I have seen many movies like this and I regret doing so. We are called to grow and improve, which I am hoping is happening to me and my friends. Thank goodness we worship a merciful God.

    All of this applies to Skyrim, it is encouraged to create enchantments, it is encouraged to summon demons to aid in combat, and is impossible to avoid the absorption/assignment of ancient spirits to the gamer’s character.

    I’m not trying to get into a theological debate here, but the scriptures are not suggestions. We are not to associate with things such as these. Yes there are slight differences in opinion and interpretations of scripture, but this is not grey area. The Bible clearly states not to affiliate and expose ourselves to such things.

    The Bible/God is/are similar to the parent of a small child and we are the child. The child might do or want to do something that they believe is okay and the parent says no. It”s not because the parent is being harsh and unrealistic to the child, it is because the parent loves the child and is trying to protect and teach the child how to live. We can’t see the big picture and God has given us scripture to trust and abide by to protect us.

    Again, feel free to disagree and make comments, I’m just trying to shed some light on this heavily debated topic.

  33. Profile photo of Bryan Phar Bryan Phar says:

    I think we are in a fallen world, and although we live separate or try to that is not excuse for burying our head in the sands. Prior to Constantine who ruled Rome in 306AD Romains and Gentiles brought to Christ lived separate from actual Jews. They paid taxes to be Christians but where not subjugated with the Jews that were often hurt and burned by the Roman Government of the time. I say this because prior to Constantine there was not public office or recourse for being a Jew but after him Jews and Christians where not see separate but as one. Well here we are in this day and age, what is the recourse for us who are passionate about the technology and games that are part of this fallen world? I dare say we all have cell phones and computers…
    On the topic of and about the issues of murder, stealing, and personnel choices I think that is hard to find for anyone who wants to enjoy a video game. Find one that does not have these issues? I think Deaths Crowbar pointed out that this is fantasy and not to be taken as part of who we are! The acts in most games come from our history, which is sad but honest to where we come from. It is on us to seek a better option, than what in most games simply repeat past mistakes!
    Technology and the popularity in electronic entertainment are tools and abide resources of our time. Any tool used properly and well can build things any tool used poorly can break them. It is on us as Christians to use the tools available well, and be aware of the dangers involved. But that is what this site is for, a place where we can come together and support each other. Here is where we should be questioning whether we are attempting to reach others and build up a group that does understand this is and should be a hobby. It should be fun and exciting and not distract us from what the Lord wants in our lives or how we can constantly build our selves to follow the Lord’s commands. But that is on us to make those decisions, and help others to make them; but it is not our job to judge them or make them feel judged! We are all in the same boat, we all struggle with our faith and convictions.

  34. Don S. says:

    I found this site after encountering an alarming incident in the Skyrim game which set off all sorts of spiritual alarm bells for me as a Christian, and I have to say that I disagree completely with the overwhelmingly positive review of the game on this site. Although I had previously seen some warning signs in playing the game, after stumbling into a quest called “The House of Horrors,” I have decided to uninstall the game and be done with it as I believe that there is a very disturbing undercurrent of the occult in the game.

    In summary, I was first invited to help a man who was investigating demonic activity in a house. After some search, a voice began to speak (the demon), urging me to murder the other party. I attempted to leave, but it was not an option. The other player, apparently driven mad by the voice, attacked me and forced me to kill or be killed. After the death of the other, the demon then expressed its satisfaction with my action and urges me to descend below to “collect my reward.” I attempted to leave. Again, this was not an available option. After descending, I was trapped by the demon before an occult shrine and told that the demon (the lord of domination) wants me to lure the priest of another demon to the shrine to be sacrificed, thereby “cleansing” the altar and ending its humiliation.

    I exited the game at this point as I was so disturbed by the events of this quest. In the last hour I have found that name of the demon is Molag Bal, known as the “King of Rape” and the “Harvester of Souls”! The quest apparently ends with the player torturing and finally murdering the priest before the demonic altar, something that cannot be avoided once the player returns to the house with the priest.

    Obviously, the designers of Skyrim are quite comfortable using the demonic and the occult as material for their game, and as a Christian I find this completely unacceptable. As the Bible makes clear, there are demonic forces in this world, and they are our enemy. Ephesians 6:12 reads, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” These forces are at work in many places in our world, and to play a game that would have the player torture and kill – even if it be in a fantasy world – in the name of a demon known as the “King of Rape” and “Harvester of Souls” I believe is to cross into very dangerous ground for the Christian. I urge my fellow believers to avoid this game if they are thinking about purchasing it, and to delete this game if they already have.

    God bless you and keep you.

  35. Ealadin says:

    Hello, I am a 32 year old Christian Gamer

    I found this page when searching for a Christian’s view of this game and its contents and was shocked that the author only shot a glimpse at the content and no real detail. Having been brought up in a strict Christian home I was taught to not take such decisions lightly in your activities whether it be movies, music, games, or people you hang around. Everything can have an affect on you whether you can see it or not. Just look at a small child and how easily they are affected. Even though we are older it still effects us to one degree or another.

    I played well into many of the quest lines trying to give this game a chance, then to see how far some of this stuff went. I was appalled at what I saw, There is a Wolf skull quest that has you kill Necromancers trying to bind the soul of an ancient queen (there was a book about it in the game) to their service. In the dawn-guard quest line you enter the vampire Lord’s castle to find the daughter’s mother who escaped into Oblivion through the practice of Necromancy. I felt like it was The game’s version of Hell, Something about that was where the souls go that were bound by the necromancers. Found out that was what soul gems were and the kind with Humanoid souls were black Soul Gems. Also another problem in the “Role” play area was according to one of the Priests in a place was that clicking on these “shrines” was praying to the god, or divine, of that Shrine.

    Those were just a few examples of things I know is in that game. I feel like I had gone further than I should have and have deleted the game from my computer.

    I came to this site seeing if I was being legalistic on the issue and seeing if there was more, but I feel the Posts of Greatheart and Michael have a point in that you cannot serve God and play this game. You are Dabbling with stuff not of God. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on the things that are pure, just, and of good report to think on these things.

    As for Witchcraft, people do believe in that stuff and they believe in the power of their craft. I saw a lot of occult stuff and even though its a game, how can we play with this stuff and not know that the enemy has used such things as strongholds in people’s lives in reality. It does affect us and I am sorry I bought this game months ago.

  36. Dan says:

    I’ve read through the comments here and some are a little fanatical.
    I was raised as Christian- and grew up playing RPG’s like D&D, then other video games and I have NEVER played as a villan. And had zero desire to do so.
    For me at least, fighting evil is the point-not becoming it.
    I was trained as a child the way I should go, now I’m older and have not departed from it.
    If your early teen has a solid foundation, knows right from wrong, and the game does not have adult sexual themes in it, extreme gore and excessive bad language, and does not endorse or glorify evil behavior, it should be fine.
    How are our teacup kids ever gonna make it in the real world if they can’t handle a video game.
    Real life can be far worse. And often is.

  37. Idiot says:

    “…because ‘The Elder Scrolls’ lore has it’s own deities. They are referred to as the ‘9 Divines’. They are in the game, but the player isn’t forced to worship them or anything. They simply exist as part of the world. Some character’s don’t believe in them, others do. The presence of the 9 ‘divines’ in the game reminds me largely of any major polytheistic religion. It’s there, but it’s phony.”

    Yes… and no. Look, they’re phony, that’s true (like the entire game world and story), but the problem is that they “really” do appear in the game world, whereas the pagan gods of old never really appeared to anyone. Do you get my point?


    Thus, “religion” in the game isn’t so much a problem of “faith” but of allegiance.

    Another problem are the “Daedra” (demons) — they seem to have more importance in the game’s lore/story than the “Aedra” (i.e., the so-called gods or “nine divines”) — you can do quests for them (usually murder someone) and receive their “favor” and some type of demonic item.


    And the enchanting system with its “soul gems”…


    Okay, you can say that all these are avoidable.

    But then, of course, there’s the unavoidable “Dragonborn”… and the “Greybeards”… how do you explain their powers if you (or rather your character) do (does) not “believe” in the game’s pixel gods?


    The whole game and its worldview is gnostic-pagan gibberish!


    How can you advocate for such c#%p, seriously?

    There is only one way to beat this game: delete it!

  38. Idiot says:

    What is gnosticism?


    Compare to ‘The Elder Scrolls’ lore:


    If you think you can play such a game without being anyway influenced by its mindset/philosophy/worldview, then hats off, you must have a very strong faith indeed.

    But the question is: WHY would you, as a Christian, want to play such a game?

    By the way, for those of you not familiar enough with the works of Tolkien to see the difference between the “wizards” (or “Istari”) in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and the “Greybeards”/mages or whatever ‘The Elder Scrolls':




    Gandalf is sort of like John the Baptist (who was an angel — this is the reason he is usually depicted in icons as having wings), whereas the mages in ‘The Elder Scrolls’ games are sort of like Simon Magus.

    Gandalf: I think you should leave the ring behind, Bilbo. Is that so hard?
    Bilbo: Well, no.
    Bilbo: …and yes. Now it comes to it, I don’t feel like parting with it. It’s mine, I found it. It came to me!
    Gandalf: There’s no need to get angry.
    Bilbo: Well, if I’m angry, it’s your fault.
    [to himself]
    Bilbo: …it’s mine… my own… my precious…
    Gandalf: Precious? It’s been called that before, but not by you.
    Bilbo: Oh, what business is it of yours what I do with my own things?
    Gandalf: I think you’ve had that ring quite long enough.
    Bilbo: You want it for yourself!
    Gandalf: BILBO BAGGINS! Do not take me for some conjuror of cheap tricks! I am not trying to rob you. I’m trying to help you.

    “There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power.”

    Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
    Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
    Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
    One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie

  39. Idiot says:

    Michael Kirkbride, former designer for Bethesda Softworks:

    “I am proud to be a gnostic heretic, and it colors my work.”


  40. Idiot says:

    @Chris Hayes

    An entire standalone article covering this topic (i.e., the topic of magic in fantasy RPGs) on HCG would be very interesting…

    What say you?

  41. Idiot says:

    One last comment. I don’t know if you’re Catholic, but I think this applies to everyone:

    “Any trend to produce programs and products — including animated films and video games — which in the name of entertainment exalt violence and portray anti-social behavior or the trivialization of human sexuality is a perversion, all the more repulsive when these programs are directed at children and adolescents.”

    –Pope Benedict XVI (World Communications Day, 2007)

    You can include magic(k) on this list.

  42. Idiot says:

    Hey, do me a favor and please delete my comments.

    I will probably post something about the gnostic worldview in fantasy RPGs on your forum somewhen in the future (I don’t promise anything though), but in a more concise and ordered manner. Until then, these comments bother me. I don’t want to spread confusion among your readers — or worse: make them interested in the occult.

  43. Cody Comstock says:

    All the subject matter in the game is also in the Bible. Lot offering his two virgin daughters to be raped by a mob in place of angels. Years later the daughters get Lot drunk so they can try to have sex with him. I don’t think any of the elder scrolls games have sexual content like that. Violence is around every corner in the Bible. Raising the dead is in the Bible. Murder, rape, and adultery all in the Bible. David sends a soldier to his death so he can have his wife. The game is not set in our world it is a fantasy world. You do not conjure spirits you hold the left trigger. You can play the game however you want. The website offers clean gaming reviews bringing any questionable content to the readers attention. The man who made the review should not have his beliefs attacked like this. Greatheart, judge not lest ye be judged. By putting the word Christian in quotations you are judging Chris Hayes. Your verdict on Chris Hayes, not worthy of the word Christian in your sinless eyes. Chris you are doing something good by offering Christian gamers should appreciate.

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