I was clutching my shield on one hand, running as my stamina bar goes down until it is completed depleted; the gods were merciful enough to guide my feet towards a rock that served as a shield against the winged beasts deadly flames. Around me was a sea of flames, houses and people burning in agony.
The city guards all rallied together to help bring the beast down; grabbing their arrows and sharpening their swords as the winged creature soared across the skies. My resources are limited; an old and worn out sword, a shield with elemental resistances and some arrows and an enchanted bow. A few potions to replenish my health and some to replenish my mana (my magic source) Things are looking grim for me. But that is no excuse. Somewhere deep inside me I can hear a scream for glory, passion for victory against the odds. And in one swift motion, I drew out my sword and lunged towards the dragon.
I have dragon blood, so technically… you’re my bro right? Can’t we just… you know… talk it out like civilized men?
At that moment I wondered; what do dragons posses? What do we, the people at the other side of the monitor, find in the act of slaying these powerful beasts? I for one am guilty of this dark pleasure. The feeling of battling a legendary and mythical beast strong enough to wipe an entire village and sometimes, at grander scales, civilizations, is addicting. These scaled, winged and fire breathing lizards are like prohibited drugs; once you get your fix, you’ll never get enough. They’re just not the same as the other computer generated enemies you come by; sure there may come a metallic, colossal abomination, an undead wizard, hordes of zombies and ghouls, monsters that are half this and half that, gods that are obsessed with power bent on destroying the world and all those bizarre enemies you can think of. But let’s face it; nothing tops the excitement (and fear) that we feel whenever we hear wings flapping and the sound of flames bursting.
I guess the answer’s no. At least have the decency to not drink coke with mentos please.
Whether it’s Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Dragon’s Dogma, Dark Souls, Dragon Quest and of course, Skyrim, the feelings are always the same. There’s just something about overcoming the odds and defeating these beasts that we are all addicted about. Maybe it’s the wings? the killer fangs? scales like iron? Maybe it’s the perfect metaphor for gaming in itself; the possibility of doing something that we cannot do in reality. Maybe we associate the real life hurdles and symbolize them as obstacles in the game subconsciously. Maybe that project was a dark mage, maybe that recent break up was that one stage you keep on repeating, maybe that girl across the class is the high score we’ll never beat. Maybe our problems are our dragons, and we are dying to overcome them.
But maybe that’s just me, I love fighting dragons (screw riding them). Bathing in flames and lunging at them to deliver the killing blow. And then I’ll emerge from the flames and proclaim my glory to the fictional world.
But then again, maybe that’s just me.
Game: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim