Welcome, dear readers, to another Fun fact Friday! This week’s entry is also gaming related but I’ve had a little trouble putting it into words, which is wholly ironic as you’ll see. It’s not so much of a fun fact than a pet peeve, but I felt it was relevant anyway.
So, here’s the issue: Do gaming companies think that their gamer’s intelligence, namely their literacy abilities, has declined over the years? I ask this because during The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, when your carry weight exceeds your limit, you encounter a simple message: “You are over-encumbered”. Short. Straightforward. Easy.
Why then, when we reach Skyrim, are we faced with the small-font novella of “You are carrying too much to be able to run”? In the five years between Oblivion and Skyrim, did we suddenly become unable to read? A simple dictionary/Google search would have revealed the meaning of “encumbered” should the player not know it’s definition, but I felt that Skyrim was a bit of a slap in the face in that regard. I enjoyed Oblivion for many reasons, it’s lexical density one of them; it was like a game version of Tolkien’s language complexity in LOTR.
Yet, when we look at Skyrim, there is a distinct departure from the use of more complicated language. Were Bethesda trying to attract players from a wider age range, therefore casting the net wider for linguistic ability, despite the game having a minimum age limit? Or is it simply me being a bit pedantic?
Either way, it’s something that has annoyed me for the best part of a decade now, so I thought it would share it! What’s your fun fact for a Friday or a pet peeve? Comment and follow!