For over 153 hours my Wood Elf, Randy Stardust, picked locks, sneaked and killed from afar in the world of Skyrim. Randy took the reins of both the Thieves’ and Assassins’ guild, conquered Alduin (the main foe of the main quest line) and crushed the Stormcloak rebellion as an Imperial Legate. In short, Randy was a bad ass. There was no foe, nor group of foes, in the world of Skyrim that could best him. Randy saw the blood of his enemies and sadly, many of his friends run underneath his Dragonskin boots. His heart had grown cold and dead due to the amount of death that followed in his Dragonborn wake. He had quietly been searching for an end and this week, he embraced his death.
Randy was not defeated by any virtual foe. No dragon can clam fame from his demise. Randy just simply lived too long, in my mind. I had grown tired of Randy and his exploits. I had grown tired of killing my foes with an arrow from the shadows. I was tired of serving the Imperials that had almost signed Randy’s death warrant just as he was born onto the Skyrim landscape. No, Randy met his demise because gaming is one of the best deterrents to monotony. Randy died so another could live, and overwrite his saved game files. Born is Kegels Grip.
Kegels Grip is almost the antithesis to Randy Stardust. An Imperial with a hatred for his own kind (they were going to hang him for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time) and a thirst for magic – Kegels desires power and an Imperial to use it against. Preferring to stand out in the open rather than skulk in the shadows, Kegels would rather dual wield spells while encased in armor than pepper targets from afar. Kegels is a battlemage and one of the best examples of the amount of variation today’s games can bring to today’s gamer.
Kegels Grip not only represents my inclination towards humorous word play but my appreciation for the level of variance one can pull from well designed games. Entirely new quest lines are at my fingertips because of the path I have chosen for Kegels. Past enemies are now friends and friends are now enemies. New adventures present Kegels and myself with new rewards. Within the first hour of Kegels life new locations, within Skyrim, were highlighted to visit – even after spending 153 hours exploring the world as Randy Stardust, may he rest in peace.
The ability to reinvent yourself is not unique to PC gaming but the ability to do it so quickly, is. It may be the end of Randy Stardust but in his death, appreciation for creation and change would not be as evident. In many ways Randy’s death helped enable the creation of Kegels avatar. Randy provided a standard to completely run away from so even in his death, parts of him live on in Kegels Grip. Gaming is a platform of constant change that one embraces rather fears. The ability to change with excitement in a virtual world makes it easier to accept change in the real world and embrace it as well. Here’s to change, both virtual and reality based.