Top 100 Xbox360 Review: # 13 – Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006)

A Menace To Society.

Was this the moment where games hacked the human psyche?

157216-the-elder-scrolls-iv-oblivion-windows-screenshot-main-menuGame FAQs Ranking:  #13
My Rating: StarStarStarStarStar

A subtle reason I like reviewing older games is for the cultural and historical aspect. If you look hard enough, you can see the societal changes being reflected in the medium itself — no different than art or music. As technology has gone on to completely integrate with our lives (we just installed smart outlets that only require talking out loud to illuminate the house) you see this same theme ramping up over the years in video games.

Oblivion is a watershed moment in that story.  To me, it feels like a tipping point where video games were able to be more than just a hobby and could actually take over your life.  The in game counter for Final Fantasy usually clocked in at 40 hours with each entry and elicited self-moral shaming. I always considered what I could have accomplished with that chunk of time directed at some other task.

Oblivion made that look like child’s play.

Hijacking our sensibilities, it was easy to now play this game for 100+ hours. There was actually that much to do. Stranger yet, these hundreds of hours weren’t spread out over a year but were concentrated blasts starting in the afternoon and not ending and until 2am.

Replaying Oblivion made me go down that road one last time, albeit for just a quick 25 hour play through. It was hard to put down the controller, always wanting to do “just one more thing.” It’s still addicting and engrossing, but I kept thinking: at what cost?

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