Skyrim

15Nov11

Within Chris Bilton’s chapter of Managing Media Work he discusses “a more complex model that embeds individual creativity in a broader system of cultural production”, where “ user generated content, and social networking sites allow creative roles to be distributed among consumers” (Bilton, 2011, p. 32)

These quotes immediately made me think of the recent release of Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In terms of user generated content especially the Elder Scrolls series has been renowned within gaming for the sheer depth and breadth of user generated content, both in terms of the vast array of cosmetic improvements and modifications, from graphic overhauls to naked characters, as well as bug fixes and other engine overhauls. With previous versions of the game such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, they released a constructor set to encourage this within their user base, something that has also been promised (but as yet undelivered for Skyrim).

This however has not discouraged fans, who after less than a week after the game’s release (it was released on 11/11/11) have already produced a number of mods to address what they feel to be issues with the game, covering things such as “No More Blocky Faces” to allowing the game to access more than 2Gb of your system’s RAM as highlighted within this blog post by PC Gamer.

This user generated content is also supported by a number of social networks such as modDB (link to Oblivion page, no doubt they will do the same once Skyrim Creation Set is released),  The Elder Scrolls Wiki which is a community run wiki as well as the official forums managed by Bethesda.

Bethesda have gotten to know their user base well enough to be aware that they are going to want to do more with the world the development team have created and so give them the tools to do so, they “have had to concede their authority over cultural production to consumers” (Bilton, 2011, p. 32) by “engaging consumers in the active creation and re-creation of meaning” (Bilton, 2011, p. 33).

–Craig Harkness

Bilton, C. (2011). The Management of Creative Industries. In M. Deuze (Ed.), Managing Media Work (pp. 35-42). Thousand Oaks, California, United States of America: SAGE Publications Inc.

 

 

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