Dan Steen
5 min readAug 1, 2020

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Sketches by me

The secret to escaping lockdown is Skyrim VR

I’ve recently joined a guild of thieves. After completing several sneaky acts of thievery, I’ve been asked by my superiors to cross the land and investigate some dodgy dealings of the swindling anthropomorphised lizard barfly in Solitude. Having never visited Solitude, I decide to walk northwesterly from my guild’s home in Riften. Like all good hikes, there are many wonders to be discovered on my journey. Not far from my departure point, I discover a cave filled with bandits. Do I investigate and loot this cavern or stick to the primary quest? I decide to investigate, loot and murder. Doesn’t that life sound much more interesting than ‘wake, eat, work, binge-watch TV, back to bed’, and repeat?

I’m based in Melbourne, Australia, and we’re now amid our second strict lockdown. I’ve been reflecting and trying to remember, ‘how did I survive the first lockdown just a few months ago?’. The answer is through lots of bad things like drinking too much, eating lots and probably not doing enough exercise. ‘Be kind to me,’ I said, but perhaps I was a little too kind. For me, managing the social impact was easy – my partner is my best mate and I’m a huge introvert – but the lack of space in our small apartment and the inability to explore, visit new places and shake up my routine made the days blur together. Environmental variability is a huge element that is inhibited during the lockdown.

It was during that first lockdown that I untangled my PSVR cords and launched Skyrim VR. Skyrim VR was my third purchased copy of the game; the first was a blurry port of the game on Playstation 3, and my second was a copy on PC, and then I finally got a copy for the PSVR when it launched a while back. I’m sure I’m part of the problem when it comes to gaming culture’s frustration of Todd Howard and Bethesda republishing Skyrim on every platform (*starts trawling online for a Nokia N-Gage port). Having never finished the game, each purchase was an ambitious statement: ‘Maybe this time’.

The series itself is an amalgamation of traditional fantasy elements with its own unique lore. This series has a special nostalgic place in my heart. As a fourteen-year-old, I was obsessed with one of the predecessors of Skyrim, Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I don’t think I ever finished that either, despite spending countless hours exploring the nooks and crannies of…

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Dan Steen

creative, tinkerer, animator, designer, ux, games and education geek. Vegan.