Skyrim: The RPG for the Rest of Us

That's the title of a new piece on IGN that attempts to convince us that Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be far more desirable to non-RPG players than your typical role-playing game. Calling it "an escape-hatch to another world", they list six reasons why the game should appeal to virtually every human being on this planet, though I fail to see why most of them don't apply to many of the other RPGs we've been enjoying in recent years:
We can get all excited about environments, combat, quests and dragons, but the thing that we all love most in fiction is people. Skyrim is full of characters going about their daily business, helping you familiarize yourself with their world and their troubles, moving the plot along but also creating personal relationships.

I know there is something odd about Bethesda's 'people' behavior models - the distinctive turning of the head, the creepy gaze - but no-one really does this stuff better. The hours I'll spend just bothering people in the street is actually pretty scary. And in Elder Scrolls, it really matters how you treat people, not just in the way the game pans out, but in how you feel about your character and yourself. If a book makes me feel that way, I count it as great. In a game, it's a real achievement.

Skyrim is an RPG, insofar as you take on the role of a character and battle your way towards specific goals, improving your abilities along the way. Fine. There's nothing wrong with that. But it's more. It's a world within which we can all willingly lose ourselves.