The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Herbalism Retrospective

If you’re interested in reading something silly and amusing but still vaguely RPG-related, you should direct your attention to this recent Eurogamer article that tells a tale of a man oblivious to the intricacies of real life herbology and some unexpected lessons The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion taught him as a result. A few sample paragraphs:

Chokeberry, Cairn Bolete, Elf Cup, Lady's Smock, Monkshood: they all sounded made-up to me. I mean Elf's Cup for Christ's sake! (It'd be a good cup to toast with, though, wouldn't it? "Here's to your good elf!" and that.) They're all straight from the pages of fantasy, surely?

Then one day everything changed. I was in a health store, don't hold that against me, when something caught my eye: a packet on a shelf claiming to be able to heighten my mood. St. John's Wort. I practically fainted into the Rescue Remedies. It's real?!


Did it mean- No! Were the other herbs in Oblivion real as well? I looked around. There was Bergamot, there was Arrowroot, there was Wormwood. My god. And, hang on, Elf Cup is a real mushroom in the real world? It blew my mind. I know it all sounds a bit ridiculous now. Loads of other games do this and probably did back then. But this was my discovery moment, the moment my eyes opened, so the next time I went into Oblivion I was like a saucer-eyed child, walking through the wilderness as if for the first time, studying what I found. Oh so that's what it looks like, hmm, hmm. Oh so that's what it does, hmm, hmm.