Part of that sulk was me turning to a long-held tradition of things I do while sulking: gaming.
I played Skyrim. I've been playing the game on and off for many, many years, restarting and never quite finishing it out. Last night, I finished the story portion of the game. I say I finished the story portion of the game because I don't really think that you can possibly finish the game. There are always places to discover, stories to stumble into, mysteries to explore and never solve... There's a lot still left to do in this world.
I'm genuinely feeling really, really sad about finishing the story part of the game. Oh well. I guess I'll just have to get myself a VR headset and 3D copy of the game and go through it again with a slightly different experience.
Anyway, the story part of the game for me ended with the killing of Ulfric Stormcloak. That's right. I sided with the Empire. I genuinely did not make that decision lightly. I actually agonised over it for ages. I understood the Stormcloaks and their desire for freedom, and I absolutely believed in their right to worship Talos. I despised the Thalmor, who believed themselves superior and were willing to kill people who thought differently (like those who consider Talos to be divine, for instance). Ideologically, I was on the Stormcloak's side.
For the most part.
There was a lot about the Stormcloaks I did not like at all. Their xenophobia, for example. They were a bunch of racist fucks sometimes. Well, more than sometimes. Often. Still, it's not like the Thalmor were any better.
One the other hand, however much I disagreed with the Thalmor and the White Gold Concordat, and however much I sympathised with the Stormcloak objective, I agree completely with Legate Rikke. Tearing the Empire apart makes it weaker, making it harder to break free of Thalmor control. Better to stick together for the time being, gathering strength in order to fight back against the real enemy - not the Empire, but the Thalmor.
Because, honestly, fuck those guys.
To be fair, I feel my hand was forced. When it was revealed that Ulfric was intending to annex Whiterun, and kill Jarl Balgruuf, I absolutely could not side with Ulfric. Jarl Balgruuf is a good man, who leads well and sensibly. He refused to garrison soldiers of the Empire, and valued free speech enough that he permitted the open preaching of a Talos worshipper. His concern was for the people of his hold, and he didn't overreach to deny them their freedoms. He was a good Jarl, and I felt particularly loyal to him. It's not just because he was the first Jarl to offer me the position of Thane of his hold, but because I genuinely thought him to be a good man and a good leader for his people. My main homestead (from the Hearthfire DLC) where I will be raising my two adopted daughters, was Hjaalmarch Hall; overlooking Whiterun and close enough to the city to visit often.
I'm writing all of this like they were actual people and not characters in a fictional world, but hell, that's what good fiction does to me.
Anyway, when Ulfric forced the Jarl's hand, I, as his Thane, stood by my Jarl and fought off the Stormcloaks.
It didn't make me feel good to do so, except that I was protecting who I thought should be protected. I was mollified a bit while talking to Legate Rikke, who expressed her belief in a unified empire being the only chance anyone has against the Thalmor, and also by General Tullius, who expressed his doubts about the White Gold Concordat at the end of the game (just between him and I).
Look, whose side I was going to take in the civil war in Skyrim had taken up a lot of head space for me, and my indecision was a big part of the reason I didn't "finish" the game sooner. I know everyone has already had these arguments years and years ago, but I just really needed to explain myself today.
I may, I think, write a Sassy Review for it, though I'm not sure. It's hard to write a review for a game that never really finishes.
Also, I really need to save up for a VR headset. This game is already so immersive, I may just disappear into it entirely.... that might be an argument against VR, actually.
Right, I have work, so I'll sign off now. Have a great day.