The Elder Scrolls

The Elder Scrolls is primarily a video game series that takes place in the continent of Tamriel. The different instalments in the series each feature different lands, each facing different crises for the player to help solve. Most commonly featured in research is the fifth instalment of the game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Skyrim is an open world role-playing game in a sort of medieval fantasy setting, featuring a nature-rich environment. The environment is praised for its emergent design, evoking a sense of a living and active world (Abraham, 2018).

Skyrim’s community is known for actively writing modifications (mods) for the game. The practice of modding continually re-imagines itself and its content, providing a site for re-envisioning games as both environmentally problematic and subversive. Mods also provide a site for discourse and debate over environmental and ecological issues through the practice of ‘environmental modding’ (Bohunicky, 2017). For example, the survival ecomod Frostfall makes the player account for nature’s agency, invoking a distrust of nature while simultaneously enforcing an acceptance of nature’s being-beyond the player’s power (Jansen, 2019).