The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is the fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series of high-fantasy action-adventure RPGs.

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Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll

Parents should know that although Skyrim is rated M and contains some very mature content, many families and younger players have enjoyed this game. Gameplay is very customizable. Check out this post about a dad who played Skyrim with his 4-year-old daughter for tips and ideas on how to make it work in your favor.

Violence: Combat involves bloodshed. Heads will roll, literally. It isn’t terribly realistic, though.

Horror: There are a few quests involving themes such as cannibalism, torture, serial murder, and demonic possession. However, these are not a primary focus of the game.

Sexual Content: There are spoken references to prostitution, sexual slavery, promiscuity, and sexual violence in some quests. Again, this is not a primary focus of the game.

Substance Use: Alcohol (read: beer, ale, wine)  is prevalent, and can be consumed by the main character (though it has little impact).

Nudity and Costuming: Players can remove the main character’s clothing and armor, but they still wear undergarments.


Players can save whenever and wherever they choose.

Story & Themes

Skyrim tells the story of a young adventurer in a Scandinavian-esque country—Skyrim—that is undergoing attack by massive dragons, led by the dragon god Alduin. Skyrim’s high king has been killed, and the country is on the brink of war, with two factions fighting for power. One wishes to remain with the disintegrating greater empire, while the other wishes to cut ties and isolate itself. The main character is pulled into the fight because of their Dragonborn, or Dovahkiin, status: the body of a mortal and the soul of a dragon. Dragonborn can “Shout,” a powerful action when it comes to defeating enemies. The role of Dragonborn is to fend off Alduin and the evil dragons plaguing Skyrim.The main character is fully customizable, and gameplay is open-ended. The Dragonborn must make moral decisions as they play, such as choosing to become a member of the Assassin’s Guild or not. They must also choose a faction—the Stormcloaks or the Imperials—and there is no specific order to most quests, though the main plot develops over time into a continuing story.

Skyrim has been praised for its gorgeous world and graphics. The map is extremely large, and because of its sandbox nature, players can choose to play the game in many different ways.

The Creators

Bethesda Softworks


Characters can get married to NPCs; same-sex relationships are allowed. Although this did not stir up much of a controversy, some players were upset by this option.

Conversation Starters

  •  Skyrim features a few fantasy races that are shown to have a large amount of prejudice thrown their way. However, when you choose to make your Dragonborn one of these races, you are not treated badly. In fact, no other characters interact with the Dragonborn in a racially-charged manner. Do you think this is realistic, and if not, what kinds of prejudice do you think your Dragonborn might have faced if it was realistic?
  • The game forces players to make moral decisions throughout the story. Did you make some decisions you would not have made in real life? Why? Do you think, in those cases, the end justified the means, or was it more of a character decision?
  • Neither the Stormcloaks nor the Imperials are perfect. Each faction has its problems and its good points. Which faction did you choose, and why? Do you disagree with anything your chosen faction did or believed?


Fus Ro Dah is the primary “Shout” that the Dragonborn uses to knock back enemies. The saying has become an Internet meme.


This article was written by

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.