Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to tell you about Skyrim, what it is, what it is about, and the different themes associated with it.
Skyrim is the next installment of Bethesda Softwork's award-winning Role Playing Game series, The Elder Scrolls. It is a game in which a person takes control of a character of their own design (anything from brave Nordic warrior to Cat-Person.) One traverses the open world of Skyrim in search of fame and glory through combat, trade, errands, and diplomacy. I feel that "pause for 13" is a worthy rating for this game, as while many 13 year-olds can certainly handle many of the game's mature themes, it is not always a given.
Let us look through the stuff here, shall we?
Believe it or not dear reader, this game can actually teach a player a good deal about conserving money and bartering, as in the game the character can make many decisions about what to buy, where, and for what reason. This is helped as different stores and vendors offer things at different prices. The player's vocabulary of fantastical words will also be increased, as they will learn words like "tome" or "necromancy". Not that they are particularly useful words or anything.
Role models: The main role-model in the game, is actually the player themselves. They can decide to, ultimately, if they want to smash in the head of an innocent civilian or not. As most games, combat against other blood-thirsty warriors and great beasts is required to play and win the game, but it is up to the player if they want to be a paragon of righteousness and help the weak, or be a really, really big jerk.
Violence: The game almost revolves around violence, but not as much as a game like Call of Duty. The player can choose several different methods of battle to defeat a foe, everything from giant-axe brutality to spewing a torrent of fire out of their hands. As could be expected, the goal of all methods is to kill one's opponent, but magic I have seen is notably less bloody than melee combat. Players can expect to see corpses, skeletons, and mutilated bodies throughout the course of the entire game.
Sexual themes: Minimal but still present. The occasional bit of innuendo here, some cleavage. Characters can appear with most clothing off, this being men in loincloth and girls in their undies.
Language: Not as bad as most games. No F-bombs or swearing in "the name," as it takes place in another world entirely. The "D" word and the "B" word are common place however. Basically any swear that can sound alright said in medieval times.
Themes: It can get pretty strong in this game. Many a time will the player be forced into hard, morally difficult or confusing situations. There is, if the player decides to peruse some schools of magic, a good deal of summoning, the collection of the souls of enemies, and other dark ideas in general.
Addictive factor: Skyrim is an incredible game. It is almost endlessly immersive, and can hold a person's attention for months, literally. There is so much to do and see in the game that there are some people who have played a single character for hundreds of hours in the previous game, Oblivion, just to enjoy all that there is to offer. It goes without saying that Skyrim has even more content, and can utterly consume the life of the player if they have nothing else to do. Be sure your child is not overly-imaginative in the way that they would blur fantasy and reality together, as this is one of those games.
Overall: Skyrim is an excellent game for anyone who can take the mature themes and still enjoy them, along with playing it in moderation. If not, it could lead to an escapist attitude toward life in general, as the player would much rather play Skyrim than enjoy the charms of reality. Be sure to know your child if you allow them to play it.