Parents Who Actually Name Their Children After Bethesda’s ‘Skyrim’ Protagonist Shouldn’t Be ParentsBy Justin Massoud
Bethesda is holding a contest aimed at prospective parents: name your baby ‘Dovahkiin’ (after the fictional protagonist from the developer’s upcoming game “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”), and be rewarded with a lifetime key to all Bethesda/Zenimax titles released on Steam. The child must be born on the game’s release date, which thankfully limits the number of children who could potentially have their lives ruined by stupid parents.
Add this to the already long list of silly, stupid and ultimately pointless things video game makers do to promote their work. And yes, the irony that complaining about this contest is just what Bethesda wants isn’t lost. Still, complaining is good for the soul, and it’s far more honest than jumping on the ‘Love the idea, Bethesda!’ bandwagon.
The main problem with this offer – beside the obvious lifetime of horror an innocent would endure knowing they’re named after a mythological creature because their parents were a little too into video games – is that “Skyrim” does not need this type of low-brow promotional straw-grasping.
It’s the sequel to the multi-million selling critical darling “The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion,” which garnered Game of the Year awards. Game Informer – a magazine with a paying subscriber base of over four million people – featured an exclusive first-look at the upcoming title in its February 2011 issue. “Skyrim” isn’t some under-the-radar, low budget, indie-developed passion project – not that those descriptors would justify such a contest. But in that situation this type of scheme would at least make sense: do something extreme just to get noticed. Bethesda doesn’t need such a ploy. It’s recognized as a top-tier game company the world over. Gamers literally line up at midnight to snatch up its titles the very second they’re available.
On the other side of the argument is: ‘it’s a fun little contest – who cares? Stop hating.’ And I’m honestly at a loss at how to combat such a simple line of thought. If people like the idea or think it’s brilliant, that’s fine. Send your applause and well-wishes to the man behind the plan, Bethesda vice president Pete Hines.
A selfish part of me is hoping some poor souls do it. That come November 11th, game blogs are lit up with “Skyrim” reviews and congratulatory posts to Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so from Some city, Some State for naming their recently-birthed boy or girl ‘Dovahkiin’ in equal measure. But my better side worries for that poor little child whose parents are dooming him to be “that weird kid named after a video game.” On the bright side, names can be re-rolled.