Of the many things I’ve done in video games that I haven’t done in real life, one of my favorites was buying a house. Not in the Sims, but in Skyrim. When you buy a house in Skyrim, you start off with just some land and some blueprints.


In real life, buying a house looks more like this:


This is our house. THIS is our house. This is OUR house. This IS our house. This is our HOUSE.

Buying a house in Skyrim is relatively easy. You get a letter from a Jarl,(1) you go see him, he has you kill some guys guys for him, and then you can buy the land for a mere 5000 gold.

In real life, it’s much, much, much more difficult. I signed my name twenty-seven times yesterday, and initialed twice. That’s after the forty-five-day waiting period. After a bazillion calls and trazillion documents requiring more signatures and initials and re-writes and…whew.

In Skyrim, I would now begin to build, mine clay and iron, forge hinges and nails, buy lumber, and go to the store for goat horns for lighst and straw to thatch and other nice amenities. You keep grinding away at this, eventually ending up with a great room, a dining space, a hearth, some bedrooms – even a library and trophy room if that’s what you like. And you can own Of the 600+ hours I’ve spent in Skyrim,(2) probably 200 of that has been spent building houses.(3)

In real life, I don’t have to do any of that. Our house is built. It’s been taken care of rather well for the past near-forty years. There’s room for all the cats and for Howie. Room for Ash to have an office and me to have a studio. There’s a rec room and even room for guests. There’s a great yard and a deck and a little creek and lots of birds. Basically, it’s exactly what we could hope for.

In Skyrim, the house would come with a housecarl, a sort-of bodyguard/house-servant/bitch. That’s apparently not a thing in real life, which is a slight bummer. Then again, our house is not likely to be attacked by bandits, spriggans, vampires or dragons, so I suppose that’s something of a fair trade.

But…there it is. We’ve bought a house. We’ve bought a house!

  1. Kind of a mayor/governor/minor king. It’s a soft-J, like in yogging.
  2. Not sure if that’s a number to be proud of or horribly embarrassed of…
  3. Probably also another 100+ hours just reading the books. I found myself firing up the Xbox just to do some reading.