Why Skyrim Is Horrible for the Economy | GeekDad | Wired.com

We live in very troubled times. Unemployment is higher than it has been in a generation and job numbers continue to be dismal; the stock market turbulently boils, destroying billions in wealth; and entire continents look to the rest of the world for bailouts. Still, there are pockets of economic hope. After a very positive October, video game sales continued to increase in November. During the week following Thanksgiving, XBox had its biggest week of hardware sales ever, moving nearly one million consoles.

Yet, in this period of bullish video game sales, there is some decidedly bad news. There is one game that is leaving a black eye on the gaming industry and single-handedly keeping us in a recession. Released one month ago, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has done more to damage our economy than a committee of congressmen with a wallet full of US Treasury credit cards and a case of whiskey.

I know what you're thinking: it's the second-best selling game in the world right now. In the first 48 hours that Skyrim was available, 3.5 million copies were sold, a number that has continued to grow. How can a game that will generate millions possibly be bad for the economy?

The answer is quite simple: Skyrim is incredible. The game's world is so big and there are so many quests to complete that those millions of dollars in sales are being nullified by players' lost productivity and lack of economic participation in the real world.