Ballots: Joseph Bernstein


1. Dark Souls (30)
2. FIFA Soccer 12 (20)
3. Dead Space 2 (20)
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (10)
5. Portal 2 (10)
6. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (10)


Skyrim is a novel. It’s big, it’s long, it’s tangential. It is sloppy in places. There are bad sentences but also ones so good you write down so you can remember them, quote them to your friends. So you remember moments but more than that, after the moments fade, you remember the sweep, the experience of moving through the bulk of the thing. You look at the number of hours you’ve played Skyrim in the same way you look at the top of a great big novel to see, physically, how far you are from the beginning, how close you are to the end. Dark Souls is a poem. Every word matters, every word does a staggering amount of work. The aesthetic impulse of the poem is towards control, towards order. There is nothing pointless in it. The irony is that for such a difficult game, as it is with a very good and difficult poem, you have the feeling from beginning to end that you are being taken care of by an intelligence. Something with its own rules that does nothing by accident. Gamers need more poems.

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