I have a confession to make, Skyrim is a productivity killer.  Just over a week of playing the game has made it abundantly clear to me that, a bad case of getting sick aside, I don’t want to do much else right now.  Still, when I pulled my head out from under the rock I’ve been living under all week, I was able to take a look around and find out a few important happenings in the gaming industry.  Here’s a look at some of the bigger news, and I might as well start with Skyrim:

1. Skyrim patches on the way!

Pete Hines, Bethesda’s Vice President of Public Relations and marketing, sent out this tweet earlier this week: “PS3 & 360 updates have been submitted for certification, PC coming too.”  This confirmed rumors that a patch to the game would be arriving sometime around the US Thanksgiving holiday; in the tweet, Hines estimated the patches would go live shortly after the 24th, though no specific date was given.  While the game has received high amounts of critical acclaim, reports of bugs, crashes, and random issues have abounded leading to a quick response from the Bethesda development team.

2. The Modern Warfare 3 Meta-Bomb Explodes

Gamers looking to find out impressions of Activision’s newest Call of Duty title may have to sift through some interesting results, as the Meta-Critic Website has been overrun by users determined to drop the score of the shooter.  Players took to the internet in droves, dropping the average user score for the game to a 2.8 on the PlayStation 3, a 3.2 for the XBox 360, and a 2.0 for the PC version, with all three scores in drastic contrast to the critic reviews for each version.  While many reviews do offer legitimate concerns and criticisms of the game, a number of reviews are easily found rating the game a 0/10, with no other reasons given than “I enjoyed Battlefield 3 more.”  The meta scores don’t appear to have affected early sales much, however, as the game grossed over $775 million in the first five days of being sold, setting a new record in the process, and that is before the game was released in every region.

3. Minecraft 1.0 arrives!

Not to be forgotten, the sandbox title Minecraft has officially launched on November 18th after going through a very popular and extended beta phase.  The game itself has spent over two years in development, and prior to the full launch it was revealed the title had already sold over four million copies (all of which meant players able to play the game through the beta phases).  The game is, ostensibly, about survival or zombies or something…or, it’s not, and it’s about building massive landscapes, recreating retro game characters and zones, or just plain having fun.  The beta has proved addictive to players, and the full release only promises more of the same.

4. Jurassic Park developers caught posting 10/10 reviews for their game.

Going back to Meta-Critic, a couple developers from Telltale Games were caught red-handed posting perfect reviews about the newly-developed Jurassic Park title.  The reviews, once discovered, prompted a rash of vengeful user posts with 0/10 scores, dropping their rating severely.  The critical reception for the game was less chilly, but still an average of 61/100, a disappointing outlet for the company.  Problems such as glitchy graphics, and a general feel for the game not standing up to the core material (one review noted engaging a velociraptor in a knife fight, and winning) all detracted from the score.

5. Penny Arcade turns 13.

Well known web-comic creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik recently posted two awesome graphics showing the progression of their characters over more than a decade of work.  The comic, dedicated to a humorous look at video games and the industry in general, has sparked a massive following.  Over the existence of Penny Arcade, there have been special strips for games such as Fallout 3, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Brothers in Arms among others.  The characters even have their own video game, On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness available for play.  Most importantly, however, Holkins and Krahulik are behind the creation of the Child’s Play Charity, which is taking donations once more for 2011.

Durandal is going to sleep now, and will hopefully be anything other than sick soon.  Supplicants to his awesomeness may send cookies and vast amounts of monetary tributes.

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