Morrowind: Busting Through the Fourth Wall

I am guilty of constantly mixing my business with pleasure.  So much so that I can no longer distinguish between the two.

Being a lore-oriented blogger, I usually leave the fourth-wall, the invisible wall between the player and the game, untouched.  We exist in our world, and they in theirs, and my only goal is to speculate and make sense of it.  Recently, while perusing the UESP forums, I stumbled upon a stub thread that praised a series of articles on a fellow wordpress blogger’s account with regard to the fourth wall and the metaphysics of TES III: Morrowind.  How might one go about analyzing the Elder Scrolls in such a way?  Well, Kate, the author of Falling Awkwardly, does this magical thing in no less than 10,000 words.  The star of the show is her interpretation of of the 36 Lessons of Vivec, and her analysis depicts Vivec as a god modding, console-using, self-aware god, and claims that you are, too.  In fact, the Lessons seem like a conversation literally directed AT the player, and show strange parallels to things we very well might do in-game (all you alternate-route Nerevarines know what I’m talking about)  We all know that these sermons are no less than cryptic, however when the message clearly destroys the concept of the fourth wall and grabs us by the shirt collar, it better damn well be wrapped so tightly in lore that we don’t notice it.  Otherwise, it’d be both immersion and game-breaking!

I will say however, although this series is wonderful, refreshing, and absolutely eye-opening, I am disappointed that M’aiq the Liar did not make an appearance.  He is the most brazen of all the wall-breaking devices in the TES world and he makes repeat appearances.  He does not converse with the PC, but with you, the player, poking fun and having casual conversation.  Maybe it’s so obvious that it is often overlooked?

You can read The Metaphysics of Morrowind in its entirety through these links:

The Metaphysics of Morrowind: Part 1

The Metaphysics of Morrowind: Part 2

The Metaphysics of Morrowind: Part 3

The Metaphysics of Morrowind: Part 4

It’s  a wonderful read if you have the time.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither in a day were these entries written, so you might very well have to digest this over a period of a few days, too!

Thank you, Kate. :D

~ by Magg Katz on November 29, 2011.

2 Responses to “Morrowind: Busting Through the Fourth Wall”

  1. I was suggested this web site by way of my cousin. I am not sure whether or not this post is written via him as nobody else recognise such specified about my trouble. You are incredible! Thank you!

  2. My view on this confusion:

    Maiq is an easter-egg. He is not, like Vivec, part of the actual game world AND yet ‘aware of it’ – he is simply a joke by the Developers – indeed so obvious that he is not overlooked, but very well noticed and taken for the developer joke he is. Such jokes exist in practically all games and are not meant to be seen as part of the actual game world.

    Vivec is different – as is the rest of the Elder Scrolls Lore. They are philosophical. Maiq isn’t. Maiq thinks philosophy is a waste of time that could be better spent playing a game.

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