The What If Machine - Re-creating Skyrim

Cam investigates whether modern science could help make our boring Mammoth-free world more like Skyrim.

Join the conversation on Twitter at #whatifmachine.

Spending hundreds of hours in Skyrim can do weird things to you. No, I don't mean the bed sores or the loss of all meaningful human relationships. Playing the game that much can make you start to wonder -- what could we do to make our boring real world, more like a fantasy game?

Want to share your thought on this episode? Bug me directly via twitter @camfrazrob or make your mark in the comments. The feedback so far has been incredibly helpful, so please do keep it coming. In particular, let me know if you like the idea of The What If Machine tackling non sci-fi topics like this.

If you enjoy the show, then don't forget to visit the YouTube show page and subscribe! You need never miss your weekly dose of science-meets-video-games goodness.

Written By

Want the latest news about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim?

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Discussion

174 comments
spookys27
spookys27

Dragons!? In the wild!? That sounds like a bad idea... really, really bad...

houshidar
houshidar

"graceful wooly mammoths truding through the tundra" straight away mammoth on the left has a spaz attack xD

 

SturmMajere
SturmMajere

are there any americans left over there at gamespot?

almat96
almat96

Cloning mammoths (assuming that that would mean introducing them back to the wild) is an absolutely ignorant and awful idea. Anyone who knows even the basics of how ecosystems work knows this. Introducing something new means more competition, which means some animals would not be able to adapt rapidly enough, thus going extinct, or at least disappearing from that environment. Just look at the Mississippi River. An introduced species completely took over. Now imagine that all over the world. I don't know about you, but the extinction of dozens of species is too high of a price to pay just for mammoths.

MichaeltheCM
MichaeltheCM

the main reason why fantasy is so popular is because it is not reality. It is an escape from it so if people wanted fantasy to become reality and it was some how achieved, they would soon wouldn't be content and would want something different: a different fantasy. It's an unsustainable dream on top of being impossible to achieve in the first place.

Khroga
Khroga

Actually, the whole cloning thing is more difficult than just implanting DNA into an ovum.

 

You see, DNA has a certain lifespan, like all cells in our body. You see, you'd clone from DNA of a certain age (as in lifespan age), so you'd have a young creature, but with old DNA, so more susceptible to diseases and stuff that come with age, as the DNA, from its starting point, has already deteriorated beyond what a normally born animal would have. The same thing happened with Dolly the Sheep. So the first clones would be "incomplete", and only their offspring complete.

 

/ramble

Brinaq
Brinaq

i has learned da moon now from moving pictures

Gonefishing95
Gonefishing95

It would be a massive step in science to clone a mammoth, and they have actually found an almost fully intact Mammoth a couple years ago also :)

Gjefflin
Gjefflin

Hmmm.......a campaign to dislodge the moon by shooting a giant asteroid at it?  Sounds like a diabolical evil plan if you ask me.  Would you also be asking for...."One....Billllion dollars" while you stroke Mr. Wigglesworth and feed your sharks with freakin' lasers on them?  :-D

1stormbringer77
1stormbringer77

Sure,I'd love to have a Skyrim/Dragon Age World. As long as I still have electricity,air conditioning,television & computers(video games in pc's or consoles) and fully automatic machine guns to feel safer.Oh,and an occasional Alien Invasion so I can get into my Millennium Falcon & take off.

Edvin_MetalSoul
Edvin_MetalSoul

This is the most ridiculous and pointless video i've seen in while.

Firestorm250
Firestorm250

People kind of die all the time in those fantasy worlds, while it is interesting to read about one, I doubt it would be very fun to actually live in one. ;)

EmMecha
EmMecha

Dying & Save Game = difficulty in real life ^_____^

GIgewg066
GIgewg066

The real world will never be as cool as in these fantasy ones, cos that's just the way of the universe! Imagine how cool it would be though, if one day scientists could create a Skyrim style theme park or something?? (no rides, just adventuring :D) I'm game.

Dragon_Inu
Dragon_Inu

Variable seasons... Sure. Visit northern Finland.

GagPacMan
GagPacMan

What if...bear with me...but what if everyone jogged...everywhere. People would cut the time they took in half, people would be more fit, and they'd keep warm in winter! Granted, summer would be a pain in the arse. Perhaps you simply call summer the lazy season or just work up the worst sweat of your life. But yeah, jogging. Everywhere.

KavianDarkain
KavianDarkain

When I was younger, I was into the whole LARPing thing.  Then, because I had a huge imagination, I thought about buying an island and building robotic creatures and characters that LARPers could interact with and fight.  I wrote it all down and set it aside cause reality kicked in...   But, now, I am trying to find that piece....To no avail. :(

Infiniteley
Infiniteley

We do have variable seasons...we're still waiting for summer here in england 

fightclubdoll
fightclubdoll

Especially because it's summer... and summer is hotter than ..um... Oblivion (at least it is where I live), I'd be all for the world more closely resembling Skyrim.  

I did want to move to Cyrodil when I was playing TES Oblivion (everyday for at least two years... seriously), but for the monsters... and even those were not an overwhelming deterrent.  It was greener than Skyrim and the environment was less harsh.  I still prefer it now that I think on it.  

I would love for there to be Mammoths.  I would love for us to clone endangered and extinct animals, especially when man was the cause of their disappearance.  But it's still an ethical dilemma, not only when it involves humanoid races.  The imperfect nature of the process is not the design process of a machine or gadget, these are living things that feel and can suffer.  It is always, therefore, loaded with ethical problems.  

That said, you made no mention of CHIMERAS.... the combining of human and cat DNA, or human and dino DNA to produce Khajiits and Aragonians.  

Did you ever think that the global legends of dragons sprang from dinosaurs... or perhaps... dragons? Believing that it's a pan-cultural coincidence (older than history) is sometimes too convenient for me... I like to think we did have real creatures at the root of the legends. 

Another thing I love about TES is the celebration of craftsmanship and artisans.  Handmade things are, to me, uniquely wonderful; a combination of an artifact and the person who shaped it.

spongeboy1985
spongeboy1985

I must have missed the part about the Game of Thrones game being well received. I was under the impression it wasn't very good.

krafty_pk
krafty_pk

love these Cam, keep em coming

 

Missusu
Missusu

what about magic powers? That is the thing more cool. The others we can wait until we can travel through the space and "steal" a world more "cool" than ours ;PMaybe something with more moons and more forest and green stuff.

Colekern
Colekern

What I really wanna know is, if reverse polarity, will it help our government get more I.Q.? It seems to work on EVERYTHING in comics.

ragnarok160
ragnarok160

ok so here r my concern and impt

1. it would take 12 generations(elephant years) b4 we got a mammoth

2. dragons have apparently been around since midevil times and in europe knights clamed to have slain them, so were they just slaying alligators?

3. the ethnic parts of humaniod races is the question, what rights would it have?

4. lets throw a meteor at the moon!

InvalidLogin
InvalidLogin

No dragons or mammoths, thank you very much. It's hard enough getting to work in the morning as it is.

AlmityGuitarist
AlmityGuitarist

Hahah I laughed my ass off at the Jurassic Park scene 

shadowmage101
shadowmage101

the idea of  flying crocodiles is truly terrifying 

BULLETBOY_BS9
BULLETBOY_BS9

are planet is are planet we might find it boring but to others that have never been to are planet earth they would probably find it interesting as im sure we would if we went to some one else's maybe one day it will happen who knows i know people are very high in religion but i beleve in time and in time there is change are planet and people and animals on are planet have changed things have grown people have evolved and so have animals it has nothing to do with so called god , god is a lie on the lips of a priest made up , made up so people think they have hope and have some one to look up to when there in time of need but any way back to the subject we should not re-create things that have been extinct it was there time to go so other animals good spring up in there place they have not been forgotten so there is no need for it , we should all enjoy life as it is and look forward to what happens at the end of the road , people can judge and hate on what im saying but im just one person with an opinion .

Nic3546
Nic3546

If our world were more like a fantasy there would be no video games for us to play!!!   :_(

CincoToes
CincoToes

 @GIgewg066 Scientists creating theme parks? What's the politically correct term for retarded? You're that.

Dragon_Inu
Dragon_Inu

 @GagPacMan Try jogging on ice covered in knee high snow. And please, try not to fall down.

fightclubdoll
fightclubdoll

 @Infiniteley really?  No summer there yet?  Want to trade? Import me, please!  You can have my place across the pond. 

JC_Phoenix
JC_Phoenix

 @fightclubdoll Oblivion actually refers to all of the Daedric realms, not just Dagon's Deadlands which is the Oblivion realm most visited in TES 4 Oblivion. Also Dagon's Deadlands are actually freezing cold despite all the fire and lave /nerd.

dun
dun

 @spongeboy1985 the strategy one sucks imo, but the rpg is quite awesome!

gameguy_34
gameguy_34

 @BULLETBOY_BS9 Someone with grammar as bad as you clearly isn't a very bright person. That being said, people like you should not voice their opinion in any sort of intelligent discussion because it will obviously be uneducated and badly stated. Seriously, how do you not know the difference between "are" and "our"?

Brinaq
Brinaq

 @CincoToes What's the politically correct term for a jerk? You're that.

fightclubdoll
fightclubdoll

 @JC_Phoenix  Ah yes, thanks for making that distinction. But I'm glad you got what I meant... I was referring to that desolate lava-soaked plane that we all got to know so well in the last game (TES 4).  I never faced any cold damage there, but I got burned countless times.  Anyway, I can't wait for autumn... this summer is the hottest ever, and it sucks... I'd prefer dragons. 

BULLETBOY_BS9
BULLETBOY_BS9

 @gameguy_34 dude i was writing this early hours of the morning i was quite tired but if your that stupid enough not to understand what i was writing then if you want it short i was trying to say that we shouldnt bring back things that have been gone for long periods of time and that we should enjoy our ''boring '' earth for what it is you know for the stupid people im writing this for thank you for making me say what i was trying to say earlier 

Sarrowe
Sarrowe

 @gameguy_34 And how he avoided using a period in that entire block of text is beyond my understanding.

BULLETBOY_BS9
BULLETBOY_BS9

 @jwnyy21 you understood it right ? im sure you did so theres no need to correct me