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It’s been just over two weeks since my post on Bethesda’s font choice for Skyrim’s User Interface, which you can see here. Now that I’ve had the chance to lose just over 15 hours to the game – A lot compared to some, but nothing compared to most! – I can make a more informed decision on their choice. And I still like it.

But the books! Oh my god, I do not get on with the books!

A sample of the book face in Skyrim: "The Lusty Argonian Maid". Courtesy of downincs321

Why, after choosing a beautiful condensed typeface for your menus, choose black-letter for your worlds books? Yes, it’s in keeping with the feel of the game, and yes it’s mostly likely how the monks/mages/whatever of Tamriel would write – It’s definitely not the Nords copying out Skyrim’s history – but I don’t WANT to read it.

Legibility is one thing, but readability is another. Especially when it’s something that might give the player insight into the world’s history and mythology. It’s not that I can’t read the type, I just have no desire to. There’s also an element of “Too Long, Didn’t Read” in there, but my attention span is another problem all together. If you were presented with a text-book on your favourite subject, in this type, would you read it? Even if the content is engaging, it has to get you to want to read it in the first place. It’s like being given the most delicious meal in the world, but it looks like gruel. You wouldn’t start eating it to know how good it was. And because of this, I may have missed out on gems like “The Lusty Argonian Maid“.

I’m not even going to get started on line-length

I missed reading this book. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve even found it yet. If I have, it’s on my bookshelf somewhere rotting amongst my other unread tomes. You never know, that loaf might be an important plot point.