My impressions of it is that these games are addicting and have interesting story lines. They do force you to make certain choices although I am not sure whether these choices impact the conclusion of the game. Still, in the better games there are sub-plots that support the main plot of the game.
The games themselves build the skills of the character through the completion of tasks. The character has to navigate a maze of secrecy, find hidden treasures and yes kill enemies.
There is a gaming culture that has developed among young people. Recent studies have shown that gaming is the most frequently used interactive medium so having an understanding of it is helpful in understanding the culture of many youth.
I wonder how the traditional understanding of "hero" in a story is being represented in a game. The hero needs to make choices and frequently needs to act outside of societal or usual moral norms in order to achieve certain objectives. For example, in both Skyrim and Fallout 3 theft is part of the acquisition of capital and supplies. Although capital is earned through the successful completion of tasks, it is necessary to find and acquire gold with which to purchase supplies or homes.
There is a fair degree of literature on gaming in education and it is an integral component of young people's lives. Until just the last week, I did not appreciate how engrossing the games can actually be. The videos below capture some of the feel of the game for those who might not be familiar with the genre.