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The Untold Truth Of Skyrim Grandma

Skyrim Grandma, a.k.a. Shirley Curry, is one of the world's oldest streamers at age 84. Beyond this, she's something of a novelty due to the fact she doesn't rely on quirky one-liners or introductions, and she certainly doesn't overreact to every tiny surprise or jumpscare. No, Curry kills her viewers with kindness (and her enemies with arrows), and audiences lap up the concept of watching a real person — not a persona — stream a game.


Despite her open nature and kind demeanor, there's a lot you might not know about Curry. From her origins as a golden years gamer to why she invents her own stories instead of following the game's narrative, there's a treasure trove of information waiting to be uncovered. If you have watched any of her videos, you are probably dying to obtain every tiny piece of trivia about her. This is the untold truth of Skyrim Grandma.

She only made a YouTube account to follow other channels

When you hear the word "streamer," you probably think of someone who started either a Twitch or YouTube channel (or both) to entertain audiences and create videos — and possibly make some cash doing so. Their primary goals tend to include uploading videos that display their mad gamer skills and amassing legions of followers. But, as you probably guessed, Curry isn't like most streamers, and that applies to her reasons for creating a channel.


According to an interview with Senior Planet, Curry started her YouTube channel in 2007 (even though her channel's "about" section says it was created in 2011) to follow channels she enjoyed. No dreams of gathering thousands of fans or uploading her own videos — Curry just wanted to watch other streamers play games and leave kind words of encouragement. Kindness begot kindness, as people offered supportive comments in return, which won Curry her first handful of subscribers.

Her subscribers begged her to upload videos

Though she didn't start out streaming, many of Curry's fans wanted her to upload videos, and they kept bugging her with the hope she would finally post some. Eventually, Curry said to herself, "Why not just try it?" and uploaded her first game stream on Sept. 18, 2015. She didn't think it would go anywhere, but Curry underestimated the kindness of strangers.


Before she went to bed on Sept. 18, Curry's subscriber count was somewhere between 200 and 300 followers, but when she woke the next day, her subscriber count had exploded. Her video's virality can be traced to a Reddit post by the user Jacobthebro. Many viewers flocked to the post (and the video) because word had spread of Curry's wit and gentle demeanor. As Reddit user BarryMcKockinner put it, "She's like the female Bob Ross of gaming."

Curry's kindness was infectious and as more people watched her videos her subscriber base grew.

Civilization 2 was her first video game

Every gamer has that one video game they can point to that started them down their path. For some, that title is Super Mario Bros.; for others it is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Though Curry is famous for her The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim videos, she got her very late gaming start with Civilization 2.


According to Gameumentary's Shirley Curry documentary, she began playing Civilization 2 in 2014 after her son gifted her his old computer, complete with a copy of the game. Curry took to Civilization 2 immediately. However, since she was new to the world of gaming, she didn't know how to balance her life with the ever-present desire to play video games instead of eating and sleeping — at least temporarily.

Curry didn't discover Skyrim until her son, quite fittingly, sent her a link to a streamer who played the title. Her son thought she'd like the video, and, as he predicted, Curry fell in love with Skyrim. However, he couldn't have predicted Skyrim's impact on his mother's internet stardom.


She originally wanted a PC to organize recipes

Curry never dreamed she would spend her twilight years using computers to play video games — or that you could even use a computer to play video games. Nevertheless, she still wanted a computer, but her original PC desires revolved around other activities, such as cooking and writing.


Curry originally wanted a computer to store recipes. Specifically, she wanted to organize them by categories, such as meats and spices (she really likes to use curry, chili powder, lemon pepper, parsley, and oregano). When she received the PC, she was also in the middle of writing an article for a local California newspaper.

Curry's dreams of owning a computer just to organize her life didn't work out as intended, but she soon discovered a whole new existence thanks to her digital escapades.

She's not particularly tech-savvy

When thinking about grandparents, many assume they aren't well-versed in modern technology and need help with everything from setting up Facebook profiles to using cell phones. Because of her gamer cred, Curry seems to break that mold as a tech-oriented senior citizen, but that is not the case.


According to Curry, whenever she has a computer problem, she emails her son in Ohio. Because her son lives so far away, Curry uses a screen viewer program so he can control her PC to fix any issues she encounters. Apparently, he constantly shows his mother new tricks that help her use her computer effectively.

More importantly, even though Curry streams games, she doesn't have a clue about video editing. Instead of using all-in-one recording software, she utilizes Fraps (you know, the most bare-bones of recording programs) and just posts what she captures. As Curry stated, "I wouldn't know what to do if I did have something that could edit."

She has an adventurous streak and loves creating her own stories

Curry's kind demeanor is almost as famous as her tendency to conjure her own narratives while playing games. While this could be seen as a sign that she doesn't like Skyrim's narrative, Curry claims she merely prefers her own stories. Plus, wandering around Tamriel could be a way for her to relive her adventurous youth, albeit with dragons and skooma-peddling Khajit.


Back when she lived in California, Curry went hiking and camping four times a year. She also panned for gold, although she didn't say if any of her gold-hunting escapades panned out (pardon the pun). However, Curry implied she enjoyed the journey far more than the destination, which is why she takes her time to stop and smell the roses — and loot all the corpses — while playing Skyrim.

This mindset explains why Curry doesn't enjoy the prospect of beating Skyrim and why she is squeezing the game for all of its content, even if she has to invent some story beats along the way.

From quilter to dragon-hitter

You might wonder what Curry did before she found a "career" streaming Skyrim. Like many sweet grandmas of yore, she spent her days quilting and reading.

Before Skyrim, quilting took up a lot of Curry's time. She currently belongs to a quilting guild that holds monthly meetings, as well as a quilting bee where she and a few quilting friends meet twice a month. She still tries to read and quilt, as well as design her own quilts, but Skyrim now takes up a significant portion of her life, so she doesn't have as much free time as she used to.


Curry doesn't regret her change in daily routines, but it has resulted in a dragon's weight of incomplete quilting projects, as well as an ever-growing sense of obligation towards her YouTube channel. According to an interview with PC Gamer, Curry feels guilty if she misses even a day's worth of streaming — just don't tell her fans or son.

You might want to check out her blogs

Most of Curry's content resides on her sizable YouTube channel, but she has several blogs for audiences who want to keep tabs on her latest adventures. Well, she hasn't updated her blogs in a while, but they are still worth a read if you want more Skyrim Grandma goodness.


The first blog is Grandma Shirley's Corner, where Curry muses about random ideas that pop into her head, such as quilting woes and her favorite spices. The blog only features eight entries, so it's a short but enjoyable read.

Curry's other "primary" blog is Grandma's World of Skyrim, which has only four posts. However, these entries are long, creative journal blurbs that give readers a glimpse into the gears that power her creativity. Each update reads like several diary pages worth of adventure and deserves your attention.

Curry's YouTube channel contains a link to one final blog, Shirley's Secret Room ... Yikes! (yes, that is the full name), which is another haphazard collection of thoughts as well as one piece of poetry. However, this blog is all but abandoned since Curry hasn't updated it since 2008 ("yikes" indeed). As with her other blogs, these posts are intriguing reads that could pique your interest.


Her demeanor has helped people struggling with depression

One of Curry's most endearing aspects is her personable nature. Her manner is very soothing while playing Skyrim, and she also takes a lot of time responding to people who leave comments on her videos. Most of these comments are words of encouragement, but a sizable chunk are from people who deal with serious psychological struggles. However, Curry's videos seem to help them deal with these challenges.


According to Curry, she has received numerous comments from her fans regarding anxiety, depression, and even suicide. They usually follow the pattern of, as Curry put it, "I have been so depressed, and I watched your video, and it made me feel so much better." She is distressed to see so many young people with anxiety and depression since she doesn't understand why these problems are so rampant.

Curry believes one reason she keeps going is to help her fans who face depression. She feels that her videos support people, so she can't bear to remove her positive influence from their daily routines.

She will appear in both Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls 6

Curry entered the public spotlight last year as the Skyrim Grandma when news spread that her likeness would be immortalized as an NPC in The Elder Scrolls 6. While this is a worthwhile achievement on its own — because who doesn't want a cameo in a video game — the good news does not end there for Curry. Though nobody knows how she will be implemented into the game, everyone can sleep soundly because a replica of Curry will soon grace the land of Skyrim, albeit in a less official capacity.


A dedicated team of modders is currently working on Shirley – A Skyrim follower mod, which will feature an NPC version of Curry who tags along on players' modded adventures. Not only will the follower bear her likeness, it will also feature tons of new lines recorded by the Skyrim Grandma herself.

Curry's immortalization as an NPC in an official Elder Scrolls game and as a follower in a fan-made mod speaks volumes regarding her influence. When was the last time you heard of a streamer's likeness being imported to games in both an official and unofficial capacity?