So I was online the other day, and I got invited into a chat party on my PS4 while I was playing Overwatch. These guys, who I’d never played with before, started talking to me and asking me questions. One of them was: “How old are you?”
To wit, I responded: “Old”.
Now, in context – it was true. Turned out I had nearly a decade on most of them, and an actual decade on one of them. But, in reality, I’m not that old. I’m currently (shudder) in my early thirties. But, in terms of the demographic, I guess I am old.
I later related this story to my wife, who guessed that they were quite a bit younger than me, and we got to talking about gaming as it relates to age. Which made me wonder – is there an age where people say “I’m too old for this”?
True story: My grandmother is probably as old or older than this lady, and she still games on her NES/SNES. She’s a Donkey Kong Country boss. You need to know where a hidden banana coin is – she knows.
On point: I can’t say that there is a time in my life where I think I will no longer be interested in gaming. And thankfully, I failed 5/5 on this Cracked list of reasons you’re too old for gaming. So there’s that.
But the truth is – it’s pretty rare that I find myself playing with anyone older than me. In the last ten years, I can only think of two times where I was surprised to find out the age of someone I was playing with. One being a 70+ year old who was in my first WoW guild. And, strangely enough, the other guy was someone I regularly played Diablo 3 with. Maybe there is some corollary between Blizzard games and elderly gamers…But I digress.
The thing I find strange is this: to be an avid gamer is really a young man’s game. Mostly due to the kind of time requirements involved. Obviously, responsibilities and priorities change as we age. Significant others and kids, etc get in the way of the 10 hour/full weekend gaming binges we once knew. Though, I can also recall a couple I played WoW with who would parent while raiding high-level content. But, that may not be the best idea. The time constraints of life definitely factor out people after a certain age. I can even see this happening to me.
Simultaneously, though, having the kind of disposable income to keep oneself in games and new consoles is certainly the privilege of the otherwise employed. When I was a student, my gaming library was quite a bit more sparse. Thinking back to…2003/4 I certainly didn’t have much going on in the gaming department. I had my PS2, which I had gotten as a Christmas gift when I was still in high school, a Gamecube I got on sale for a whopping 99$ and maybe 10 games between the two of them before WoW came out. Then my gaming money went to the whopping 15$ monthly.
So, there must be a sweet spot somewhere in there for the ideal gaming age. But again, I digress.
Is there a time where we have to say “I’m too old for this”? I say no. Because I will always love games the same way I will always love movies. Do I foresee a point where I have to step back a little to focus on other things? Sadly, yes. But stepping back isn’t stepping away. Quitting gaming, for me, would be denying a part of my personality. It would be saying goodbye to something that makes me me. So, I won’t be doing that. Besides, giving up now would mean I would never get to use the Holodeck. Yes, that’s where I see things goes. And I won’t miss out.
What do you think? Will you ever throw in the towel? Are you already too old? Let me know below.
– The Ego