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When Are You Too Old to Play Video Games?



Did you grow up with the Nintendo Entertainment System?  How about any of the Atari consoles?If you did, you'll understand this post.  At least I hope so.  

It's amazing to think there will be a generation of kids that will grow up playing Wii U, Playstation 4, and the latest XBOX as their very first video game consoles.  Maybe some of them will even own Ouya (time will tell).  

That's a generation of kids growing up with 1080p widescreen televisions as the norm.  A generation where holding a Nintendo controller with a touch screen may be the first experience of a video game ever.  With newer consoles, newer gamers, and a pastime that is growing at an exponentially fast rate on multiple platforms, including our phones... is there a place in the video game community for the older gamer?

1985


2012

This depends on which age you consider old.  According to the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a gamer is 30 years old, with the average age of the most frequent game purchaser pinned at 35.  (The full ESA stats report is here.  Great info).  

If your an older gamer, these statistics may relieve you for a bit, but you may find yourself in the same predicament time and time again:  playing online video games with five year-olds. 

How many times have you enjoyed a game of Team Fortress 2, only to have a five year-old scream over mic that you need to capture the intelligence or that you have to play as Medic.  Even worse: call you an expletive so bad that it only makes you laugh from hearing such a ludicrous thing spoken by someone barely entering Kindergarten.  And then it happens.

You say something along the lines of, "hey, watch your mouth."  

Oh crap.  You sound just like your father.  Your mother.  No, it can't be.  You've become... them.   

Then you begin to question yourself.  "What am I doing?  Why am I playing this?  Are these games for me anymore?"  

Now here you are, searching for an answer.  You probably Google'd "am I too old for games?" and discovered countless other people wondering the same thing, even those that are much younger than you, thinking they're old during their Senior year of College.  Searching for an answer.  Somewhere.  Anywhere.  Wanting someone to just confirm NO.  You are NOT too old for games.  

Well, here's your answer:

NO.  YOU ARE NOT TOO OLD FOR GAMES.  

Whichever age you are, whatever background you're from; you are not too old for games.  Hearing some kids playing online can't be the only thing to deter you away from something that you love.  It's society.  People possibly pressuring you that you're getting too old to being playing with this "kids stuff."  These people could be people you love dearly; parents, siblings, husbands, wives, the local clerk at Wal-Mart.  Maybe you notice many of your friends have adventurous hobbies, like travelling, rock climbing, and jet-skiing, and the closest thing you've done to jet-skiing is playing Wave Race 64 back in '96.  

Have I ever been jet-skiing?  Baby, I'm a pro.

You bring your date back to your place and he or she scoffs at the sight of your robust Super Nintendo collection, all with the original boxes.  Maybe you look in the mirror and think, "I'm not an adult.  I'm just a kid."

Well, it's not like that.

Have you ever thought about anything we do in this life?  Really think about it.  Anything.  Any hobby.  Really think about it.  

People enjoy playing basketball.  What is it?  What are the elements that make up a game of basketball?  You put a round ball into a hoop to score points.  For fun (some people as a profession).  I'm sure there are countless other things we as human beings do that can be broken down to its simplest core to see how really pointless they all are, but we enjoy them regardless.  Let's do that, shall we?  

  • You put a round ball into a circular metal ring = basketball 
  • going from one location to another location, possibly taking pictures of buildings, statues, and stuff at that new location = travelling
  • pressing a button on a device to capture it = photography 
  • mixing together ingredients and heating them = cooking  
  • sitting and observing moving pictures tell a story = watching television / movies  
  • hitting a ball into a hole = golf  
  • running with a ball to the other side of the field = football
  • hitting a ball with a stick = baseball
  • hitting a disc with a stick = hockey  
  • moving pieces on a board to the other side = checkers / chess

These are just a few examples of hobbies and sports we enjoy.  I'm not sure if anyone has ever said, "don't waste your time playing golf," but I'm sure you've heard someone saying video games were a waste of time.  Oh, and then there's the example I'm sure at one time or another someone has said to you condescendingly:  "why don't you read a book?"  

What's the difference between reading a book, playing a video game, and watching a movie?  I would argue very close to none.  We control video games, but essentially we're just sitting in one place, feeding our brains information.  All three of these mediums tell stories.

What it boils down to is:  don't let people make you feel that you're too old for anything.  Hell, don't even make yourself feel that way.  Everyone enjoys different things in life, and if one of those things is video games, that's just as much of a waste of time as doing any of the other countless hobbies you could be enjoying.  The video clip shared with TV personality Donny Deutsch and anchors agreeing it's "weird" to be playing video games in your 30's should not be taken seriously by anyone.  He's a TV personality.  What does that even mean?  He's just a guy that spouts his opinions on television.  Kind of like what I'm doing blogging.  Just spouting opinion.

I just believe my opinion is a much more positive one:  be yourself, enjoy being a gamer, and enjoy life the way that you want, no matter which age that you happen to be.

If Danny Deutsch and the women in the TODAY clip all think it's weird to be playing video games after 30, there are plenty of more people, more than you could imagine, that think it's absolutely awesome.

- A.G.  

5 comments:

ultrasonic729 said...

Well said.

Unknown said...

Hear, hear!

Liam Riley said...

Well said, AG. I'm just gonna tell it how it is, these people in the clip are simply out of touch. Video games are as valid a form of entertainment as pool or golf. They're as valid a form of home entertainment as doing a jigsaw or watching TV. It's a more modern form of entertainment. I guess these people think that the internet is just a fad too. ;) I'm 31 and from a generation that grew up with videogames and would sure as sh!t rather have a blast on the 360 at the end of a hard working day than watch some godawful soap opera or reality TV show. It's also damn ignorant for people to assume someone should act a certain way "after 30". I'm the same guy I've always been, just much wiser than I was 10 years ago. I'm a LONG way from pipe and slippers yet. If I ever got like these people, closed minded, dull and judgemental then I really hope someone would put me out of my misery lol.

Nintendopez said...

I sometimes feel a bit weird in the game section, but i mean it's what i grew up with. I have always loved games. It's like in my DNA. There will always be people who think games are for kids, but it's much more than that. It's an art form.

Sebastián Hernández said...

Amaizing man, amaizing! It's true, it's a hobby... And well done on everything, the way you exposed the idea was brilliant, AND you made me think a lot!!!! Thanks a lot!!!