Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Gaming at the Geritol Age 37

An anonymous reader writes "There's an interesting opinion editorial over on about all the recent reports regarding the age of gamers, and what it all might mean - if anything - to the hobby." From the article: "When I tell someone that I write about video games, I typically get a pretty enthusiastic response. The few who have looked down on me for having such a job 'at my age' aren't so much numerically older than I am as they're older in mind and spirit. Take for instance my neighbor. I honestly think he considers me less of an adult for playing videogames 'at my age.' That's fine. I think he's odd in general, so we're even. I've been playing video games in one form or another since 1977. That's the majority of my life now. But I'm not alone though. Things are changing in the world of video games. I guess the best way to put it is: it's growing up. I'm not talking about the industry itself, but rather those who actually play the games."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Gaming at the Geritol Age

Comments Filter:
  • by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @03:54PM (#15144244)
    (loosely paraphrased from an issue of Nintendo Power)

    Age 7: You play your first game of Equinox.
    Age 15: You're failing school, but you can pass the skeletons now without trouble
    Age 19: Missed your high school graduation, but at last you've conquered the third dungeon
    Age 35: No job, no friends, never kissed a girl, but you can now get to the fifth dungeon with ease
    Age 52: Heart's giving you trouble, but at least you can beat those green blobs in the sixth dungeon
    Age 71: Can't feel the controller, can't see the screen, can't hear the sound. Feeling the breath of the evil empress on your neck, you bequeath the joystick to your grandson.
    Age 7: Has to miss grandpa's funeral, but you finally defeated the evil empress. He would have wanted it that way.
  • The best part is when your kids are old enough to play against you competitively! Early on, kickin their butts is just too cruel. And once they are old enough, then you whip out the ol' wireless, programmable controller baby!
  • Gamers from the age of the author down to about mid-twenties are part of the first-ever generation to grow up with videogames as part of their world. Sociologically, they're just one of the many recent indecipherable blips. Television, motion pictures, radio, cars, and so many more things take a couple of generations to really settle into what most of the population regards as average daily life.

    I imagine old Grampa Ugg the caveman turned his nose up at little Grogg and his young pals' hunting with sharp
    • I imagine old Grampa Ugg the caveman turned his nose up at little Grogg and his young pals' hunting with sharpened stones rather than blunt clubs.

      And we will be doing the same when we're old and grey and these damn kids keep running their mouths off about holographic gaming.

      We're also the first generation to grow up with the internet, hybrid vehicles, Islamic (and Christian) fundamentalism, and a lot of other things. We take all of these things for granted while our grandparents just give us the "in my day
    • I believe the cannon states that young Grogg was hunting with a sharpened 'stick' instead of a sharp stone...
  • The US Government has released patch 4.04 which addresses the aging population.

    We have implemented a system that decreases the liklihood of older players being ambushed. We have also implemented a pill that allows the older player to regain the vigor of his character's prime. This buff lasts for an hour, and is only usable once each day. Consult your local cleric before use.
  • This is along the lines of something that's been floating around in my mind lately.
    Video games started out mostly for kids. There weren't too many adults that played video games when they were first catching on. Now the "kids" that were playing video games in its infancy are adults and many haven't stopped playing video games.

    However, the video game industry hasn't seemed to figure this out for the most part. Sure, there are "mature" games out now, but most of them appeal to the "barely legal" adult d

    • nstead, the gaming industry seems to still be focusing on teenage gamers.
      There are some valid reasons for this, and I'm not arguing those. However, as years go by and more and more people over 30 have grown up with video games, the industry really can't afford to continue to ignore this demographic.

      I wouldn't say the industry is ignoring this demographic, but it probably is underserved. Still, games like The Sims appeal to the 30-and-up crowd, IMO, as do titles like Star Wars: Empire at War, and of course
      • The Sims? Please. I tried it for a few days and then gave up. What an awful game.

        I play one game on a daily basis - Counter Strike: Source.

        Other games I enjoy (or have enjoyed in the past): Gran Turismo 3/4, Need for Speed:Porsche Unleashed, Air Warrior (that's an oldie). Warbirds.

        In general, my preference is for multiplayer online near-realistic action games.

        Age: 42

    • It's very simple, teenagers have the most disposable income compared to financial obligations (no rent, no house payments, no kids, no retirements funds, frequently no taxes cause their income is under the table or in the form of an allowance) of any age-group demographic in the country. Plus they're more likely to spend money on solitary entertainment since they see their friends all day at school anyway. Furthermore, many gamers are college students, who can game all day without having to be total reclu
  • themes like this were cautionary tales? Perky Pat, anyone? I get older, I get more tolerant of the changes I see (not going to make much of a grumpy old fart, sigh), but still remember how creepy the worlds I read about then felt.
  • Generation Gap... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @04:35PM (#15144515) Homepage
    There's obviously nothing about video or computer games that makes them inherently part of youth culture. The problem is that anyone say over 45 only saw kids playing them when they came out, so they just assumed it was a kids thing. None of these people have friends that play video games (since I'd bet most of them don't have friends under 38 or so), and the only people THEY see playing them is their kids.) They of course assume that videogames are a kids thing, even though that's obviously incorrect. Any person they hear of that plays videogames must be some kind of weirdo, since in their mind videogames are like playing with childrens toys.

    Many people live rather sheltered lives outside the things they personally experience. As an example: recently I was talking about taking off my front bike tire to mount it on my car rack, and my 66 year old mother looked like I was from another planet. They didn't have quick release when she was a kid, and she hasn't ridden a bike for probbably 30 years. Even though quick release has been popular for at least 20 years, and you see people using it fairly often it was alien technology to her.
  • it's growing up. I'm not talking about the industry itself, but rather those who actually play the games

    You, Sir, have never played Counter-Strike on a public server or followed a fully grown, 3-way free-for-all flame war between Playstation, XBox and Nintendo fanboys. Or did he refer to the Pacman generation?
  • It's ok for older people to play cards, board games, or slots?
    But not ok to play video games because it is a different medium?

    Far too many gamers fall victim to the red herring of game realism, when they are really complaining about lack of consistency.
  • Like the author I'm also 39. The first video game I put my hands on was the "Computer Space" arcade game at a Target in Oklahoma in 1972. It was in this big fiberglass case and no one knew what it is so they all just walked by. I probably just stood there for 15 minutes watching the attract mode.
    We got "Super" Pong for our 8 inch B&W Sony portable around 1976 and from that point on always had some kind of computer system in the house.

    My father (68) is a Half Life 2 junky. Just yesterday he emailed a dea
  • I started playing pinball in grade school, and video games seemed (and still seem) a natural progression for someone who enjoys hand-eye coordination games in a more controlled (and less judgemental) environment than was typical of the baseball and basketball jock-oriented team environments that were part of my youth.

    I still enjoy playing FPS and sim games at 55. I'm not good ... but good enough to enjoy myself. I'd like to think that continued practice at realtime decision making is good mental exerci

  • I'm 14 and I consider myself kind of 'stupid' for playing EnemyTerritory now, though I had played Freeciv and Doom3(rarely though) a year before... I pretty much quit playing games since last september... but saw that ET was ported on Linux so I tried it...
    Most of my friends do play computer games now, but I still consider it 'not so good' to spend much time playing games...

    *(NaeRey hides from the angry-looking crowd)*
  • My 88 year old grandfather plays card games on his PC daily. What's the point of the article or the posting to slashdot? No he's not playing MMORPG's or first-person shooters, but he's on his PC playing a game, every day. Big deal.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington