A few years ago, my youngest brother asked me a question in front of my dad about a new video game coming out. Before I could respond by saying that yes, I was excited about its release, my dad interrupted by saying “Eddy’s too old to do things like that anymore”.
You see, as long as I can remember, people have been telling me that gaming is for kids, or that I’m too old to still be doing it. I don’t quite understand the way this works in people’s brains, but for some reason, spending my time reading a book or watching TV would be far more acceptable socially than playing an RPG or tea-bagging a dude in Halo 3. Ok, kidding about that last part (mostly), but you know what I mean: people view gaming as a kid’s hobby that you “grow out of”, given time.
Much like playing cowboys and indians, hide-and-go-seek, or hell, using diapers, people that I’ve known tend to see gaming with an inexplicable lens that I’ve never been able to steal a peek through. For them, it’s a waste of time, a mark of laziness, and at its worst, immature. Even though I do my best to ignore these stereotypes, it’s hard to avoid the thoughts that creep in once you hear it enough. I sure as hell don’t want some of my friends to know that I was up playing video games one night, or that sometimes, I’d rather stay in and play Valkyria Chronicles than go hang out.
After awhile, you start to believe that maybe something is wrong with you for wanting to keep playing. I’ve always said that I’d keep gaming until I was old and had skin like an orange, but lately I’ve been wondering about what happens to my gaming habits when I start to do grown up things like having children, or buying houses. And I know it makes me a geezer to think like that, but as a married man in his mid-twenties it’s time to really start considering this stuff. Can I even reconcile this pastime with priorities that I’ll be facing down the road?
I mean, when I have children, should I put the gaming console in a separate room? I don’t want to spend time cooped up in a little gaming cavern. And what happens when a kid is old enough to understand that dad is doing something fun that he wants to be a part of? Do I let him play? You can only let a kid pretend that he’s playing for so long. And beyond that, any time that they are holding a controller is time that I’m not holding one. Especially when you’ve got a teenager, and they want to play just as much as you do. Do you get a second system? That’s bordering on the absolute ridiculous.
When I start going in circles like this, the easiest solution is to stop gaming, even though I know I won’t be doing that. Like it or not, me and this hobby are stuck with one another. It was fated from the day that I saw that first Super Mario Bros. screen splash across an old television monitor. I’m in too deep, and I love it too much. I’m hoping that I can find a way to make it work, even as I wander my way into being an old dude. I’m sure I’ll come up with something.
So, what do you guys think? Can you ever get too old for gaming? Have you ever had someone tell you that you’re too old for it? Go!