Are You Ever Too Old For Gaming?

old-gamingA 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!

Written by

I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

24 thoughts on “Are You Ever Too Old For Gaming?”

  1. Hopefully the hobby will stay with the generations that have grown up with it. My auntie is (well I’ll not tell you how old she is, middle aged will embarras her enough!) still playing Zelda and Oblivion like a pro. I’ve never seen someone take on a boss or solve a puzzle quite as professionally as her. In Oblivion, she taught me all I know. Like some wise old adventurer with Masters in most skills and 125% invisibility. Oh, and Lucien’s kick-ass horse!
    But, really, I think that Beans is right. The stereotype will fade away soon. Also, get your dad a Wii Eddy! It’ll fool him!

  2. Yeah, games -used- to be for kids, but those kids are grown up now, and still incorporate games into their lives. And now that we have such cutting-edge games available, our generation will bring gaming even more into our old age. Then again, maybe VR will kick in and our games will seem old hat. Best just to leave the future to future generations, though. In fact, Our generation probably wouldn’t accept VR too well – it’s just not what we’re used to. Maybe the older generation that hsn’t really experienced games would…that would be interesting. Anyways, who knows what the future will hold? It’ll be fun.

  3. Well, I asked my friends to euthinize me when a good sonic game comes out, but no I dont think that you can grow out of gaming my entire family tree is proof of that, My Father still tells me stories about how the intelivison kicked ass when he was a kid inbetween sessions of online co-op Little big planet

  4. i think that as gamers grow up games will grow up to accomadate. look at Nintendo, starting with things like Mario and now they have balance boards as games. change is inevitable, and through change shines evolution. there will always be something in gaming for you to do. notice how games a now taking a co-op aproach to things? Im sure you and your son will enjoy countless hours of gaming together. playing the games of the time and showing him the crazy stuff you had back in the day, and as the gamers of today grow up there will be less and less steryotyping and pre-concieved notions of games being for children. its just something that doesent go away, and why should you question if it will?

  5. I really can’t say what most people who grew up with video games will do with their lives, but I know what I will do. Instead of abandoning video games which would ultimately change me as a person, I’ve decided creating video games is my perfect job. I’ve always dreamed of making games and it’d be an excellent job – for the money, but also because you gotta love your job. What I want to do as a game designer is create games that can be appreciated as pieces of literature, but also as entertainment. Video games have a unique potential to capture the player’s attention, and with a powerful story, video games could easily succeed TV and movies as the main form of entertainment and books as the main form of intellectual engagement.
    As the video game generation grows older, I believe that we’ll see video games become as standard as TV in our society, and that the stereotype of gamers being fat, ugly, acne-ravaged 14-year-olds living in their parents’ basement will be destroyed and replaced with a person who can have fun, but also be intellectually stimulated.

  6. Deep topic man, i like this.

    I feel like when video games were first coming out, it was a bunch of old nerdy guys putting pixels together. The kids playing them, grew into adults, who are NOW creating the games that have stories, morals, choices, and communities. Video games have evolved along with the generations that have created and written them.

    My dad doesnt know a THING about gaming or the tech behind it, but he understands hockey, and so, he plays NHL on Playstation. When i showed him you could connect to other players all over the world and play them, he didnt believe me at first. He thought it was just the CPU ; his eyes were opened.

    My father is stuck in Vinyl, Im stuck in CD’s, and my youngest sister ( 10 years, 1 gen) is stuck on Ipods. Its possible that when VR or some other crazy technology comes out, we’ll stick to our Then esoteric antique 360’s and ps3 equivelant.

    Who knows, change could go either way, some will follow, some will leave.

    I think there’s proof enough that in our CS server, a lot of the admins and members are in there 30’s and 40’s. We even have a Vietnam vet who is in his late 50s; and he’s not a half bad player.

    When you have kids, of course you’ll reorganize your priorities. Some people give up their old cars, some peole give up their sports, we’ll have to give up video games for a bit (until they’re sleeping…) ; atleast until they’re old enough to play with us =).

    Who wouldnt want to play LBP with their 6 year old? Its up to use to raise the new generation!

    (sorry for the essay)

  7. This is the exact same reason why I stopped playing MMO’s. I started out trying them out because the concept seemed so awesome to me, as an RPG fan and a more-or-less less party/trendy/athletic guy than most of my IRL peers. I loved them. I’ve been through the full experience, online relationships and all. I mean, you really connect. There are real people on the other side of the webs. But yeah, I was into MMO’s for a really long time but after that my priorities just began to shift. I began to realize that, even though I was an avid gamer, other things were beginning to be more important to me. Life began to take on new meaning and eventually MMO’s just slipped out of my life for the most part, as well as my online friends. It’s hard to say whether you get too old for gaming or not but I do feel like, as with other things in life, there comes a time where you just have to say to yourself “I love that, but this [the other thing] truly, deep down, is more important to me than continuing down the same path doing “that”.” It’s a hard decision to make sometimes, especially when there’s no way to even balance it, and you have no choice but to let something drop out of your scope of daily experiences, but when the time comes you usually are pretty sure about what you’re going to decide on. But anyway, on the subject of you and your future children Eddy, I think you’ll be able to balance gaming absolutely fine, since you’re into it now. If your base question was, am I really into gaming or, If I had the chance and was really pushed, would do something else with my time, then I’d say you may have a real conundrum on your hands. But, from what I’ve seen about your character that you portray, it doesn’t seem like it would be that much of a problem in the future, since you don’t seem like gaming is just a past-time to you.

  8. This question pops in my head alot. I don’t know what I will do. I outgrew pro wrestling, but not Star Wars and not video games, so I hope not.

  9. double post (i know sorry) but i just wanted to remark on how gamersushi is as a community. its nice to see some intellectual threads and then have people post responses that are not just bashing or idiotic, but actually quite mature. its nice to have that medium of intellectualism mixed in with humor and some lighter topics. you don’t see to many places on the internet where the community can be funny and not always take it self seriously, as well as be smart. really a great thing you got going on here 🙂

  10. [quote comment=”5320″]double post (i know sorry) but i just wanted to remark on how gamersushi is as a community. its nice to see some intellectual threads and then have people post responses that are not just bashing or idiotic, but actually quite mature. its nice to have that medium of intellectualism mixed in with humor and some lighter topics. you don’t see to many places on the internet where the community can be funny and not always take it self seriously, as well as be smart. really a great thing you got going on here :)[/quote]

    Thanks, that really means a lot.

    Also: EPIC PHAIL.

    Just kidding, thanks for your support.

  11. At that last bit with games as a parent, I have to say, make gaming a public open affair. So long as you can keep you cool getting no-scoped from across the map and don’t play anything that is uber violent (to save teh kidz of course). IMO gaming is a great way to gather around. So yeah, you just don’t grow out of videogames.

  12. Gaming is still relatively young. If I’m correct, the first VG came out 30 years ago at most. The adults of that time bred children that played, and those children are the ones facing the stereotype right now. Those kids will keep playing and have the privilege of being the first geezers to game it out. I have fond memories of my dad playing Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and watching with great interest. All in all, whether you stop is whether your career is a time vampire or not. If you’re working 7 to 5, you won’t have much time, but when you’re not, your kid will have a player 2 behind him.

  13. In answer to your question, I fully intend to mop the floor with my grandchildren with whatever current-gen FPS is available in 2070.

    (That’d make me 91, lol)

  14. I dont think you can be too old. The idea of them being for kids will fade I think. Shit our kids wont have to look at us and go “you just dont understand this technology” when we get new cellphones or such. We grew up with technology, it wont fade on us.

    I think if you have kids it will be a chore when they are small. But when they get to a certain age, you can play with them. You can always keep them separate too. Common your parents would make you go to bed so they could watch an adult movie. Same deal. Start your kid early on the ESRB rating 😀

    I say for people in our generation, we will always have it in some form as a pastime.

  15. Back in the day…games were for kids because they were made that day…but as these developers started seeing video game potential they made them much more mature and I think as time goes on the stereotype of games being only for kids will fade away an will simply be seen as another form of entertainment for all ages. Over 50% of the games out there are almost too grown up for kids anyway…so the times are definitely changing.

  16. Ya I have a friend his father loves gaming just like you sorta(not saying your super old)but what the father did was just made my friend into a gamer bought all the new games and stuff even a extra ps3 and x360 it worked out but then again he has like a $40 per hour job hmmm i guess that kinda factors into it

  17. My dad likes Half-Life. ‘Nuff said.

    (PS:Eddy, Anthony, when will you create a Steam group for GS? I’ve e-mailed this idea to your “tips” e-mail, and I was waiting for your response.This would be great for the community, because it would be a lot more fun and I think I can speak for the community when i say that we would do everything we could to bring in more people to this place we call “e-home”. Think about it.)

  18. Agree with all of you but, if we become too reliant on games in the future then we might become ‘Wall-E people’ due to lack of interest in sports.

    Luckily Nintendo saves the future by making us more physically active while playing. (I promise, no fanboyism)

  19. [quote comment=”5343″]Agree with all of you but, if we become too reliant on games in the future then we might become ‘Wall-E people’ due to lack of interest in sports.

    Luckily Nintendo saves the future by making us more physically active while playing. (I promise, no fanboyism)[/quote]

    Whatever, lol. My girlfriend’s father beat me at Wii Tennis while sitting on the couch the other day. He did not have to even get up.

    The prick.

Comments are closed.