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Older and wiser gamers: part 2

An article by Ian from Adventure Rules last month inspired me to write a post about the things I’ve learnt from being an ‘older’ gamer. I may not have the reaction times I used to or have as many free hours to devote to video games nowadays; but I’m able to take a step back and see the thing that makes each title special, and realise there’s no point in getting caught up in all the hype and anger that frequently seems to permeate the online community.

The biggest lesson I’ve taken on board is that I don’t need to play absolutely everything to be able to call myself a gamer. The pressure I put myself under to do so in the past is silly: my spare time is precious so why waste it on releases I know I probably won’t enjoy? It’s much more fun to spend my evenings with a title that calls to me and leaves me intrigued. After reading Ian’s post and writing my own, I wondered what things my blogging friends have learnt from their experiences and here is their collective wisdom.

You realise we’re all part of the same community

Rob from Bandicoot Warrior says:

“Games that were out when I started gaming at seven, like GoldenEye and Mario Kart, were amazing titles. They’re now classed as retro and classics which in hindsight makes me feel privileged to have played them when they were released but also makes me feel old! But gaming has taught me that it doesn’t matter how old you are – you could be 29 or 89 – we all play these games to enjoy the story that we thrive for, the art of the game to see the stunning visuals and to let our imagination run wild. It shows us that we are all the same at the end of the day, and that is we are a gaming community!”

You try and figure out what gaming is becoming

Murr from geeksleeprinserepeat says:

“I’ll be turning 33 next month, and during my 33 years of existence I’d like to have considered myself as a huge gamer. Owning every console from the NES and Master System to current gen (with the Xbox One being my only exception). But I find it a struggle to understand a lot of what gaming is becoming. I don’t personally care for online multiplayer worlds’ PVP or PVE (or whatever the term is) such as Destiny or The Division. Give me a 12- to 20-hour engrossing singleplayer story any time. I don’t care for digital-only future, I like owning my games physically. I think this is where the times are changing and perhaps I’m not with them. I can only hope that in coming generations I’m not forced to a pure digital streaming route of never actually owning the game on my shelf and that I can still embark on epic adventures as a god of war, or a superhero, or in post-apocalyptic worlds inhabited by robotic dinosaurs.”

You learn to appreciate your hobby even more

Dave from Hear Dave Write says:

“I remember a lot of the games that I grew up with, whether it was Commander Keen on our huge PC, or even the ‘worst video game ever’ E.T. on the Atari (I was confused the whole time playing that game, but still played it). Growing up with games and seeing games evolve into more of an art form, as well as entertainment, and even a way to keep social groups together, has helped me appreciate this ‘hobby’ of mine. Virtually everything about video games has changed since I’ve been playing, and what was once cutting edge is now retro. But it’s still rock and roll to me. I just turned 40 a few months ago.”

You see that Nintendo isn’t just for kids

Luke from Hundstrasse says:

“I guess many of the things that I’ve learnt as an older gamer overlap with my blogging colleagues, especially when it comes to the additional time limits that come with adult gaming. One thing that I have learnt, now that my eyes are not clouded by the folly of youth, is that Nintendo isn’t just for kids… and it’s a lesson that I kind of wish I’d learnt earlier. Looking back at the 16-bit wars, my beloved SEGA always seemed to win in edgy playground comparison compared to the more family friendly Ninty, and moving on in to the PlayStation era I blindly kept that view. Looking back now (and having owned both a 3DS and Switch) I can’t believe that I wrote off so many excellent games and consoles just because they were seen as too cutesy. Maybe my recent playtime with Yoshi’s Crafted World or the hours I sank in to Breath of the Wild a few years ago is an effort to make up for lost time.”

You dig a little deeper

Rob from I Played The Game! says:

“I’ve been gaming since the late 1980s, so I’m something of an older gamer. Something I’ve learned over time is that the most interesting games are rarely the ones that are presented to you. Digging a little deeper reveals a wealth of experiences that can never be found on the surface of the hobby.”

You start to look for different experiences from games

Phil from Later Levels says:

“That time is precious – games are so much deeper today thanks to bigger budgets and lofty ambitions. Take The Elder Scrolls Online for example; I love playing this game and there’s just so much content. I want to complete all quests in each area but as I consider how much time this would take the nagging reminder of real-life responsibilities takes hold and the excitement quickly dies when I realise that’s impossible. Story has become more important to me as the years go by; my interest in repetitive multiplayer shooters has lessened and I’m starting to look for more gaming experiences that provide can escape from reality.”

You get there’s nothing wrong with your own opinion and pace

LightningEllen from Livid Lightning says:

GEEK, expo, convention, video games, Pete, Ethan, screen, Mario Kart

“What I’ve learned in my 25-ish years of gaming is that only my opinion truly matters to me. I’ve realized I love the games I’m ‘supposed’ to hate, and vice versa, so I pay almost no attention to video game reviews anymore. I’ll never have time to play all of the popular masterpieces people recommend, and that’s okay. I’m comfortable playing my own beloved games, at my own pace, and for my own enjoyment. That and it’s scary how much I relate to Cranky Kong these days. Get off my lawn with yer Fortnite, ya crazy young ‘uns!! “

You understand that everything is fine in moderation – but don’t overdo it

Dan from nowisgames.com says:

“As an older gamer I’ve learned about progression, addiction, community, support, teamwork. The list goes on. I’ve learned more as a gamer, which I’ve applied to my personal and professional life, than anyone would have you believe is possible. People laugh when I make this claim but GTA and Forza Horizon improved my driving hazard perception skills in the real world. Above all, I think being an older gamer has taught me that everything is fine in moderation, but don’t over do it. It’s possible to get lost in the world’s being created and that will only become more prevalent with things like VR. Ready Player One here we come…”

You’re taught to have an open mind through gaming

Omar from Pete’s Corner says:

EGX, video games

“Gaming has taught me that it’s okay to be different and like things. It’s not ‘weird’ to like video games anymore and I love that. I’ve grown both as a person and creator of content through games. They taught me that it doesn’t matter how different I am from other people and we can all connect through something that we have in common. Gaming has also taught me to keep an open mind. I’ve gotten into genres that I never thought I would like because of the creativity of some of the developers out there and I’ve also met some really awesome people and made some really close friends while playing video games. They’re amazing and I’m honored to be a small part of the gaming community even though no-one likes my opinions.”

You don’t need to conform the expectation of what a gamer is

Katie from The Gaming Diaries says:

“I know that no matter what genres I play, what platform I play on or how often I play, that I am a gamer. I can be a gamer even if I don’t enjoy the most popular games. I don’t need to play everything, it’s fine if I play every LEGO game but don’t touch Call of Duty. It’s ok if I play Overwatch for most of my time or if I only play single-player games. I don’t need to conform to one expectation of what a gamer is and I can do my own thing. I am the only one that needs to game the way I do and as long as I enjoy it then that’s all that matters. Be you as a gamer, whether you are completely on trend or you play your way.”

You can hit the ground running on most titles, regardless of genre

Kevin from The Mental Attic says:

stream, The Lawful Geek, Kevin, TriformTrinity, Khinjarsi

“As an ‘older’ player I have a vast amount of knowledge and experience with games, so I can hit the ground running on most titles, no matter the genre. For example, I’ve played so many platformers that with a new one I’ll quickly have a grasp on the basics. Every game I play adds to the knowledge-base and makes it so I spend less time learning and more time enjoying. Depending on the genre, it might also give me an edge on the playthrough, so on a point-and-click adventure, I kinda know the usual design tricks and tropes.”

Kim View All

Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.

14 thoughts on “Older and wiser gamers: part 2 Leave a comment

  1. Agree with all these points! My turning point was in… 2006, I think? Whenever Gears of War came out. I bought that game because I thought I “had” to. It was “the big game” at the time. My friends were playing it and raving about it. So I bought it. And played it. And absolutely hated it. So I went back and traded it in for something I knew I would enjoy.

    From thereon, I began a gradual process of taking complete ownership of my hobby. I wasn’t beholden to review scores, peer pressure or even attempts to shame me for titles and genres I was interested in — which believe me, absolutely happens, even today.

    2012 was the year that firmly cemented the gamer I am today. The visual novel Katawa Shoujo released, and the group with whom I podcasted on a semi-regular basis decided it was noteworthy enough for us to play and talk about. We had a great discussion (sadly lost to the mists of time now, I believe) but two of our number violently objected to the game’s subject matter (or, rather, what they *believed* the game’s subject matter to be) and left our group.

    While it was a bummer to lose out on some podcasting buddies, I found myself thinking “well, this is what I enjoy; there’s no sense in trying to please others with the things that are supposed to be making *me* happy”. Shortly after, I received a recommendation for a game from a friend. It had a Metascore of 45%. It kicked off a love of one of my most beloved gaming series of all time. Just like that, everyone else’s opinion ceased to matter in terms of what I would choose to play.

    Bearing all this in mind is why I run MoeGamer the way I do; I write things about the games rather than judgemental “reviews”. I’m here to tell you the things that I found interesting or historically noteworthy about these games, not whether the graphics are subjectively “good”. From that information, the audience can hopefully make up their own mind if they want to find out more — and on numerous occasions people have told me that they have checked out something I wrote about and really enjoyed it, which is always a nice feeling.

    Gaming is for everyone, but gaming is also just for *you*. Enjoy it however you want, because for every thing that upsets or annoys you about the modern medium, there’ll be at least one thing that surprises and delights you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow this sums up my experience with Fallout 76; the media coverage didn’t match my experience playing the game and this is why… screw what others think, this is a a game for me and I’m going to play it for hundreds of hours!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So there is a theme between us older gamers – we’ve refined our tastes in games through experience and don’t care what anybody thinks! The industry better be careful though as we’re also the ones with the most disposable income and buying power.

    Aren’t we also the first to grow older with the richer gaming experiences of the 80s and beyond?

    Like

    • It’ll be interesting to see how the industry tackle this situation… while publishers want to focus on games-as-a-service, it doesn’t always sit well with older gamers who grew up with releases which were contained experiences… 🤔

      Like

  3. This was a really fun read, especially since I’m an aged gamer, myself. 😄 My biggest takeway from my years of gaming has to be that ” gaming” (video gaming) isn’t just *one* thing. It’s not just the act of manipulating pixels on a screen, though it certainly can be. For most, there are important motives behind what and why they choose to play. We each have our own ways to define the act of play, as well as our own experiences that shape our paths with games. In the end, there are no wrong answers, no wrong ways to play, no wrong way to explore what it means to game. Gaming is kind of a genius hobby when you think about it.

    Like

    • Well said! One of the best things about gaming is that there’s something out there to suit absolutely everybody. I find it fascinating that two people can play the same title, but can end up playing it in completely unique ways and take away different things from the experience; other forms of media may do this to a certain extent but they can’t quite reach the level of video games.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have noticed that as I have gotten older my tastes in video games have changed and the way I look at games as a whole has changed as well.

    I’ve also noticed in the last few years that little things such as idle animations, other kinds of animations and references to other pieces of entertainment have become very interesting to me. I played through Dino Crisis 2 recently and I discovered an idle animation that I had never seen before. It was only a small thing but I got excited about it. The small details in games seem to be popping out to me more now than they did years ago. I have an inkling that getting older has made me appreciate the all the small bits and pieces that make the big wonderful games that we all play.

    As for hype, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, in some cases it can be a truly magical moment. An expample of this was when Square Enix announced FF7 Remake. It was something fans have been asking for for nearly 2 decades and they were finally getting it. Seeing all of the joy and excitement over video games makes me happy as it shows the power that video games have and how they can bring people together.

    The anger side of things can go away though. I definitely know that this is a sign of me aging. When I was a teenager I’d readily click on Anger inducing “Rant videos”. Nowadays I can’t stand them.

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    • I think the older you get, the more you realise that putting your energy into anger isn’t worth the effort because you just don’t have the time for it. It’s much more worthwhile using your energy to enjoy the spare hours you do have, and finding a bunch of like-minded people to share your hobby with! 🙂

      Like

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