Barton Turns 30

Matt Barton's picture

Well, it probably won't make the evening news, but at least I was interested to know that I've now officially entered the rank of 30-somethings. I realize that it's all just an arbitrary numbers thing, but it does seem to represent some kind of milestone. I suppose it does sound a bit worse to hear, "He's 30 years old and still playing videogames" than "he's 20 years old and still playing videogames," and I'm wondering how my fellow 30+ year olds have perceived this issue.

I've been preparing myself by watching lots of my favorite movies from my teenage years, such as Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Wayne's World. I remember when these movies really seemed on the cutting edge of hip...Now I can't even watch Night at the Roxbury without being painfully aware of its obsolescence. These movies are, shall we say, past their prime...! I mean, for God's sake, 1990 didn't used to be such a long time ago!

Here's the deal. I've always been aware of a huge gap between what I consider cool and what the "cool people" consider cool, if that makes any sense. I like Dr. Who, they like Doc Martens (or what have you). I like Star Wars, they like Dirty Dancing. I like Weird Al, they like the people Weird Al parodies.

However, what I've begun to realize is that the people I consider "cool people" are now, themselves, being increasingly seen as old and outdated; no longer the least bit with it. Instead, they've been replaced by the new generation of cool people, who in very weird ways seem to have more in common with me than the cool people of yesterday (i.e., many of them are into the stuff formerly considered taboo, such as gaming.)

Just to give you an example here. Back in high school, I occasionally wore a bright green shirt featuring the Swamp Thing and a calculator watch. I was probably the only kid in the school who would've dared to wear that, and I was picked on and teased relentlessly, to the point where people started calling me "swampy," which was at least more original than the continuous "nerd!!" or "faggot!!" Now, I see "cool" kids wearing stuff like that all the time. I used to think I was born too late, but now I'm wondering if I was born too soon! The "new batch" seems a lot more accepting of eccentric folks than mine ever did.

At any rate, I am wondering how appropriate it is for a man of my age to be so into gaming. I think I've been lucky in working with Armchair Arcade and now working on game-related books on the subject of gaming, so I can usually mumble something about "it's for research purposes" and squeak past that way. However, I'm still not sure I'd be comfortable breaking out a Nintendo DS and wailing through Cooking Mama in mixed company! I have the same thoughts on comics. I've already started to feel like maybe it's time to give up on Spiderman and seek out some more "mature" graphic novels to read...I won't even get into my love of "juvenile" fiction like Harry Potter!

How did the rest of you handle the transition into your third decade?

P.S. If anyone is feeling so inclined, please feel free to purchase me a gift from my Amazon wish list. I promise that if anyone does buy me a game or game-related book, I'll happily review it for Armchair Arcade.

My Amazon.com Wish List
My Amazon.com Wish List

Comments

yakumo9275
yakumo9275's picture
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Joined: 12/26/2006
HB!

Nice. I turned 32 a week or so ago ;)

August is a great month.

Happy birthday. 30 was a great year for me, I got married and moved to the usa! 31 got a house. 32 had a baby... lets see what happens for 33!! :)

You had some interesting stuff on your wish list, since you had an IBM book on it, have you read Fortress ROtchester?
http://www.amazon.com/Fortress-Rochester-Inside-Story-Iseries/dp/custome...

also have you read twisty little passage?
http://www.amazon.com/Twisty-Little-Passages-Approach-Interactive/dp/026...

-- Stu --

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Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
happy birthday!

A happy birthday Matt. Turning 30 marks the transition into adulthood. Your 20`s are sort of a practicing-to-be-adult decade. Don't worry about still playing video-games, even 37 year old shrinks are known to enjoy them! ;-)
Throw a big party or have one thrown for you, repeat that double for the big 40 in a decade!


Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Thanks

Thanks for the b-day wishes, guys!

I have read TLP, but not Fortress Rochester. TLP is one of my favorite books, and inspired me to get interested in writing the book I'm working on now.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Matt! I'll be 35 in October, Christina 31 in December. No big deal, really. Just a number all that, and as long as you take care of yourself, you'll be vital and healthy for many, many more decades. I stopped caring much about birthdays quite a few years ago as well. In fact, I usually have to take an extra second to think how old I am it's so unimportant.

As for the "coolness" thing, yeah, I wouldn't worry about it, because as you say, a lot of today's generation is into videogames and anime/manga and what-not. Frankly, the older I've gotten, the farther away from high school and college I've gotten, the less I've given a damn about being something for other people. I've got everything I want in my life and am working on getting more, and that's what matters to me. Everyone else be damned. They can like me for who I am or not, I'm not going to be anything other than myself. Frankly I've found that some people respond off-the-charts to that and respect me/like me more for it. Of course some people are all about "fitting in" and adhering to a particular image or lifestyle. That's great for them, but I have no interest in it.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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Seb
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Joined: 06/04/2006
Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Matt! It's funny, we almost have the same birthday: i'm turning 37 tomorrow (21st). I treated myself to a brand new aluminium iMac. Hopefully I should receive it this week. I haven't been that excited about buying a computer since i got my Amiga years ago. This is what i got:

2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
500GB Serial ATA Drive
SuperDrive 8X(DVD+R DL/DVD+RW)
Apple Mighty Mouse
WIRED KYBRD & MAC OS X KIT

I also bought iWork 08, a .mac account, and AppleCare.

S.

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Wireless
Seb wrote:

Happy Birthday Matt! It's funny, we almost have the same birthday: i'm turning 37 tomorrow (21st). I treated myself to a brand new aluminium iMac. Hopefully I should receive it this week. I haven't been that excited about buying a computer since i got my Amiga years ago. This is what i got:

2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
500GB Serial ATA Drive
SuperDrive 8X(DVD+R DL/DVD+RW)
Apple Mighty Mouse
WIRED KYBRD & MAC OS X KIT

I also bought iWork 08, a .mac account, and AppleCare.

S.

Sounds like a great system, but I'm shocked you didn't take advantage of the wireless bluetooth with the mouse and keyboard! I realize your tablet will likely be wired, but still... I have a last generation topped out RISC-based Mac Mini and it has built-in bluetooth, but since it's a secondary system so I can kick the tires on MacOS I just left it with the wired Apple USB keyboard and mouse. The keyboard is nice, but that mouse stinks. I'm a thumb trackball user anyway. I wish there was a good bluetooth natural keyboard and trackball combo, as I'd be so there. There's nothing like that that I'm aware of though. Right now I have a wired Logitech TrackMan Wheel for my Tablet PC and work laptop and a wireless one for my desktop, along with a wireless natural keyboard for my desktop. Of course the wireless trackball and keyboard use "proprietary" USB wireless connections so it's not easy to move them about.

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
======================================

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Seb
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Joined: 06/04/2006
I want it now!

The wireless "new" keyboards aren't out yet.. they're expecting to start shipping mid-september. I didn't want to wait that long. :)

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
New Mac keyboards
Seb wrote:

The wireless "new" keyboards aren't out yet.. they're expecting to start shipping mid-september. I didn't want to wait that long. :)

I have not had any hands on time with those new flat keyboards. I'm concerned about the feel versus a real keyboard. It seems like this would feel more like typing on a laptop (which is not necessarily a bad thing as there are good laptop keyboards). Have you spent any time with the new style?

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
======================================

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Seb
Seb's picture
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Joined: 06/04/2006
Keyboard

I had the same concerns about the keyboard, but i went out and tried one at my local Apple reseller and they were surprisingly fine.

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Macs
Seb wrote:

Happy Birthday Matt! It's funny, we almost have the same birthday: i'm turning 37 tomorrow (21st). I treated myself to a brand new aluminum iMac. Hopefully I should receive it this week. I haven't been that excited about buying a computer since i got my Amiga years ago.

Ha! Well, maybe that explains a lot if we're both Leos. ;-) Or are you considered a cusp?

I have an iMac as well that the school bought for me. I'm sad to say, as soon as I got BootCamp and XP for it, I haven't used the Mac mode very much. However, it works excellently for an XP gaming machine, though I haven't really put it through its paces with FEAR or anything like that yet. It does run Dungeon Siege II without a hitch.

I will warn you that there seems to be an issue with the DVD drive and DVDs with copy protection. I have some DVDs such as Revenge of the Nerds that won't run properly on the iMac, Mac mode or Windows. I looked it up, and it's some issue with the drive itself, and many people have the problem. It's not that big of a deal if you're not planning to use the computer to watch movies, though.

I also agree with Bill about the mouse. I have a nice Logitech laser mouse that works really well for my PC, but the "Mighty Mouse" is actually, well, let's face it--a wimpy mouse. I like a bit more arch. :-)

Still, I'm excited about all the gamers buying into Macs. Surely, this means that it won't be long before there will be the critical mass needed to really start seeing games for it.

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