Am I Too Old to be considered "A Gamer"?

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Shawn Delahunty
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Soo, as I sit here in my home office, taking a small break from thinking about my work-day software problems, I idly glanced over at my overcrowded shelves. Aside from about 4 books which are accumulating on my "To Read" pile, there is a small-but-growing stack of freshly-bought-but-still-unplayed game software. It sits, sad and neglected, along with 3 different vintage computer systems in need of some electronics repair.

This, and some other stuff which has happened recently, got me thinking: Am I over the hill? Are my "gaming days" behind me? Am I no longer a gamer at all?

And I don't mean that in the, "I'm too old for that durn kid's stuff any more!" kind of way. If that makes any sense. In point of fact, I still love games. Nor am I talking about the "free time" problem that so many folks "my age" seem to have; splitting their attention between spouse, kids, job, friends, etc.

But what I find is that I'm more and more out of touch with what the general gaming populace seems to want. (I stress "seems" there because I'm not sure if it's actually something that's being driven by the consumer/gamer, or if the companies are pushing it on a complacent public.) I don't like "Social Media" very much; I find it anything BUT social. I absolutely HATE the notion of not "owning" my software. I still very much want to be able to buy a game, and when the transaction is completed be able to hold a box, filled with goodies and instruction manuals and physical media holding the software.

Steam has made hundreds of millions of dollars. F2P and subscription-based MMO's have made hundreds of millions more. DLC is the "monetization strategy" darling of the industry. More and more titles are available as "digital only downloads". (I should point out that I _LOVE_ GOG.com, but the first thing I do after downloading the game is burn 2 backup copies, print out the PDF-based "goodies", and stick them on my shelf.)

There is clearly money to be made there. But I can't get around how I feel. I really don't want to see "boxed software" go away.

Then too, another problem rears it's head--keeping me from finishing games. (Heck, I'm still working on Legends of Grimrock.) I find myself more fascinated by the process of making the game or hacking/designing the system than I am in playing the game on the system. While this may be something specific to me and my Engineering mindset, I can't help but wonder if it's something that comes naturally with age. I feel more compelled to create content than to merely consume content. I find it MUCH more rewarding and enjoyable.

Anyway, that's my 2-cents worth right now. Thoughts anyone?

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
comes up, do you think games

comes up, do you think games are precieved differently now then say the mid 80's? I know my parents never worried about my game playing, in fact the computer stuff was considered "he must be some genius if he works on computers" in the early 80's ( boy did I prove um wrong!).. while games where considered "just for kids" you saw alot more arcade machines and such in bars, restaurants etc.. then now days. Some of that is simply, why pay $.50 to play when you cna play it on your phone fro free.. so to speak. Games have came a long way.. but then again, regression of image too. I think there where more LEARNING games in the past.. or do I just see that way as IM not buying um now for kids, so I dont see them? its just so strange, my parents never worried i would turn into a lump in front of my TV (and by Jimmy I might have as Video games where my biggest interest back then).. but friends and outside was just about as fun.. and I seldom stayed home as contact with friends was great..(again wow has that changed.. contact now days is Facebook and a txt). Today its all about kids getting no exercise (and video games being the scapegoat.. i would point to facebook and phones, and such far more). Even in the 90's it was different.. the start of "killed because of games" stuff.. think about it.. Space Invaders.. SHOOTING invaders., Frogger, crushing a frog, Pac Man eating your enemies (quite possibly the most violent game ever) we where honed on shooting the bad guy be he a cowboy (atari's Outlaw)..Space alien, or tank.. remember DEATHRACE in 76 was considered graphic violence.. it was stick gremlins.. 60 minutes even joined the bandwagon..

man way off again.. are video games "kids stuff " or for everybody now days? I think today they are seen more a EVERYBODY thing.. so age has nothing to do with it.. in the past it was more a kid thing ( at least in perception).

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Videogames
Matt Barton wrote:
Rob Daviau wrote:

One is too old to play video games when they are to old to watch movies, go hiking, go fishing, shovel snow and any other activity. If this time comes, you are probably dead.

Well said!

Seconded. It's also important to remember that at this point, videogames are interwoven into everyday devices and everyday life. You practically have to go out of your way to avoid them.

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Matt Barton
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Amen
Rob Daviau wrote:

One is too old to play video games when they are to old to watch movies, go hiking, go fishing, shovel snow and any other activity. If this time comes, you are probably dead.

Well said!

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Rob Daviau
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YES

One is too old to play video games when they are to old to watch movies, go hiking, go fishing, shovel snow and any other activity. If this time comes, you are probably dead.

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Joined: 11/06/2010
No.

You are never too old to play video games. I have a friend I've known since I was very little who is now 70 years old and he still plays video games, and has since their inception, tabletop RPGs as well. You aren't much older than I, and you exhibit a lot of the same issues I have with current gaming and corporate trends. I remember when you bought something and it was yours. Physical media is still king in my book, and I wish companies still understood that. I didn't mind the old school DRM of looking up manual words, code wheels as well as copy protected disks. I was fine with that. I don't like this whole - 'you don't really own that software, you own a license to use it.' One of those fevered dreams I've had along with an emulation machine to play all the old video games was to take the GOG games and create physical box releases of them, with media and manuals and everything. I know that is ridiculous to think of as the costs would be astronomical and I can only dream, but better to dream than to think nothing at all.

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retroc64
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Joined: 05/11/2008
Yes!

Yes, you are too old to be playing video games. Start using the time to create something to be remembered for.

davyK
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Joined: 05/21/2006
I will be 47 in april and

I will be 47 in April and can't ever see me not playing games. I don't play as much as I used to obviously but that doesn't really matter. I play. Maybe like the music I listen to I will keep playing the stuff of a certain age and just sample some newer stuff....

Doubt I will ever 1CC DoDonPachi but I don't care!! Never say never though!!!!

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I can imagine how it'd be

I can imagine how it'd be difficult to justify 8+ hour gaming marathons with kids--especially if the kids in question aren't also gamers. My dad and I would play Empire and Ports of Call into the wee hours on the weekends, but my sister never got involved.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
With greater age generally

With greater age generally comes greater responsibility, which takes away from game playing time. Also, I've found that as I've gotten older my energy levels have gone down. This has all translated to have less enthusiasm for playing games. Nevertheless, it's something I can't ever see not doing, and I still get brief periods of tremendous enjoyment from the experience when I'm able to partake.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I agree with clok; none of us

I agree with clok; none of us will ever be "too old" for gaming. Indeed, game designers who set out to make games "that will be a hit with the 18-24 age bracket" instead of "fun for me and guys like me" will always fail eventually. On the other hand, I distinctly remember being 13 and wanting nothing to do with "kiddy" stuff. I wanted to play Real Games. ;) I doubt much has changed.

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