As one gracefully matures there often comes a point in a videos gamers life where the hobby you have been so obsessed with discretely gets pushed aside.
You begin to think, ‘everything is different now’ as you half-heartedly slump down to relax after a long day at work and notice the dusty stack of consoles taking up valuable space behind.
You query what has changed, where the months have gone and your thoughts of other players that you know, undoubtedly still hooked into their computer screens as precious moments continue to pass them by.
‘Do I have the will to work through a single level, or even set it up?’ which seems far too much effort in your current conscious state.
Then just as a glimpse of nostalgia gives you the motivation to finally make your move, you recall what you should be doing instead and that doesn’t involve relaxing or childishly fooling around.
‘Am I too old for games’? The question springs to mind.
How might you tell that your too old for games?
1. There’s never enough time
This one’s a major deal breaker for those of us that are contemplating the question. If your struggling to find a regular amount of hours each day, you’re never going to be able to properly enjoy the experience like you used to before.
Games are created for players to improve and hone their skills. As the map expands, items increase and challenges get vastly more difficult, you’re going to want to remember everything you’ve learnt leading up to this point or it can be a huge turn off.
Getting older often results in more pressures from society and chaos from other people around you. Increasingly longer hours spent at work as you begin to climb the financial ladder, trying to keep a wife or girlfriends ‘emotions’ happy, or even having a bunch of kids thrown into the mix!
As great as these things are it’s important to remember to keep a balance so you can still enjoy your hobby and properly accept that the console was a genuine investment. There’s nothing worse than spending your hard earned cash on game and never getting around to playing it!
You begin to understand that your time is far more precious now and are more selective when buying games, skipping over the indie titles which used to be a bit ‘hit’ or ‘miss’. You notice you’ve become increasingly frustrated when loading times are wasting your life.
2. You’re living in the past
You find yourself never wanting to discover any new releases or rarely attempt to play a sequel of a game that you have not already owned. Deep down you know your heart lies in classic consoles, that are still undoubtedly the best.
You would much rather re-complete the games you bought ten years ago in an attempt to discover something new, or try by using a different skill of character. The speed run is now mastered but time limits are still there to be broken.
Now’s the perfect chance to explore the older games that you never got around to buying as they’re only a fraction of the price. Emulators are you friend and help you to experience things in a different light.
Through your eyes everything new appears like a re-make and the gaming market of today is just an over saturated money making machine. Sequels that are basically the same, classic titles that have been ruined, why are they fixing things that were never broken? How many buttons are on this controller? You just can’t quite get to grips with the fact that the times have changed.
3. How much!?
New consoles and games are so expensive now! Should I choose between the latest PlayStation model with a couple of games, a laptop or a small car?!
Not everyone has an endless supply of money and it appears the cost of staying updated with your favourite franchises keeps rising and rising compared to when you were younger. $299 to $499 just for the console, ‘It used to be half of that!’
With full priced games, online subscriptions, larger storage capacities and technically inferior hardware requiring a replacement every couple of years, you begin to doubt that this obsession is such a good investment.
When you know Microsoft now require $60 year just to record and share gameplay footage (that was never a problem before) or Sony, $50 a year just to access online multiplayer (also free before); it’s obvious that owning consoles are becoming too much of an unwanted commitment.
Micro transactions are getting out of control, so much that they’re eating away at your favourite titles from the inside. Developers just don’t seem to care like they used to and big game companies just want to earn more money even if they’re swimming in it. No thanks, I’ll skip!
4. You’ve lost the excitement
Video games just aren’t as exciting as when you first played them with many new games feeling bland and uninspired. You’ve become a dopamine fiend and the countless re-makes upon re-makes, spinoffs, HD remasters, prequels, etc.. will never give you a hit like your original experience.
When you first played video games everything was new, you were a noob and that’s why it was so compelling. The characters you had never seen before, challenges you didn’t quite understand, interface you had no control over, fascinating pieces of artwork, a whole new world just waiting to be indulged by your brain. But of course this novelty can only last for so long.
Now your mind is closer to understanding what to expect before you have even started, and the hobby has become a habit. The market has been over-saturated with too many similar ideas and there’s only so many ways you can re-tell history. Why spend years making an original title when you can tweak a few things and write it off as new?
Games you’re currently playing just don’t seem to be challenging like they were in the past; with re-generating health, too many rewards, and pop up dialogs holding your hand through crucial points in the game, the immense satisfaction that you used to experience upon completion is now a rare thing to be found.
5. You begin to hate everybody online
You’ve been waiting to play all day and finally get a chance to put your feet up for some much needed solitude but shortly find yourself in a heated argument with a group of foul mouthed thirteen year old teens online.
‘Everyone who plays video games now are a bunch of loser kids with no respect’; you mutter to yourself after getting easily offended by their light hearted jokes while they repeatedly mock you for how ‘old people’ suck at games.
As they continue to hunt you down on the map throwing insult after insult you find yourself getting increasingly pissed off and that the evening is going very different to how you had planned. The vein in your forehead is bulging, and you’re starting to feel like you did back at work.
You never used to get offended from unknown people online, but this time is different and everything is going straight to your heart. The long days and tiredness are causing havoc with your emotions as you yearn for the simpler days in the past. Eventually enough is enough as you storm out the room never wanting to play another video game in your life!
6. A new perspective
Many things can change as you age and your mind matures. New perspectives begin to emerge that you previously wouldn’t of contemplated leading up to this point. While new ways of looking at life can be good or bad, growing up is unavoidable and something you will have to work out on your own.
Many teenagers have a hard time resisting their impulses when given the choice between playing video games and the everyday responsibilities that they know they should be doing. This can be due to lacking positive forms of engagement in other areas in life.
When you start to grow older, and new opportunities or rewards present themselves in the real world, you can begin to see that most of the hard work you’ve put into games is only worth it for the social value.
If you were to put all that effort into other projects around you, you would eventually be able to create a more meaningful existence and ultimately have more excitement in ways that video games would never allow you to imagine. This could include building a business, mastering a skill, starting a family, etc.
A busy father watching his children play the new Star Wars game will know that it’s not responsible for him to sit down and play all day and that gaming can actually be a casual thing.
He might notice that somehow all of the main characters are female now and murmurs; ‘the plot made more sense in my day’.
7. Your health has deteriorated
The pain, it hurts!.. When you first started playing video games you would often notice glimpses of pain or muscle spasms in the form of ‘warning signs’ that you never really thought too much of.
These discomforts would appear in your Thumbs, Elbows, Wrists, Neck or Back and were created from the long hours of repetition, poor posture and ignorance to having frequent breaks or regularly changing your position.
The years have passed and things have only gotten worse. You were determined to play for more and more even if it went against the odds. The twelve hour gaming sessions were just standard procedure, but by now you’re struggling to last for even half an hour.
The pain has gotten so unbearable that you have to bail out in the middle of an important clan match, forfeiting your team mates, to make your way to see a Doctor.
The news is not promising and something you never wanted to hear, your dreams of becoming a pro e-sports player erased in an instant. The daily competitiveness of button bashing has taken its toll with the diagnoses being Osteoarthritis, you find out your tendons have deteriorated worse than that of a sixty five year old man.
From this moment forward gaming is off the cards soon to be replaced with hospital trips and steroid injections, if only you had taken things more seriously in the first place!
Click here to read more about Video Game Addiction.
Is it considered sad that adults play games?
There’s often a social stigma associated with adults who enjoy playing games in the comfort of their own homes, but why is this the case? Traditionally, Dice, Board or Card games were considered accepted adult pastimes, documented and well known to of been played in almost every human culture. As time has passed and like many other things in our society, the games we play have also had an update. Is it now considered sad just because the way we play and connect with these games are different?
Today video games are the most popular format, and they can easily be consumed in an ‘antisocial’ one player environment for longer periods of time than ever before. With some people taking this to the extreme; and in connection with poor life choices, a stereotypical image was formed that was deemed unfavourable to the public eye.
Can you be too old for video games?
You can never be considered ‘too old’ for playing video games, as like most other common forms of entertainment there is no upper age limit. Playing games is a relatively safe hobby to perform up until old age, and can be played for as long as the user still enjoys them.
The misconception occurs from people who view gaming as an age restricted activity, and that players should ‘grow up’ after a certain age, but this not necessarily the case. There are many genres of games created for all age groups and some that are explicitly designed for adults. If your brain finds them stimulating and you can still physically play them, then you are not too old for games.
There has been a number of cases of grandmothers playing video games well into their 80’s and have even made it into the public eye for their association with the hobby at such an old age. Doreen Fox from Dudley, has been recognised as ‘Britain’s older gamer’ well known for playing Xbox games such as Call of Duty and Shirley Curry an 83 year old grandmother from Virginia USA who loves to play Skyrim. You can check out her channel below.
Do you get worse at video games as you get older?
As you become older your reaction time will slow down and you will most likely have less time to practise playing video games due an increase of responsibilities. The majority of e-sports players will begin to play professionally at 17 years old and are often forced to retire by the time they hit their mid to late twenties. There can be exceptions to this rule but only in very rare cases.
Is it wrong for adults to play video games?
There is nothing wrong with adults playing video games, as after all it is just another form of entertainment, similar to watching TV, Movies or YouTube. All people no matter their age need some form of entertainment to help them relax after a long day at work or to enjoy with the comfort of their families.
Video games are considered an active form of entertainment which is generally better for you than passive forms as they can promote more activity within the brain and help to stimulate your neurons. There are many different kinds of video games to choose that can be both be informative and educating, it’s easy to forget that not all games are marketed for children.
Is it OK for adults to play video games?
Yes, it’s perfectly fine for adults to play video games if they want to, as long as they play in moderation and keep on top of other responsibilities. Adults still need time to switch off after a long busy day and video games can help them to re-charge. It might not be ok if they choose to play them all day long which in turn prevents them from going to work, taking care of themselves or looking after dependants.