Although many non-gamers still seem to believe that the average gamer is a hyperactive pre-pubescent boy, the truth is that most people who regularly play video games are adults well into their 20s or even their 30s. With that being said, many gamers like to believe that you’re never too old to be a gamer. There may be some truth to that, but there are still others who maintain that the culture of the hardcore gamer has an upper age limit, that there is such a thing as being too old for video games. This writer is inclined to agree with that sentiment, at least as far as some games are concerned. You’re never too old to enjoy the occasional game, but if you show any of these five signs, you just might be too old to call yourself a hardcore gamer.
5. You Think the Games are Too Complicated
Once upon a time, video games were very simple. They had simple instructions and could usually be played with a joystick and a couple of buttons. Those times are long gone. These days, games are played on controllers that have at least six buttons and at least two joysticks. Many of them require a lengthy tutorial at the beginning of the game to keep players from being hopelessly lost. Games cannot be picked up and played anymore. If this is enough to turn you off to a particular game, chances are you’re too old to play it.
4. The Stories Don’t Appeal To You
Ever since video games became sophisticated enough to tell stories that were more complicated than “The president has been kidnapped by ninjas,” developers have been trying to turn them into a storytelling medium that would rival movies, television and books. There are plenty of gamers out there who like to go on endlessly about the deep and compelling stories told by their favourite games, but the truth is that most of these stories are actually rather shallow and uninteresting. Video game plots haven’t gotten much better than what you might find in a bad sci-fi movie, and while there are a few exceptions most of them won’t appeal to mature adults. Teenagers and twenty-somethings might eat that stuff up, but if you find that you would rather watch a good movie or read a book you might be a little too old for this stuff.
3. You Don’t Identify with Gamer Culture
Gamers have their own unique culture, and like any culture it may seem strange or even alien to uninformed outsiders. It’s made up of people who eat, sleep and breathe video games, and many of these people expect other gamers to be like them. As you get older, you might find that this isn’t you. If you get bored with constant talk about the latest “Call of Duty” game or get bored with a game long before others do, you might want to reconsider your status as a hardcore gamer.
2. You Just Aren’t As Good at Video Games as You Used to Be, and You Don’t Care
Playing a video game isn’t an innate ability. It takes practice to get any good at it. A casual gamer might be good enough to make it through the end of the campaign mode of the latest “Call of Duty” game, but it takes a hardcore pro to get good at multiplayer games. Sadly, if the game doesn’t hold your attention long enough to get that good, chances are a typical game will involve you getting killed over and over again by a 12 year-old on the other side of the world. There’s certainly nothing wrong with not being that good at a particular game, but if you find that you don’t care enough to get any better you might want to stick to other hobbies.
1. You Don’t Have the Time to Play
The biggest sign that you might be getting too old to play video games is that you simply don’t have the time to sit down and play. You might be able to play the occasional casual game on the weekends, but if you find that your job, your family, your school and your life in general keeps you from the kinds of marathon gaming sessions that you used to have, then you might be too old to be a “real” gamer. Feel free to play during your free time, but just remember that you have other priorities as an adult.