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How Old is too Old to be a Gamer

Can you even grow out of video games?

By BrianPublished 7 months ago 3 min read

As a mature aged gamer, I’m often met with comments like “are you ever going to grow out of it?”, or “getting in touch with your inner child?”, video games apparently still have an image of immaturity. The general perception of a gamer seems to be that they are immature and their pastime is childish.

Maybe that was true 40 years ago, but the thing is, as I grew up, so did video games as an entertainment medium.

Video games were basically toys in the 80’s, a sweet little distraction to fill the time, and very clearly marketed to children. The arcade greats didn’t really have a lot of substance, if they even had a story, it was a single paragraph in the front of the instruction manual and did little beside describe the characters or set up the scenario.

But that wasn’t the pinnacle of development, the video game industry has been constantly growing and evolving and what we have on offer now, is a great deal more complex and entertaining, and have a lot more to offer intellectually.

Video games often feature a complex narrative loaded with mature themes. Video games are no longer just for kids, they’re now marketed towards a mature audience as well, and actually, with the average age of the gamer sitting around the mid-30’s, the majority of the demographic is mature aged.

But there’s more to it than that. As I grew older, I also realised I wasn’t fully comprehending the games I played in my youth. It’s a stretch to say I’m wiser now, but I have definitely learned and lived more since I was a teenager and I’m better able to deconstruct the media I consume now.

Games I played in my teens now have a lot more meaning for me, and key moments pack a lot more emotional punch. I’m not just pushing buttons for a dopamine fix anymore, I have greater expectations from the games I play.

Revisiting old games reveals just how much I’ve grown in that time. Games I barely got the gist of in my teens suddenly make a lot more sense and I more readily understand the messages they convey.

When I first played Final Fantasy VII in the 90’s for example, I didn’t take much of the story in at all, but in revisiting the story 25 years later, I understand so much more, I notice more details, understand the symbolism and allegory, understand the characters better and grasp the gravity of events so much more.

Revisiting Final Fantasy VII as an adult made it clear just how much I didn’t understand when I played the original game 25 years ago.

It’s fair to say, video games have carried mature themes for quite some time, I just wasn’t mature enough to comprehend it all when I was a teenager.

I honestly can’t see a future where I no longer play video games. I never grew out of them, because I’ve been growing into them all this time and I’ll continue to do so until I’m too old to do much else.

On top of that, recent studies indicate that playing video games daily can reduce the chances of, or delay the onset of dementia. Particularly games that have a three-dimensional environment.

Instead of discouraging mature-aged gamers, I feel like we should be encouraging the activity. Like a mental health routine, a daily exercise for better mental fitness.

And even if there were no good health effects, it wouldn’t matter because regardless, video games are still a rewarding and enriching way to pass my time in an entertaining way.

I find that criticism often comes from people who either haven’t played video games at all, are only familiar with mobile games, or who last played video games decades before and aren’t aware of just how much the activity has changed in all that time. They often have a severely outdated view of the hobby.

The reality is that video game content can be just as nuanced as other forms of entertainment, perhaps even moreso given the player can interact with the narrative rather than just witness it.

There should be no reason that you’d need to grow out of them.


About the Creator


Doing my best to keep on keeping on. I’m a quiet guy with a quiet life and I like it that way.

I like spending time with my family, cooking, fantasy fiction, video games, anime and archery.

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