Thoughts on Aging and Gaming

Please forgive the style of this post. I had a lot of thoughts going in my head lately and I just wanted to lay everything out. I also chose not to edit myself, so I’m sure this will be a pretty sloppy read. I just wanted to pull it out of my head and lay it all out.

If you’re not interested in hearing about me talking about a waning interest in games, skip this post. There will be more uplifting posts soon, such as more writings about my Elite Dangerous experiences and thoughts on this month’s fantastic releases: Hotline Miami 2 and Bloodborne.

Last October was one of the happiest moments in my life. I was mostly alone in my travels until I found the woman who would complete my existence on this tiny little blue world. I am happy with my marriage, especially because we find new ways to make each other laugh.

You may be wondering what this has to do with gaming. Well, here it is: now that my life has taken such a turn, I find I am growing less excited about gaming in general. It’s easy for people to say that marriage changes your life, but you don’t really grasp that idea until it actually happens.

While my life was once defined by spending lots of money every month on video games and other silly things, marriage has changed my outlook. Dare I say it – I might have matured. I still like to play games, but I don’t feel so jazzed about them anymore. I’m not saying marriage is to blame – not at all! In fact, I attribute my waning interest to the issues that occurred before I gave my vows. An extremely divisive and loud community (GamerGate really burned me out), the changing nature of reviews, the push towards stream personalities (of which I’d like to be one but don’t have the time), potential career changes, and the utter joy of vacationing. I’m also getting older, too, strange as it is to say, an that has had some measured impact.

The days of pre-ordering ten games at once have gone. Where I could tell you what games were being released three years down the road, I now am just as surprised as you are when games come out. Where I once felt I had to play everything out of a self-proclaimed duty to tell people I knew and didn’t knew about video games, now I want to play them for fun. I’m still happy to review games here and at Darkstation, but I do so with less frequency. I would like to dip into the world of streaming, but I feel that is becoming a young person’s game. My computer is about five years old and needs to be upgraded before I can do regular Twitch streaming or gameplay videos. And I don’t know when I’ll ever get to that. My PC is running fine right now and unless it experiences a severe failure or something, I see no reason to rush into an upgrade.

Another reason for my shift away from compulsive gaming is Elite: Dangerous (and the upcoming Star Citizen). I feel like I’ve encountered a game I can really dedicate my time. I thought World of Warcraft would be that game, but I don’t need a monthly subscription for Elite and unlike Warcraft, there are billions of star systems to explore. And there are new patches and full expansions being developed to add more exciting content.

There are games coming up that I really want to play (Persona 5, Batman, Hotline Miami 2, No Man’s Sky, and Bloodborne) but I’m not active about much else coming out. What IS coming out? I don’t even know. I used to stress about games coming out and whether or not I could afford them. I don’t now and that has been quite freeing. Maybe I’ll pick up on GameFly sometime if there’s something I really want to play, but right now I feel content with the titles I’m currently engaged with and those on my radar.

I always used to be afraid of how getting older would affect my gaming habits. Now that the time has come, I’m at peace with the idea. On the plus side, it frees me to engage with my other review responsibilities and, more importantly, enjoy life as someone’s husband. I’m not giving up on gaming at all, just pulling the throttle back. I also plan to passing the hobby down to my kids so they can experience the same joy it brought me growing up. I’m excited to see what adventures games will take them (so long as it’s far, far away from Xbox Live).

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on Aging and Gaming

  1. Thanks for writing this: I’m getting married in August, and oddly, this exact same sentiment has been swirling around in my brain. Makes you think if there is such a thing as becoming an adult doesn’t it?

      1. I don’t know – almost EXACTLY the moment I turned 30 there was added purpose to everything. Except video games, which I’ve fallen incredibly out of love with, sadly.

      2. That’s not an uncommon feeling, I’ve heard. My 30th birthday went without this kind of incident but now that I’m 34, I think I’m experiencing a delayed response, ha!

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