My Experience With Gaming and Aging

Gaming and Aging

Many years ago, I recall being happy just receiving a new game to play. Back then, I didn’t know about game reviews and how to determine whether a purchase was worthwhile and not just licensed cash cows. However, I think I had a good experience on what games I got with only being disappointed with a Looney Tunes  and a Star Wars Podracing game. Otherwise, my library had games Street Fighter II, Mega Man Xtreme, Pokémon Blue and Game & Watch Gallery II.

classical fun

classical fun

When I grew up as a teen, I noticed that I preferred action games over JRPG. Those games just had lots of text and level grinding. How could they be fun? Well, over time, I grew to appreciate those kinds of games through the likes of Tales of Symphonia, Mega Man X Command Mission, Fire Emblem, and Golden Sun. I still didn’t know about game reviews back then to help out with finding these good titles. Instead, I went with fan loyalty and friend recommendations. I eventually just reached the point of just wanting to play games. Genre did not matter so much as long as the games were fun. I definitely had preferences, but this didn’t stop my friends and I from playing Mario Party or Dance Dance Revolution. Having fun was the definition of gaming.

I don’t know what happened exactly with the last generation of gaming, but it looked like it was Call of Duty and that was it. There was this notion of “Hardcore” gaming versus “Casual.” To me, it appeared like Hardcore became a “sport” where as casual was “Pick up games.” The thing about those distinctions is the people who play the sport for life don’t seem to enjoy the game as much as the causal crowd. If they do enjoy the game, it’s a different form of enjoyment. No longer is it just to experience new things but to win. I remember having plenty of fun playing Super Mario Bros. 3 despite never beating the game when I was little. However, I feel like I might be spoiled with games now as I don’t think I can get that similar fascination with that game anymore.

Then again, the boot always puts a smile on my face

Then again, the boot always puts a smile on my face

Currently, my gaming has taken more of a sideline. I play what I can when I have the time. I’ve been trying to beat a game called Valkyria Chronicles for the past few weeks but my obligations pretty much limit my playtime to about an hour or 2 per day. This means, despite my desire to play these longer titles, I can’t play them like I used to. As a result, I’ve come to dread level grinding again and having to adopt playing easy mode occasionally. It has certainly meant that I can’t replay games that have good replay value as often as I like. For example, I think Hyrule Warriors is great fun, but the length of the individual levels means I can’t accomplish as much as I would like to. I’d prefer to be able to play it more often, but I also realize that there are things more important, like maintaining relationships. I actually only used to buy games that were multiplayer so I had something to play with friends. Over time that became more difficult, so I started to gravitate towards single-player games but now that my playtime is limited, I have seen a re-emergence of party games that I can play to take advantage of the time I spend with my friends and family.

So Gaming with Age is pretty much a full circle. First you just want to play whatever to distract the time or experience new things (casual). Then you become invested in your gaming and it becomes a intense hobby, limiting to a specific genre (hardcore). After that, you remember that there is plenty to enjoy and you spread out your wings to play whatever. Lastly, you are limited in what you can play and just enjoy whatever you can when you have the time (casual). I just hope that whatever stage you are at, you remember to have fun.

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About The Author

Feature Writer/Game Reviewer

Blogger in the IGN community and no longer for Always Nintendo. You can find him still blogging in the IGN community as FalconRise