Never Too Old to Play Games

Today I was talking with one of my co-workers about gaming. He's a forty-something analyst who is about is geeky as you get. We were talking about usual geek stuff like computers, hardware, etc. When I told him that one of the few things holding me back from getting a Mac is the fact that I'm a gamer who loves to play. He told me "I'm not a gamer. I'm too old for that."

How depressing. Sure, his youngest child is in high school, but too old to play games? He played games in the Atari and Caleco era (the 2600 was my first console) but never really moved on. He says that every once in a while he'll pick up a control and play a game with his kids, but he gets beaten by them so much he doesn't find them worthwhile.

In a way I can see why he feels that way. In college my roommates and I loved playing the original Halo. We played it until 2 or 3 in the morning. We where pretty good players with fairly equal ability and that made it a lot of fun. However, once I got married my Halo playing days were kinda over. My younger brother got a copy of Halo 2 and started ripping it up with that game, and when I would visit we would play. He'd totally dominate. he knew where everything was. he knew all the nuances of good game play. I was old school. I sucked. And so it really wasn't that much fun to me.

I still regularly play other games. One of my favorites is Day of Defeat. It's a mod for Half-Life 2, another great first person shooter. I'm pretty good at it and get in about 5 hours of playing per week. Enough to keep my skills up, but not so much that it's in excess.

No, I don't ever want to say that I'm too old to play. To me that's more a resignation, a defeat. It says to me that I'm willing to give up something I enjoy because I'm not good enough to do it. I think at some level everyone has to come to grips with 'being too old' to do something. I mean, Michael Jordon had to retire some time. But don't you think he still plays basketball at some gym or open air court somewhere?

I'd like to think so.

We'll see. When I'm 73 years old and my thumbs have frozen because of arthritis, I'm sure they'll have invented something so that I can control the game with my senile mind.

Posted on Sep 11
Written by Wayne Hartman