The topic of video games came up in a recent conversation with friends and, naturally, I asked them whether or not they played. One of them, a male in his mid-twenties, replied “uh, I grew out of those years ago”. The conversation continued where he explained to me that he enjoyed his fair share of Sonic and Donkey Kong back when he was in primary school, but felt he was now “too old” for video games.
It made me wonder just how widespread this view was, and perhaps more importantly, how many partners of gamers feel this way. The thing is, the old stereotype of the young pimply gamer is slowly being debunked. It’s becoming increasingly clear that gamers are of all ages and there’s no reason to believe that gaming shows any sign of immaturity.
According to a 2012 study by The Entertainment Software Association, the majority of gamers are adults, with 68% of those surveyed over 18 years old. It may be that these older gamers have different motivations for playing when compared to their younger counterparts, or they may have more life responsibilities they have to take care of before they can settle down for a gaming session, but the important thing to note is that adults play video games. It’s perfectly normal.
In fact, writer and blogger John Birmingham encourages more “real men” to get into gaming to educate the rowdy, younger gaming community:
Men need to play more video games. Real men, grown-ups. Not squirty, pizza-faced little boys screaming abuse into their headsets because Lara Croft is the only woman in the world who’ll let them stare openly at her boobies.
Real men, with a few years on the clock, some wrinkles, and enough sense to respect the gaming skills of a good player.
Real men, not idiot boys who’d disrespect the same player purely for her gender and the way it makes them feel uncomfortable about themselves.
So you may grow out of your puppy fat, your single bed, your superman costume, but it appears that video games is just not one of these things that you get too old for. Just ask this lady: