Can People Still Play the Same Games as They Get Older?

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    From Wired:

    Can People Still Play the Same Games as They Get Older?
    Action genre veterans may struggle with the pace and complexity of modern games, but they have no intention of hanging up their controllers.

    Veli-Juhani Antero Westerholm is 63 and has been playing games regularly for over 30 years. “New games are so fast-paced, I can’t really keep up,” he says. “I usually die a lot before I figure out how the game works.” He mostly plays military shooters and often returns to old favorites from previous generations, such as Brothers in Arms, Sniper Elite, or Call of Duty: World at War. “New games can be more complicated, more multilayered,” he says. “You have a lot of menus to figure out and a lot of game mechanics to learn.” He prefers what he feels are simpler mechanics in the older games. “You only have your weapon–like in Call of Duty–and that’s what you use for the rest of the game, without any big changes.”

    Mainstream video gaming has been around long enough now that some people who started playing in their youth are nearing retirement age. Indeed, anyone who indulged in gaming’s first commercial boom in the 1970s is at least in their fifties, if not their sixties. It’s not surprising that the average age for gaming has risen to around 35, and a survey from last year puts 15 percent of gamers in the 55+ bracket–it’s an organically expanding audience. But what does that mean for Westerholm and other old-school gamers who want to keep playing the kinds of games they’ve always enjoyed?


    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925

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    Excellent and absolutely relatable article. An avid gamer since the late 70’s, I noticed my reaction time wasn’t what it used to be beginning with Unreal Tournament in the early 2000’s. Gradually at first, then all at once, it dawned on me that I just could not keep up with the younger, faster quick-twitch generation of players out there. Found myself then gravitating toward stealth-based and RTS games allowing for more brains over brawn action.

    But thanks to emulation, we old timers can continue to play the games we once dominated in our youth.

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