The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crowd

by mjmjr25 Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:00 pm

I've been doing a lot of thinking on this topic lately. Topic being - I am 33 and video games are a large part of my hobby time, in fact, it is currently probably my most time-consuming hobby.

I was talking to a friend the other day and pondering if the stigmas have changed in regard to gaming as an accepted hobby.

I can't imagine my dad or any of his friends (in their late 50's - early 60's) spending time doing meet ups or posting on vid game forums. However, I think I might still be involved in this when I am 50 - I have been for the last 20 years - why not 20 more?

What are thoughts and feelings of the other older gamers? Do you ever have "guilt" that you are still involved in the hobby? Do you have something nagging at you that "it's time to grow up"?

I don't have any designs for this thread - just some discussion from the rest of the "seasoned" racket members on this topic of Aging and Gaming.

Feel free to share stories, thoughts, and experiences.

Copy / Paste from my last post:
And EDIT: Please post if you are under 25, by all means. The title thought was to steer the folks who might have similar thoughts into the thread. But certainly if you have your own thoughts and are under 25 - please do make a thoughtful post.
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by flex wood Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:09 pm

Posting so I can find this thread again when I have time to make a decent post on my thoughts.
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by o.pwuaioc Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:11 pm

I'm not close to 50, but I'm not sure the 25 crowd is the right angle. I usually state my collection with a sense of pride and a twinkle in my eyes. It probably helps that I have a good job, getting a PhD, in a stable relationship, and have a nice apartment in New York City. I'm living it up, and no one has yet said anything negative about what I have, nor do I think they would so long as it doesn't become my life (e.g. like a sister's ex-bf who did nothing but play his 360 for 14 hours a day).
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by Jmustang1968 Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:45 pm

I am approaching 30 later this year and I have no shame in my gaming and collecting hobby. I think if it entertains you and brings you enjoyment, then that is what is important. I kind of hate the idea of having to 'grow up' and move past gaming as if it is only a kids hobby or some such. I don't think it makes it any more kiddish or juvenile of a hobby as compared to other 'adult' hobbies or entertainment. But of course, you have to live within your means and take things in moderation. I still take care of my responsibilities and treat my gaming activities accordingly. I think the stigma as it being a kids hobby will steadily disappear. Gaming is becoming more and more mainstream, and the generations that grew up with gaming are getting older. The 40 and 50+ year old crowd grew up when gaming either didn't really exist or when it was only considered a very niche market and kids hobby. And in the end, even if that was the general consensus, I guess I wouldn't really care hahaha.

Now from a money standpoint... Collecting can be a drain on the finances. But I look at it as these games are holding their value (most of them), with the exception of brand new titles of course. A lot of the older games have been going up even. So if I needed to, I could at least get a good % of my money back on them, especially the ones I bought in bulk for a great deal or found locally much lower than their market price. It definitely isn't the best of investments, if you look at it from that angle, but it is still a hobby that you can say retains some of the value of the money you put into it...
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by mjmjr25 Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:51 pm

^Thoughtful post and good insight.

To note - not sure if my original post was clear. I'm not saying I personally have any reservations or nor do I feel a need "to grow up". But, it is certainly something(s) i've heard when the topic comes up in social settings with those my age and older - particularly at work.

I wouldn't give it up myself from some sort of outside pressure, the question for me is more, as JMustang pointed out, is it becoming more socially acceptable to have a "video game hobby" later in life. And I agree it is - wondering if others are seeing that as well.
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by CRTGAMER Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:19 pm

I think gaming is accepted, it does not have the Geek term when Video Games first came out. I think also for the older crowd it is also more normal or a common "trait" to possess. Wait a minute is this another Thread to expose the ages of members? :lol:

Okay I'll bite. I love gaming and always have since my teens. I saw Pong when it first came out in the Bowling Alley and thought it was different from Pinball. Boring yet different. Then I discovered a Cinematronics Space Wars Cabinet in of all places, a Circle K Mini Mart. You know the new Arcade Cabinets were going to be big in more ways then one when that monster cab took up the front of the tiny store. Anyways this was so much better then Pong, customize the Gravity, Speed, Inertia and then battle against a friend! Vector graphics also were different and clean, so many Space Themed games were to follow, truly first experience at Arcade heaven for me! To this day I still long for that behemoth of a cab in my house.

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Weird how I loved Space Wars and not Pong. Nolan Bushnell's earlier Computer Space failed, yet Pong brought in the quarters. Maybe I was ahead of the pack or just a gaming nut and wanted more in playing Space Wars. The beginnings of a dedicated gamer?

A Year later I joined the Navy and discovered the Atari 2600 in the breakroom. Played Superman with the blocky graphics but wow! Just one more room to find that bridge. Four in the morning and only an hour later we had to do Carrier Quals on the catapults. I was a Zombie the rest of the day, lucky didn't walk into an intake. :?

Color Raster Arcades started appearing, again the Space Themed Williams games sucked me in. The frenzied shooting and try to stay alive of Defender and the perfect Twinstick game of Robotron. Then the first exposure to a motion chair game and still one of the best, Space Harrier! I say the best because the chair would really respond to the stick instantly tilting and giving a perception of Flight. I didn't get the flight feel again for a couple of years. I worked line division with a helicopter squadron when I had an opportunity to get some late night stick time in a Navy Helo simulator. I think my ultimate Arcade experience has to be that helo simulator, the reason why I always look for realistic flight games. 8)

Twinstick Robotron really hit me with the innovative controls. The first time exposed to the concept of moving one direction and shooting in another, my hands wrapped around the sticks. Years later Virtua On also had the same impact. I think these really influenced me in always looking for new ways to play a game.

The first exposure to collector mentality, the Commodore 64. So many games so little time to play. Many a night on the BBS to download yet another game to copy to the floppy. The Vic20 and C64 really got me into the first tweaking of gaming. Not so much in designing games, but learning about cracking to jump into a different level of a game. Some of the older games were partially in Basic, I found a way to include my name in a platformer called wizard. To see my name in the opening description of the game that was unique, the I did that myself feeling.

Fast Forward to today's gaming. I'm still hooked, love the last gen with the PS2 and Dreamcast and recently discovering the NES. The Commodore 64 kept me away from the 8 and 16 bit consoles. I also am hooked by the possibilities of the Wii, not for motion control but the instant aim of the "Lightgun" for FPS games. My biggest enjoyment is discovering new ways to play a game and modding. My son also is big on gaming on the 360, PS3 and PC, maybe I'm a "bad" influence? :mrgreen:

Oh, I have to post this beautiful quote! I plan on gaming forever! :D
DinnerX wrote: viewtopic.php?f=52&p=580062#p580062

Go play a game. Then live out the rest of your life expectancy doing whatever you wish (within reasonable limitations) and proceed to decompose in a semi-respectable manner.
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by mjmjr25 Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:57 pm

^Nice post, CRT. That robotron story fills some questions - like, "Why does CRT love twin sticks and twin stick mods so much?" :lol: Funny how certain things just get us going and we start to rant.

For me, a few of them are:
Rush n' Attack - NES - My cousin and I loved that game...and could not get past stage 3.

Wizards and Warriors - NES - Same sort of deal, there is a jump mid-way through the game that was just so frustratingly impossible. Oh, and the horrible music when you are low on health.

Waialai Golf N64 - I've put more hours into that game than any other. No real story there - just was a superbly well made golf game. I prob have 300 hours in it. Followed closely by Wave Race 64.
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by foxhound1022 Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:05 pm

Well, I don't see myself giving up gaming anytime soon. I was never one for comformity, so even in my early gaming years, the “nerd” or “geek” stigma was never much of a bother to me.

I, like most of the gaming populace, was only interested in the latest and greatest, so my meager collection of games were always sacrificed in lieu of the next gen. system. I believe I am a gamer then a collector, and that my collection facilitates the types of games I have fond memories of, or never had the chance to obtain due to the fact that my family usually didn't have the extra money for luxuries like that; so my hours of toiling doing chores for my allowance were saved up to purchase only what I deemed were truly worthy of my time and money. I believe this is a contributing factor as to why I am so reticent to purchase any new games.

I'm not sure, but at least in my area, by the end of NES's lifespan, gaming was generally accepted as a hobby; at least by peers my own age. Our general collective of parents did not approve, and thought we were just lazy and weird. I personally have found more acceptance and variance in culture and beliefs in the people I have gamed with, than any other activity I have engaged in recreational or otherwise. I honestly feel that my life has been further enriched by conversations that I've had with other gamers; for the most part.

As for the “growing up” aspect; that shit's overrated. I believe that as long as you have your priorities in order, and you take care of all your responsibilities to your family, friends, and yourself, that having that one thing that keeps you young at heart is actually a good way to live, so you don't get overwhelmed by the doldrums and drudgery of everyday life, and that you have that one source of pride in your life that you can claim as truly yours, whatever it may be. Except serial killers. (Ha!)

I guess what I'm trying to convey is that I'll be a gamer until I literally can't. Be it from crippling arthritis, blindness, or some other infirmity.

Some games that stay with me:

Contra - This will always be one of my all time favorites; was simply blown away when I first played it.

Super Mario RPG: This was best investment of my saved allowance. Until this game, I only dabbled in RPG's, because I never really felt compelled to play them. I was always a jump in and play kinda guy, so the slow, deliberate pace never appealed to me. This opened a door to many excellent games for me.
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by ExedExes Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:17 pm

At 34 and at the right age for this, I have no shame, qualms, or issues about this. Many of us at this age grew up in the right place at the right time, having owned Atari 2600s, and either having NES or various home computers. We were marked to the SNES and Genesis generations and also that of the late 90s consoles (PS1 & N64). Where most of us went after the turn of the century is unknown, but to have those roots in video games of the 80s is where most of us will always return to, and even growing up in arcades (another good point), I love seeing younger and older gamers surrounding me, and they not having any reservations that gaming is age-specific at all is a very comforting thing to see. Even so, when you see and hear stories about people passing down those consoles and traditions to their children, it's a very powerful statement and one I hope to see continue.
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by flojocabron Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:04 am

Gonna be 29 this July.

I'll be a collector for as long as I can.

I grew up really poor and I had no money for consoles let alone games. In the early 90's when everyone was into the console wars, I was trudging by with my brother's atari 2600 given as a hand me down from a family friend. I was devastated when he sold it!

To tell you the truth I was a little jealous of the kids with the nice new games. I would go to their houses to see their stuff. I knew kids who had TG16 and mastersytems, and was in awe of these machines. Many of my cousins had nes and snes, so I did get to play them.

I would bug my mom constantly for anything videogame! And she said, "when you work and make money, buy whatever you want" I took that to heart. And I said to myself that I will get stuff that I couln't afford when I was younger.

I finally got my first consoles when I was 16. I got an NES at a fleamarket and soon after I got another 2600. I slowly got games and accessories with the limited teenage budget I had.

When the Late 90's came out and 32/64 consoles came out, my brother and I both pooled together our money and got a Playstation. Finaly working a steady job, I bought my dreamcast In early 2000 and really enjoyed the line-up. We had all nighters playing soul calibur.

In the meanwhile I would still be on the lookout for other stuff. And my collection got bigger and bigger.

Gaming/collecting, Its in my blood and my habits have changed accordingly.

I can see myself when I'm in my 60's and reminiscing with buddies about games. Like people now with old rock music, vintage cars, and fishing. We all here will be talking about the first time we beat that certain game.

I hope to be doing this with you guys here for years to come.
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