The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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J T
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by J T Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:07 am

I'm 34 now, and will be 35 in April. I obviously love the hobby and intend to keep playing through the years. I haven't slowed down yet.

I do feel like it's my dirty little secret though. In mixed company, I know I will get wildly different reactions to saying I'm a gamer, so if I'm thinking "business associates", I don't disclose my gaming love unless I have an indication that it is safe, or I can bring it up in a way that makes a point without making me sound like a junkie who wastes his life on games, or a manchild who can't grow up. But for the average person, I don't care what they think. I play games on my laptop in the back of the bus when I commute and though I make sure not to play rated M material in public out of courtesy, I don't otherwise care what they think. The old stigmas are still around, but they're not as prevalent and the preconceptions of people who play games are more variable than in the past.

I also think that as I settle into being an adult, I want more adult games. A lot of the cerebral and artistically driven indie games that I like now (like Dear Esther) would have bored me senseless as a kid. Though as an adult, I still like some of the games that have a childish charm (like Sonic Generations), or even an adolescent brashness to them (like Bulletstorm). The gaming medium is still coming of age in my opinion. People don't know what to make of it exactly, but it's certainly a more popular and commonly accepted hobby for an adult now than it was 20 years ago. I think we will continue to see that trend and the games will mature with the gamers and the game developers so that there are games for adults as well as games for kids, and games for everyone. (Actually, say what you want about the ESRB, but I love the "E for Everyone" label that avoids specifying that the games are simply for children. That alone has probably helped reduce stigma.)
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by eskil Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:18 am

I can relate to what J T said, and I'm only 21. I do think there's still some stigma attached to video games, especially when it comes to serious gamers like us. I hope that'll change some day, in fact I'm working towards that.
Anyway, I'll let you grown ups get back to your discussion.
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by sevin0seven Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:16 pm

i'm 31 and still going strong. before i became a racket member i was the only person i know that still plays this so called old video games. words from friends and family never left me shame because it was a hobby other than basketball i was really into. whenever i get bored of the new games in the market, i go and play my still fresh and clean N64, snes or genesis. with these classic consoles i don't have to worry about RROD in the future except for the originator of it (NES...but that's an easy fix). like Ma$e said "I tell you we won't stop, can't stop.."

Mike i bet you and i will still be playing Street Fighter for years to come. :)
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by mjmjr25 Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:23 pm

J T wrote:I do feel like it's my dirty little secret though. In mixed company, I know I will get wildly different reactions to saying I'm a gamer, so if I'm thinking "business associates", I don't disclose my gaming love unless I have an indication that it is safe, or I can bring it up in a way that makes a point without making me sound like a junkie who wastes his life on games, or a manchild who can't grow up. But for the average person, I don't care what they think. I play games on my laptop in the back of the bus when I commute and though I make sure not to play rated M material in public out of courtesy, I don't otherwise care what they think. The old stigmas are still around, but they're not as prevalent and the preconceptions of people who play games are more variable than in the past.



Very well said and something I was wondering if someone had very similar thoughts / experiences. When i'm in meetings and these people w/14-year degress from Tafts-Hofstra-Mellon-Tech and they discuss reading the financial times as their hobby, or flying their Single Engine Planes to the UP for a the weekend, etc - I think in my head, "Probably don't share what you'll be doing this weekend - you won't get much in the way of comfortable conversation."

Yes, Mark - I hope to be fighing for years to come 8)

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 dsheinem Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:50 pm

I'm 32. I probably don't talk about gaming too much when I am with a group of people who don't game (colleagues or other friends), but then again they don't really discuss any of their own hobbies (unless we have them in common)---so why would I? That's not to say I won't chime in with my thoughts on some game when the discussion turns that way, but I rarely if ever instigate discussions about gaming. Fortunately I have a lot of other interests and am good in social settings, which is something that isn't true of all gamers (and certainly not of the "gamer stereotype"). Gaming is certainly a part of my life, but not all of it (I probably only have about 5 people on my PSN/XBLA friends lists that aren't people from RB or elsewhere online).

I think people grow "out of games" for two reasons: time and sex. For one, gaming takes time, and when you are getting started in a job, busy socializing in college, or otherwise coming into your own a lot of your time gets cannibalized by other important things (all your hobbies usually take a hit). I also think that, for straight men, it is generally hard to attract many women if, when you have precious free time, you become super-active gamer, spend lots of time collecting, etc. (obviously there are exceptions to this tendency). Games are not generally created for women, and much of game culture initially appears to be exclusionary to women, so guys that spend a lot of time doing game-stuff might find they have a harder time finding partners and thus they decide to give up that part of their life, or at least their intense dedication to it. Again, this is not really different than most hobbies, most of which tend to be gendered in some way.

That said, I think a lot of people get back into games once they get a little older - one need only look at all the 25+ year olds who post in the new members thread to see that there's a connection between becoming comfortable with adulthood and yearning for the pleasures of a "simpler" time. Retro gaming feeds on this nostalgia.
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by c0wb0y Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:07 pm

I'll be 36 at the end of this month. My first game console was an Odyssey2 - which I still love to play. Before that I had an Entex handheld - Raise the Devil. It was a LED Pinball game - maybe explaining my love of pinball.

It seems like most people I share my interests with are quite excited when they hear I collect games, consoles, and pins. Maybe the people I talk with are just being decent conversationalists, but it seems that everybody tends to have at least some minor experience with a video game in their past. Lots of people relate fond memories of Pac-Man, the Atari 2600, SMB, and still others talk about their kids' love of MW3.

I will say there is less stigma these days, possibly due to the lens of nostalgia. I've only encountered maybe 1-2 people that lost interest or seemed disinterested in talking. No biggie - I can hardly fake interest in any college or pro sports conversation. I get it - not everyone will have overlapping interests.

I do see continuing on as a gaming enthusiast. I'm really excited about the future of gaming, as iOS, Kinect and even the Wii all seem to offer these "new" interfaces. Yes, there is a lot of cruft, but I can always find something fun or novel. I can't wait until I can scoop up all the "current-gen" stuff for 20 bucks at the local resale store. :lol:
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by Hazerd Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:15 pm

Im 26 and my feelings toward gaming as a hobby are complicated, first of all im not going to pick up any girls by talking about games or wearing game related clothing (at least where i live), 2nd of all, there isnt a whole lot of indepth gamers where i live, other than your typical xbox 360 fanboy playing MW3/BF3 and other such popular titles and stereotypes.

If i didnt waste (yes, i said waste) all my money on video games, i would probably be fixing up my truck, or buying a project truck to fix up and take off-roading/mudding or just a general money pit, oh and i would buy guns... mmm guns... but then i would have to goto a range because i dont live out in the middle of nowhere :roll:.

Which brings me back to women... i dont understand how you people (as gamers, well some of you) can get with a girl and end up getting married and having her not be interested in games at all? like how did you find a connection? did you have a nice job and a house that brought her in? i just dont get it, I would never date a girl who didnt do a decent amount of gaming.

P.S. Android games and iPad gaming DOESNT COUNT, screw that shit!
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c0wb0y
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by c0wb0y Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:30 pm

Hazerd wrote:... i dont understand how you people (as gamers, well some of you) can get with a girl and end up getting married and having her not be interested in games at all? like how did you find a connection? did you have a nice job and a house that brought her in? i just dont get it, I would never date a girl who didnt do a decent amount of gaming.


Everybody will have a different answer. My 2 cents: I hope you do happen across that perfect gamer, firearm-toting, truck-loving lady. If you don't, then where you have shared interests be sure to enjoy them together. Hopefully you can still appreciate your differences just as much. My wife likes me despite my failings. We give each other time to spend on our differing interests. She will play Mario-Kart on occasion with me. I play Just Dance and SingStar because I know that is the type of gaming she enjoys most. And I do activities she enjoys. If you limit yourself, you might miss out. Again - just my opinion - on an internet gaming forum.

(For reference I was a skinny art student with no clue or career. She was a single mom in nursing school. I never envisioned it could work. Update: I still have no clue, but I did find a career.)
Systems: Pong, Odyssey2, Atari 2600, NES, CDX, SNES, N64, Saturn, DC, PS1, PS2, PS3, Xbox, GCN, Wii, Xbox360, OUYA
Handhelds: GB, GBC, GBA, DS lite, DSi, Virtual Boy (<< is that even a portable?)
EM Pinballs: Bally Dixieland, Gottlieb Flying Carpet
SS Pinball: GTB Circus, GTB Count-Down, GTB Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Stern Lectronamo, Stern Galaxy, Bally Black Pyramid
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by mjmjr25 Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:53 pm

Hazerd wrote:Which brings me back to women... i dont understand how you people (as gamers, well some of you) can get with a girl and end up getting married and having her not be interested in games at all? like how did you find a connection? did you have a nice job and a house that brought her in? i just dont get it, I would never date a girl who didnt do a decent amount of gaming.

P.S. Android games and iPad gaming DOESNT COUNT, screw that shit!


My wife does not play video games unless I ask her (repeatedly) - she has no desire to play them at all. She can appreciate graphics or a storyline, etc - but that is the end of her appreciation.

When we met, Dsh was spot on in that regard - at the time, I did not have time for video games - they were something do sporadically when coming home from the bar, but I certainly was not an active gamer and bought maybe one game every 6 months at that point in my life (19-25).

As I matured and settled down (yes, literally "settled down") and struggled in this settling down process, I wanted to find something, a hobby, something that I enjoyed from the happier times in my life (19-25 - I was not the greatest of people, highly functioning, but not an always kind or responsible type) and as I had a discussion w/my cousin, just some random discussion we began talking about the NES game Wizards and Warriors - form there I went on ebay and bought a copy of that game. Then I bought a Nintendo...and since then, about 4-5 years ago it has been a prime hobby of mine. I had a gamecube at this time, but it was very very casual, something to mess around with once a month.

When I had this hobby rekindled, it coincided with my first daughter turning 4yo, which is a pretty good time to get kids into the scene. They have the cognitive and kinesthetic abilities at 4 to engage in gaming. I now have (4) kids and gaming is a huge part of our hobby time. We are not fanatical and our kids would equally enjoy reading a book, playing in the woods, or doing a craft project as they would play video games. For me, it is my prime hobby right now - particularly in winter when other hobbies are not feasible (primarily woodworking - finishing can't be done in the garage in winter, etc). It has a balance - but I do get comments and funny looks from some in the family, that, "Your 33...and you still play video games?" I'm good with it - but I did wonder if I see the "geek attachment" getting less and less because subconsciously I want to see that...or because in reality, it really is getting less and less.

And, back to the wife thing. We have plenty in common - board games, books, similar value and sense of humor. She likes to quilt. I like to play and collect games. Neither of us has any interest in the other's hobby. We are respectful of them - but simply don't have the interest to partake actively. This weekend I played Dragon Blaze for (4) hours straight. She quilted. The kids played legos upstairs (we think).
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Re: Gaming as a life-long hobby - Thoughts from the 25+ crow

by alexis524 Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:02 pm

I mirror JT's sentiments exactly, to a T. I'll be 36 next month, and am proud of the little collection i've amassed over the years. I often think about when i'm in my 50's/60's if i'd still play, and i dunno if i would. A significant part of me tells me i need to let it (gaming) go cause it's time to, but a small part that's left...just...can't. I love it too much. I love staring at my backloggery, my shelves of complete in box games, my unit of 15 consoles, my pearl white 2 TB xbox, my halo edition 360, my turbo grafx 16, my sega master system, my nintendo power magazines, my OST collections! (god i could go on) BUT, on the other hand, my my peers aren't into gaming, and i can't see it being discussed much but amongst us here, My wife doesn't understand my hobby, but she tolerates it, so it is my dirty little secret in every sense. i wish i was as brazen as some of you here, but the older i get, the more i feel the need to hide it from others.
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