Electron Dance
26Nov/10Off

Grow Up

Today, I pour p-Toluenesulfonic acid all over one comment - just one - out of the entire internet because blah blah whatever.

Slashdot put up a post this week titled "Have I Lost My Gaming Mojo?" It hits some of the notes I made on The Second Game. A gamer doesn't have much time to play games. As a result he/she finds it difficult to engage with any modern games. What has changed? Is it age? Is it over-exposure to recycled gaming tropes? Is it just the lack of time?

But one of the comments caught my eye.

Games are not so important for adults. The biggest use for games is learning how to learn fast. Maybe you have that down now and your subconsiously just not as interested.

Go make and raise some kids and let them learn some games. That is a fun, rewarding, and quite complex game. All stages of it.

Now, I have to break some news to you. Children are badly-designed for a video game.

The first level, which is around three long months long, is pretty unrewarding. There are two ways to start play: with agony and blood (luckily, the hormones scrub out most of this memory) or watching someone you love endure the agony and blood (no fucking hormones to wipe this from your memory). There are similarities to Beautiful Escape apart from the fact that it's about a million million times worse.

Anyway, the baby doesn't smile during the first level and its main function is to deprive the players of sleep, which I note is banned under the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions. Further, both players are hit with superanxiety special attacks whenever the tamagotchi baby sneezes, gets hot or generates something that can only be described as spacetime-distorting psychedelic poo. Any game worth its salt would have at least unlocked an achievement by this point.


As far as I can tell, the rest of it is like Farmville. Addictive, you spend money like there's no tomorrow and when it's all over you don't know where all the time went.

But, hey, that's not what bothered me about the comment. The real kick in the guts is "games are not so important for adults." Dude. It's 2010. Games are no longer just for kids.

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Comments (9) Trackbacks (0)
  1. When you quoted that comment, I thought you were going to explain why adults should like games even though they’ve got most of their learning sets done. Maybe you feel like this matter doesn’t even need an answer? But comparing your babies to badly-designed tamagotchis is cool too. They look cute!

  2. I think the fact that there are so many gaming sites and blogs written by adults for adults about adults playing games… makes the comment ridiculous. That and the last “average gamer age” statistic I heard was 27. That and this. We are beyond discussing theories of whether games mean something for adults: we are in the realm of fact that they do.

  3. Damnit, I am working on a piece about growing up (Vol 1) and you had to write this now? Trumped once again.

  4. It was either this or a piece about nuclear war. I should’ve done the nuclear war this week, huh?

  5. Nuclear War, fuck, that is my post for the following week! ;)

    I really liked this piece, especially as it (never) addresses the main issue in that post the way I never address the ‘games are art (?)’ issue. In my mind this is not debatable so I ignore it.

    Good luck with grinding through the ‘Your not my real parents, I was adopted’ pre-teenage years

  6. I know “whether games are meant for kids” is beyond discussion. But what is it the makes us like less and less some games (or all of them) as we grow up? You threw the question yourself. “What has changed?”. I dare not guess.

  7. My personal reasons were given in The Second Game: lack of time, leading to rushing through games, looking for quick hits. I would add repetitive grind becomes more apparent, taking the shine off games you would have slogged through and patted yourself on the back for having beaten ten years earlier.

  8. Most people play less sport now than when they were at school; and yet we don’t say sport is for kids just because adults play them less than children.

    Games are not passive like TV or films, you have to be active to play a game, invest far more time, and it’s not as healthy as the sports you’re told you should be playing. So it’s normal that as you age you move away from them. New quick games on portable devises are slowly reversing this trend however.

  9. Hi Tom, thanks for stopping by. It’s a sensible thing to say games aren’t the most healthy pastime for the body (although the Wii is cited as a better alternative), but do you think that’s the reason why people *actively* reduce their gaming?

    I only ask because, if anything, my beautiful physique has degenerated more quickly during the time I’ve played less over the last 5 years versus the time previous when I did. (I’m in my late thirties)


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