Video gaming should, by now, be universally accepted as part of our multimedia culture, just as movies and music are firmly entrenched in our cultural consciousness. Similarly, many of the issues and topics surrounding film and sound apply to video games as well, such as the question: How does aging affect one’s experience of this media? There are a few definite correlations.
Change in Taste
Many people grow up watching G- and PG-rated films, often cartoony and musical romps in imaginative worlds. Similarly, they listen to tween pop stars and boy bands, or hinge on their parents’ choices.
Video gaming is no different: Often, gamers are stuck with their parents’ fondness as they grow up, or they start out playing simpler, basic, more lighthearted and cartoony games. While this in itself is no flaw; soon, as a player becomes more mature and sophisticated, they seek games that more closely resemble this growth in their person. They want games with more mature themes, more challenging difficulty, and with an increase in attention span comes a desire for a richer, more compelling and long-term experience with a game. In relation, people, as they grow older, tend to wear off their video game clothing and try new things. However, with the creation of new and modern games, video games lovers remain attached to this platform still.
Then, once a player is trying out more types of games and becomes engrossed in different titles, they start to hone their taste and opinion even within specific genres. Just as movie buffs can not only name their favorite kinds of films but also their favorites within each type, so too do video gamers develop a healthy preference for certain realms of disks. They realize they have become attached to role-playing games, or they most like party games with a group of friends, or perhaps they play through season mode on sports title. Whatever the case may be, as opposed to their life experiences altering their viewpoint, soon their gameplay itself affects their perspective.
But perhaps even deeper than the factors that can alter one’s view of video games is the reasons behind it: The deep, dark why of video gaming. Many people, as they grow older, find that they have less time in their lives and go through a video-game retirement. Yet, there are others who, even after having kids and a full-time job in a committed relationship, somehow grow even more enamored with digital gaming and play more. Again: Why?
And this is where, as someone ages, it becomes a case-by-case, person-by-person judgment where they must dig inside and decide for themselves. Perhaps they play as a form of escapism, to get away from the stress of everyday life problems and become a mythical hero for a while instead. Or maybe they just need a little more fun in life, and their circumstances make other hobbyist choices difficult. Maybe they even play because their kids play, and it becomes a bonding point.
Whatever the case may be, at the end of the say, the player realizes that there is definitely a profound difference between video-game-playing between different stages of life and aging. This is, however, only a difference, and not an altogether absence! Many still find fulfilling play into later ages, and the preference of one does not need by the preference of another. In this way, video games are revealed as just another component of life nowadays, and what adults put into it becomes what they get out of it.