Quality over Quantity,
We’re all getting older, and that means changes in our life, not just our careers or education, but also in our hobbies, amount of free time, and our priorities. Gaming habits change as you get older. I’m not 30 yet, but I play a fair amount I feel but its definitely different than before! Even the difference in my taste in games from age 12 to 16 were markedly different from eachother.
In fact, some of us are so strapped for time we wrote 2 great articles on games you can play in your spare time! Amazing Games You Can Beat In Under 5 Hours, with some of my all time favourite games, and The Best Games You Can Beat In Under 2 Hours, with some of the most emotional and intense experiences in gaming. These are mostly indie games, and some of the greatest gaming experiences I’ve ever had.
So I wanted to take some time to outline what I feel are the most common types of “Adult” gamers. I use the term loosely, I don’t want you to get the image of some 40-50 year old, although that would be completely valid, instead get a feel for what it means for you to become an adult: Taking care of yourself, becoming more financially independent, getting a job, starting university/finishing school, its all incremental.
The key thing in common with those criteria is that they require time, effort, and money. And these all impact our gaming habits in their own way that changes how we play and what we play.
So without delay lets take a look at the Most common types of Adult Gamer:
1) The “I Know what I like” Adult Gamer
This is the person you’ll see constantly having their NES/SNES hooked up at their house. And when they have some spare time they’ll bust out the N64 or the Atari. They don’t have the time to LOOK for new games but they play games nonetheless, so they just stick to what they know and trust to entertain them.
I’m guilty of this a lot, just with old games from my past! I Beat Legend of Zelda Ocarina of time every single year. I still play Fallout 3 Religiously, Diablo II is a staple of my gaming collection and I’ve never even played Civilization 5 because I’m dedicated to Civs 4.
It’s something we all do! Part nostalgia, part lack of time, part lack of interest in new games but honestly if you aren’t trying out some of the newest games these indie studios are putting out, and the best AAA studios are putting out, then you’re missing out. And most you don’t even need a suped console to play! (Great list idea, best modern games with low graphic requirements?)
2) The “Just a Shooter for me” Adult Gamer
This is the type of gamer who wants quick entertainment instantly. There’s no time to look for another game, when this gamer gets a free second it’s controller or mouse in hand and straight into the multiplayer queue! I used the word SHOOTER instead of FPS because they hold very different connotations in my mind (I don’t really know why!). For me borderlands and fallout are considered FPS, and Call of Duty/Battlefield are shooters, no idea why my brain makes the distinction, but I explain so you can understand.
This is the type of Adult gamer I can definitely understand, and I’ve had a lot of friends explain to me that they just don’t have time to look for games, to browse, read reviews, instead they just want to sit down and kill some people. They don’t have time to make emotional bonds, they don’t have time for characters, for walking, for taking in the scenery, it has to be action action action.
My issue, is that its like having a taste in movies where you grab the first Will Ferrell movie you see EVERY NIGHT and watch one. The repetition is endless (and I love Will Ferrell).
To my shooter adult friends, I understand what you’re going through, but take the time to smell the roses and try out a new genre of game when you get the time. Just sit down and play a walking simulator or a tell-tale game, something slow so you can see how great story telling has become in gaming, and how beautiful these small game worlds are!
3) The “Connoisseur” Adult Gamer
This is the category I most align myself with. We’re running out of time, we’re running out of money, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to sacrifice quality. In fact, its these restraints that makes our leisure time so valuable! The Connoisseur will look at all the review boards, will rifle through steam reviews, and forums looking for the best of the best, the game worth his/her time.
Its something that happens as we get older, our motivation to play games starts to lower. Slightly for some, but for others it becomes a huge chore to pick up a controller and play that hulking behemoth of an open-wold game. Often times games go unfinished, even if the player liked it, its about motivation, and drive to play good games.
I find with friends of mine and with myself that I have to really find a great game in order to be ready to play it. But it also has to be really good because if I’m going to drop $60.00-$80.00 on a game I want to make sure it’s worth it! So your taste becomes so refined and specific, you spend so much time learning about good games, and figuring out how to know if you should buy a game.
It’s both good and bad, first it’s good because your taste in games goes up, you only will play the best, because you want to spend your time and money wisely, “you can’t afford mistakes” that is to say. But it’s also bad because you’ll often watch games come and go waiting for the right one meanwhile you haven’t played any games in a long time! You’ll wait on that purchase or you’ll decide not to get it all together because the game only got 7’s and 8’s in its reviews and you require a 9 to pull the trigger. It can cause some stagnation that requires you to lower your standards a bit.
4) The “Online-Only” Adult Gamer
This type of Adult gamer sticks solely to online games as sort of a social outlet. And guess what!? It can kind of be combined with the above! These are people who play for sport, friendly competition or just to spend some remote time with their friends on-line. In this case I’m not really referring to shooters, or Online boggle or chess, I’m more referring to the MMORPGs and the MOBAs like World of Warcraft, Dota, League of Legends, Starcraft II etc.
Sometimes I’m this type of gamer! Nothing better than sitting on chat with a few friends on a team playing League and they can be exciting and fulfilling, I completely understand it. These games also satisfy the money issue of adulthood because many are free to play. Depending on which games you play, these games can also satisfy time restrictions! You can sit down for a quick game, under an hour, then move on! The other side however is planning raids into the early morning… so it’s a double edged sword.
These games are also a great way to stay in touch with people! University class mates, highschool class mates, old colleagues who play, old friends who’ve moved. You get on chat, you start talking about strategy and then the conversation will turn to “Hey so how’ve you been!” its really effective way of reconnecting.
5) The “They’re all installed but I don’t have time for them” Adult gamer.
This is the player you’ll see with the decked out PC tower, or the console with decals all over it. He or she’s had them forever and still pays to keep them up to date but he/she hasn’t actually sat down and played for years because he/she thinks he’s too busy.
This is the person you’ll see with every gaming icon sitting on his desktop, or a display case below his TV of all his PS4 and Xbox One games. He’s bought them all, and still buys them all in case he gets time. But that’s just it, he’s not MAKING time. Often times this type of gamer will claim he/she doesn’t have time, and I get it, a lot of times it really doesn’t feel like it. Life comes knocking, boots your in your face and says get doing other shit. But lets face it, if this sounds like you, you probably do your share of watching boring TV, or sucking back crap movies, that don’t engage you or make you feel anything.
This is the type of gamer that WANTS to play but feels like he/she can’t.
And I could be wrong! Maybe you literally don’t have a second, you get home from work at the factory, drive your kid to the PTA, take another one to violin, then go out looking for your missing dog, forgetting to even have dinner. But most likely, that’s not the case. Take a few hours for yourself and remember what it was like to enjoy your free time. Wait for everyone to sleep! Anything! Priorities change, but it doesn’t mean you have to.
6) The “Mobile-Only” Adult Gamer
These are the “gamers” who play candy crush, clash of clans, game of war etc. Its a shame that the human attention span has gotten so small that this is what’s completely mainstream now. Flappy-Bird was just the HELICOPTER game people, I don’t even think he made it Dark-Souls hard on purpose!
That being said we’ve all been there. We’ve all dabbled on mobile because we have it with us all the time! We’ve all played 2048 on the toilet (or was that just me…), it’s easy for this to become the new normal when so many people are playing. Look at the lengths people go for PokemonGO! Look at how big Candy Crush was! Its insane!
BUT, what if I told you there IS good games for mobile? Mind you they’re more expensive than the free-to-play games (obviously) but usually never more than 5$. Games like Monument Valley, Device 6. I’m currently playing Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP on my iPad and I absolutely LOVE it. Games like Aldo’s Adventure too, you can have simple games that are good, that have great art, great sound.
And finally, here is out final Adult Gamer,
7) The “Games are a waste of time” Adult Gamer
This is the type of person that I really can’t stand. Because it’s also the person who will sit down and binge watch toddlers and tiaras until finally KO’ing on the sofa, its the type of person who’s watched the same episode of family guy 19 times but thinks that gaming isn’t a valuable way to use their time. I get there are things in life that aren’t gaming, for instance I love to travel, I love to spend time with my girlfriend, I LOVE watching movies, these are all super important to me. But I would NEVER call playing games a waste of time.
Guess what, in my opinion, if you’re not playing games, you’re wasting your time.
Let me explain why. We live in a world where many different forms of entertainment exist, we gulp them all up separately, Television, movies, hell memes, even looking at paintings, listening to music, reading a book. They engage us all in different ways. But one thing that’s overlooked about gaming is the surreal amount of immersion that combines all of these things together to create an experience that you LIVE through.
Music, Art, Sounds, Gorgeous landscapes, amazing lighting, touching stories, they all combine to create an experience, to create emotion, to create wonder, to make you FEEL. And yet to people who weren’t around at the time of it’s popularity (looking at you baby-boomers) the concept seems so foreign. So much so, that people who think games are a waste of time consider it a threat, which baffles me.
These are the types of people I want to pin to a chair with a playlist of about 10 amazing games and tell them they can’t move until they’ve finished them all. Guess what, I’d have created a gamer. End of Rant.
I hope you enjoyed this list! I REALLY enjoyed writing this one in particular, it’s something I see every day and something I feel as I’m starting to properly adult… so it is important to know where you’re at!
That’s about it!
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