I’m Becoming an Older Geek
I’d love to know the age of the typical reader/commenter of WatchPlayRead…because I have some serious questions about the demographics of our audience. Are there pre-teens out there in the audience? Any REALLY old people reading this right now?
The main reason I ask is because I too am advancing in age (currently 31) and as a responsible adult, I find myself with less and less ‘me time’. It’s not that I need to escape my family life or work, nothing like that at all…but with a wife, 3 kids, website to run, real job, mortgage, and all the accoutrement that comes from that, there really is no wiggle room in there for plopping down the hours and hours of time I used to spend playing games, watching anime, or whatever activity I used to indulge in.
It’s funny really, because people of a younger age tend to wish they were older so they won’t have to answer to parents or any other authority figure, and us older people wish for the innocence that we used to enjoy with being ‘just a kid’.
Hell, as a hungy kid of thirteen who did nothing more than drink Kool-Aid by the gallon and go to school. I found myself with enormous amounts of game time, anywhere from 5-6 hours a night in fact. Yes, I was socially awkward and didn’t get out of the house much, but I always found escape in the virtual worlds I was taking part in, no matter how many times I had beaten them.
As a gentleman of 31, I try to spend as much time with my wife and family as I humanly can, with the occasional break time at the end of the night just for myself…at least before my twins arrived last month. In this one hour window I would find myself making this site a better place to visit and every once in a great while, actually play a game.
There is no part of me that wants to be that kid again. NOT A SINGLE PART OF ME, it’s too depressing to imagine not having my family around me, but I’d also miss the joys of being an adult. Being able to get a drink whenever I want, having actual money in the bank account, and best of all owning my own house that I like to think I’m king of, is just too sweet of a life to give up.
I wonder though, does getting to be an older person mean that I am any less of a gamer or weeaboo because of my lack of time commitment to these mediums? To be honest with you and myself, I’d have to answer in the affirmative because true weeaboos and gamers in this world practice their craft with a wonton disregard to their responsibilities, hell I used to do it myself. Skipping work to play Final Fantasy X and subsequently lying to my girlfriend (now wife) about how I spent my day landed me in a huge dilemma at one time. Sure, it’s something that I’m glad I don’t do anymore, but I also don’t think I get to keep the title without the sacrifice…and I just can’t live that way. I need other things in my life besides the entertainment I consume.
Think about the last time you had a multiplayer match in any game, I can almost guarantee you that you got your ass handed to you on more than one occasion by some little kid who has nothing better to do with his day than play the same games over and over again. Unlike the children of my generation, where we didn’t have multiplayer games that were easily arranged, this generation can hone their skills against other people and can access much much more information than we could. So it’s no wonder why we should feel a bit slighted.
I’m just glad to say that aging gracefully has brought upon some of the most fun a person could have, and while I don’t play games as much as I used to or watch as much anime as I’d like, I still catch just enough of it all to consider myself “in the know”.
What do all of you old people think, would you trade it all for the life you once had or are you completely happy with how your life has turned out? For you young people out there reading this, I’d like to impart a piece of wisdom that someone never told me. Enjoy your youth and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.