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Gaming and getting older.

13

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  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    edited February 2015
    Tresset said:

    *facepalm* You guys really want to take this off topic, don't you? Can we please stay on topic?

    Nevermind, I will just split the discussion for @SionIV so maybe we can actually talk about video games in the video games topic...

    Stupid mod powers are broken, hang on...

    Note to self: Do not split a discussion and re-merge it like that again... Weird stuff will happen.

    Thank you, don't want to sour or precious nostalgia memories :wink:

    I'm playing Morrowind again, and i LOVE it. It's amazing how some games were REALLY difficult back when you were younger and now when you're older and once you figure out a few things it's actually rather easy.

    CrevsDaaklolienIsandir
  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,777
    SionIV said:

    Just started up the first Fallout and i'm in the character screen right now. I remember back when i played it the first time when i was 8 years old, i would look at the default age of the character (25) and say "Hah, he's an old man!"

    And now i'm looking at it today, thinking "That's my age..."

    Before reaching the second paragraph of your post I thought you'd say 'What a young man', as that is my thought of adventurers in most RPG's: often Charname, the Warden, the Vault Dweller or whatever the protagonist is called, are in their twenties.

    The reason of course could be, past your twenties adventuring gets progressively tougher physically. I'm mid-forties now and my stamina ain't what it used to be when I was your age. So are you really entitled to start a topic on 'gaming and getting older', huh? ;-)

    lolien
  • IsandirIsandir Member Posts: 456
    Though I had played games on the Atari 2600 at a friend's house when I was very young, the first I played on my own PC in 1990 was the EGA version of King's Quest V, soon followed by Ultima VI. I was 10 years old at the time, and gaming definitely did become an addiction. At 35 years old, I'm still a regular gamer, though I more carefully select the games I want to play. I'll compulsively play them just as I did as a child, but not as many. The most recent ones I completed were the new Game of Thrones episodes from Telltale and the first Borderlands.

    At this point the major difference is that games quite often feel much easier, as there is far more hand-holding. Yet I also have far less patience (perhaps due to a lack of time), so I will not spend as much time on a game as I would have in the past if it's overly obtuse.


    As for the debate regarding the healthiness of gaming, as an experienced educator I'm firmly in the "games are good" camp. On a personal level I did in fact gain a great deal of knowledge from gaming. (The example that comes to mind every time is impressing my Spanish teacher with my knowledge of Spain's geography after playing Vengeance of Excalibur.) More importantly, my passion for gaming translated into a passion for technology in general. Much of my career has been built on transitioning that passion into practical skills in front-end design, graphic design and many others.

    The potential negative effects--addiction and the effects of violent content in young gamers--can be mitigated through proper parenting, and that is where we largely fail. My parents spent time and effort establishing a close relationship with me, pushing me to question the ethical and moral implications of what I saw in movies, games and real life. Do that, and heavy gaming can be quite beneficial, particularly given that it does positively impact learning in multiple ways.

    MortiannaJuliusBorisov
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    edited February 2015


    Before reaching the second paragraph of your post I thought you'd say 'What a young man', as that is my thought of adventurers in most RPG's: often Charname, the Warden, the Vault Dweller or whatever the protagonist is called, are in their twenties.

    It sometimes bothered me while playing Fallout 3 when characters in the game would refer to me as "son" or "boy". In reality I'm much older than the character in the game and I was always reminded of that fact when they insisted on referring to me as some young person. Fortunately they got away from that in New Vegas somewhat, with only very old characters calling me "youngster". Though having Pearl call me "child" still kind of rankled. Coming from someone who looked to be in her 70's or 80's made it a bit more acceptable however.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    Belanos said:


    Before reaching the second paragraph of your post I thought you'd say 'What a young man', as that is my thought of adventurers in most RPG's: often Charname, the Warden, the Vault Dweller or whatever the protagonist is called, are in their twenties.

    It sometimes bothered me while playing Fallout 3 when characters in the game would refer to me as "son" or "boy". In reality I'm much older than the character in the game and I was always reminded of that fact when they insisted on referring to me as some young person. Fortunately they got away from that in New Vegas somewhat, with only very old characters calling me "youngster". Though having Pearl call me "child" still kind of rankled. Coming from someone who looked to be in her 70's or 80's made it a bit more acceptable however.

    While I can understand this sentiment, two thoughts for you. The first is that calling someone "Son" or "youngster" isn't always about age. Sometimes it is an insult, or merely a way to address another person without using their names. I am reminded of Kai Wynn on Deep Space 9. She would call everyone 'Child'. It was her own way of elevating herself above those shoe spoke with.

    The second is that you are supposed to be PLAYING a younger character. Particularly in Fallout 3, there is a very logical reason why the protagonist is supposed to be young.

    But again, I get what you are saying and feel it sometimes myself. Just trying to provide alternative ways of enjoying the experience.

    CrevsDaak
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    edited February 2015


    The second is that you are supposed to be PLAYING a younger character. Particularly in Fallout 3, there is a very logical reason why the protagonist is supposed to be young.

    I realize that, but sometimes I couldn't help being irked by some comment. Which brings to mind the concept of ageism in video games. Developers far too often presume that the people playing them are teenagers or young 20 somethings. When in actual fact the average age of gamers is around 30. I looked it up once and was quite surprised by that. I think gaming companies need to be more aware of the demographics of the industry.

    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-07/05/average-gamer

    CrevsDaak
  • rickcrrickcr Member Posts: 77
    As a 45 married guy, that still likes to game, one thing I found that really helps is to stick to single player games.
    Sure any game can be addicting, but the MMOs.. heck even Clash of Clans, can become 'extra addicting' since you feel compelled to keep up with your online buddies.

    I had missed BG when it came out (being involved in what game(s) at the time, I can't recall which), but just now picked it up (keeping my game in sync on both my shield table and Mac), and love it.
    The cool thing is, I could put it down. For example, after the first install I went hardcore spending way too much time with it, but now real life hasn't gotten super busy and I've only gotten to play for like an hour or so this past week, which is fine... when I fire it back up, I'm right where I left off.

    Now, WoW that was a different story. I had to just quit that entirely cold turkey. Had to uninstall it. I couldn't play it casually. Some can, and more power to them. For me the MMOs are difficult to put down. You want to keep up with your fellow guild/clan mates, so the addiction is more tempting.. at least for me it was/is.

    Side note, I was in high school in the 80s and not sure how I manage to still get good grades.. since once I had Ultima IV Quest of the Avatar available on my Commodore 128, I was crazy hooked. I'd sneak out of bed and play all night. I've played other games before that (the infocom ones.. zork etc.), but nothing really got me hooked like that game did.

    Since then the time sinks that really killed me were Morrowind and WoW. Probably would have been Baldur's Gate as well had I started it when it had came out and not learned to have the willpower like I 'sort have' now:) (Note Skyrim had me hooked for a while until I broke the game by abusing Enchanting and Alchemy.. which I hadn't done that. I was way too powerful too soon.) Dragon Age (hadn't played the latest.. Inquisition?) had me playing non-stop as well (on Nightmare), but it didn't take long to finish that one out so it was ok.

    NonnahswriterCrevsDaaklolienBelgarathMTH
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    @Belanos - You are right that the average gamer has changed significantly in recent years. When I was growing up, it was 'Teenage boys'. Now there are a LOT of gamers in 30's and 40's (and older).

    To be perfectly fair, some of the Lara Croft style games only make sense if you are a young person. Same with the Fallout series and the BG series for that matter. These don't "Appear" to be an intentional slight against older gamers, but merely writing to the story. In short the story demands a young protagonist pure and simple.

    To quote James T. Kirk "Galloping around the Galaxy is a game for the young, Doctor."

    It is one thing if the intention (or omission) is something made to slight a group or class. It is something entirely different when the natural organic flow suggests a given direction and someone chooses to simply keep things on track.

    But maybe the solution is for more games and stories to actually focus on older characters. What types of stories might THEY be? Interesting.

    jorge duarteCrevsDaaklolien
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    edited February 2015


    It is one thing if the intention (or omission) is something made to slight a group or class.

    I'm not trying to imply that games are slighting older players, what I'm suggesting is that age shouldn't be part of the equation in a story line. Getting back to Fallout 3, it was something of a mistake to select a plot that required the player to manipulate a younger character, it limited the role playing possibilities for people who weren't in that age group. Playing the game, I was constantly reminded that my protagonist didn't really reflect who I was in reality. Which somewhat broke my sense of immersion at times. I'm sure they could have come up with something where age wasn't an issue, like they did in New Vegas.


    But maybe the solution is for more games and stories to actually focus on older characters.

    One thing that might be interesting is that the player selects an age for their character, which introduces specific dialogues or story elements which wouldn't appear if you chose to be someone younger or older.

    CrevsDaak
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    @Belanos - I think it is a shame that you choose not to suspend your disbelief when playing a game where the protagonist doesn't/can't closely resemble yourself. It might open up some doors if you tried that sometime.

    I think the time honored trope of 'Farm boy grows up to save/destroy the world' is a very popular one and I think you might find trouble getting people to ban it. But that is merely my humble opinion.

    ElrandirCrevsDaak
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968


    I think the time honored trope of 'Farm boy grows up to save/destroy the world' is a very popular one and I think you might find trouble getting people to ban it.

    And that doesn't strike you as something of a cliche? Surely they could have come up with something that retained the overall plot without having to drag an age factor into the story. While that trope might be effective in a story or a movie, it doesn't work as well in a RPG where the player is supposed to assume the identity of the game character.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    edited February 2015
    And yet it is done.

    Baldur's Gate
    Star Wars: Knights of the Old republic
    Fallout 1, 2 and 3
    Dragon Age: Origins
    Neverwinter Knights 1 and 2 Original campaigns
    Two Worlds 2
    Fable

    Just to name a very few.

    To be fair, Dragon Age 2 got really panned for (among other things) forcing you to play a specific character of their making. NWN2 got similar ribbing because you could play a Human, Elf, Dwarf or Orc (all with extremely diverse life spans) and yet still fit into the time line they lay out and THAT broke the immersion for a lot of folks. And it is kind of a running joke that any game that Bioware has (or had) a hand in have basically the same plot. If it isn't done well, it can really be jarring to some.

    But there is a big difference between playing an Avatar intended to be YOU in the game, and actually playing a character role that can be anything (within the guidelines of the world), which is the intent of most RPG games. Not that you don't "Identify" with the characters, but that they don't necessarily have to be YOU but in the game world. Not everyone can or chooses to make that jump.

    The reason these tropes are so popular in Role playing games is that in most of them you are playing some form of adventurer who is just setting out. That is why your skills are so woefully poor to begin with, you only have a very limited spell selection and you generally only have the simplest of weapons and armor. What a better way to set that stage than to say that you are young and just starting out?

    I get that New Vegas did something by basically giving you amnesia. Kotor 2 did the same thing (sort of). It "Can be done" but it is equally as cliche as the other. And it is all in the pursuit of the same thing, the reason why you start out so weak and have to build yourself up.

    At the end of the day, I do not intend to tell you how to play a game and have fun. That is personal and highly subjective. Please feel free to take my comments as only an attempt to share what I have found as a way to enjoy games that, based on my interpretation of your comments, that you don't. But far be it from me to judge your gaming style. Peace and have fun.

    booinyoureyesJuliusBorisov
  • wubblewubble Member Posts: 3,156
    rickcr said:


    Now, WoW that was a different story. I had to just quit that entirely cold turkey. Had to uninstall it. I couldn't play it casually. Some can, and more power to them. For me the MMOs are difficult to put down. You want to keep up with your fellow guild/clan mates, so the addiction is more tempting.. at least for me it was/is.

    I had the same trouble with WoW, I was in school at the time and spent very little time doing anything else. I was getting bored with the game but it still takes a lot of willpower to just quit outright. fortunately I managed it and apart from doing the odd bit to help my dad I haven't played since, my brother occasionally starts playing for a week or so and then gets bored again, I'm just not sure if I can stop myself drowning in it again if I play it even if I'm just dossing about.

    lolien
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    edited February 2015
    I remember having trouble with Everquest and Anarchy Online. Everquest had a pull with the simple levelling system... but the game got predictable very fast and I was able to get away. (Being a loner and hating company also helped.) Even so, it was a bad few months from too much computer use.

    lolien
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    LOL. I played Evercrak for almost two years before I finally had to give up cold turkey. I put it down and will never go back. Not that there wasn't HUGE amounts of fun to be had, merely that my personal preferences towards gaming lie more in the single player campaign style mode. I am more in the camp with @typo_tilly in that the game play got predictable pretty fast but I still got sucked in for a long time.

    typo_tilly
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    I understand the pain. Like I said, it was a bad few months. :( Then I went back for a month before giving it up finally. :/

    Mostly I just liked exploring the world. That was the hardest thing to give up. I like exploring places. n.n

    BelgarathMTH
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    I had to go cold turkey on World of Warcraft, i spent 8+ years of my life in that game. It was an eye opener to see that my main character had 520 something days played, and i had two other characters with over 100 days each and many more under that.

    wubbleCrevsDaakBelgarathMTHJuliusBorisov
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018

    Mostly I just liked exploring the world. That was the hardest thing to give up. I like exploring places. n.n

    That is me as well. I love exploring new areas and seeing new things. It was all of the 'Camping' encounters that got me.

    If you haven't tried it yet and you like exploring (and really want that 'Bad few months' feel back), you may wish to give Dark Souls a try. It is a fully interconnected microcosm that is HUGE amounts of fun to explore. It actually gets a bad rap for being "Impossibly tough". As a fairly mediocre player myself, I've completed DkS 1 and am about 3/4 through DkS 2, so it IS completable by just about anyone.

    The game has sucked me in precisely because of all of the areas to explore and master.

    JuliusBorisov
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    World of Warcraft has been out for nearly a decade? o_o'
    ... We want Warcraft 4!! :u
    Bastards ~_~

    *patpat* I'm glad you got away from it. ^_^

    I think I would enjoy Anarchy Online as a single player game. An alien world the size of Elder Scrolls worlds is a nice change from fantasy. c:

    wubbleSionIVCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,204
    everyone said:

    cold turkey

    I don't get it o.O

    Anarchy Online

    Awesome game! Though very hard getting back into once you've been gone long. At least for me.

    CrevsDaaktypo_tilly
  • IsandirIsandir Member Posts: 456
    On a very closely related topic, Gamespot currently has this video featured, discussing the current lack of innovation among AAA games. In most respects I agree with the argument Danny makes, and it's one of the reasons I rarely play many new games. While a few still do make a major impact, it feels as if they are far and between compared to previous years.

    When I was booting up Baldur's Gate for the first time in 1998, I was also playing through - among others - Half-Life, Grim Fandango, Thief, Unreal, and Might & Magic VI. The sheer number of superb games was incredible. Thus far this year the only two new games I've considered playing are Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition, but haven't touched either one yet.

    I think the lack of creativity and risk taking is a major reason games are often no longer compelling. They may have gorgeous visuals and decent stories, but they simply do not distinguish themselves from all of the carbon copies that already saturate the market.

    Do any of the other old-time gamers feel the same way? And if you are relatively new to gaming, do you disagree with the video?

    CrevsDaak
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    edited March 2015
    I think there are so many games these days it's easy to miss the interesting ones. But I assure you, there are interesting ones out there.

    CrevsDaaktypo_tillyJuliusBorisov
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    Isandir said:


    When I was booting up Baldur's Gate for the first time in 1998, I was also playing through - among others - Half-Life, Grim Fandango, Thief, Unreal, and Might & Magic VI. The sheer number of superb games was incredible.

    Not to sound like a devil's advocate, but back then the gaming scene was very new and no one had any clear idea of what would work with the general public, and what wouldn't. So there was a lot more freedom to experiment with different formats. As time went by, some genres and gameplay mechanics proved themselves to be clear favourites, and that's what today's game developers are considering when making their design decisions. Granted that many companies are rehashing certain franchises and formats "ad nauseum", but there is less room to innovate today than there was back then. Many of the good ideas for games have already been done.

    FinneousPJ
  • IsandirIsandir Member Posts: 456
    I agree entirely that there are still plenty of interesting games out there, @FinneousPJ, but I suppose my question - similar to that in the video - is how many of those are big-budget titles from major companies. I've seen plenty of innovative titles arriving through Kickstarters (Torment: ToN is only one of the many), as well as a revival of adventure gaming through indie companies, but the larger companies do seem to have driven themselves into an unusual position of stifling their own creativity.

    @Belanos, as someone who has been playing games for 25 years, I wouldn't say the gaming scene is exactly new, and there were several dominant companies even as early as the late '80s and early '90s. Yet they still pushed the boundaries with many of their major releases. I do agree, however, that it was a bit different in the late '90s due to the arrival of 3D graphics cards. The new technology definitely did lend itself to a creative push.

    Still, as the smaller companies are showing, there is still room for innovation. (Look at film as an example. Even after a century of filmmaking, we still see interesting, fresh ideas.) Keeping that in mind, when you say there is less room to innovate, is that because we (the general public) are becoming more willing to accept rehashed ideas for whatever reason, the established companies being unwilling to take risks, or both?

    FinneousPJCrevsDaak
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    Isandir said:

    Keeping that in mind, when you say there is less room to innovate, is that because we (the general public) are becoming more willing to accept rehashed ideas for whatever reason, the established companies being unwilling to take risks, or both?

    I think it's actually a combination of various factors, not just those two. Although they would be the major ones. People get used to a certain way of playing their games, like with the interface and character movement etc. They tend to look for games that support their way of playing and stick with those. So certain genres, like FPS games for instance, have come to dominate the market because the public has come to expect games that work in a certain way. That somewhat restricts what can be developed since straying too far from certain gameplay mechanics means a lot of people might be turned off from a title. Back in the early days of gaming, developers didn't really know what mechanics appealed to the public so they tended to experiment more than they do now. At least that's my take on the issue.

    FinneousPJCrevsDaakIsandir
  • FrozenCellsFrozenCells Member Posts: 382
    I've lost enthusiasm for gaming as I've gotten older. It's still an interest but I don't have the patience to play for extended periods of time or persist when I run into trouble. I suppose It's a good thing because I used gaming to escape from the pressures of studying and that put my life back a good 10 years, in terms of my (future) career. I'm only just getting back into studying now.

    The only real difference between games I played 10-15 years ago and now is a heavy dose of nostalgia. I even have fond feelings towards NWN despite the fact that I never ever liked it. Weird.

    typo_tillyCrevsDaakIsandir
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    I think especially that three things are helping with bringing better games out:
    - the rise of phone/tablet games is increasing demand
    - less want of better and better realistic graphics
    - more small indie companies making games

    People are enjoying interesting games with quirky art styles that don't use detailed graphics. That's awesome! I can't wait until we see the next Lemmings. c:

    Eventually the big companies are going to realise the demand for games made by small companies. But it will take a while? Trouble is, people will buy mediocre games while knowing they're mediocre. Same as going to see movies that they know probably aren't very good?

    CrevsDaakIsandir
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    edited March 2015
    There have been released some really good games last year and a few more are coming out this year too. You just have to stop looking at the big game developers and look at the smaller ones.

    Divinity: Original Sin
    Shadowrun: Dragonfall
    Wasteland 2
    Legend of Grimrock 2
    Expeditions: Conquistador
    Might and Magic X
    Lord of Xulima
    The age of Decadence
    Neo Scavenger
    Shadowrun Returns (2013)
    Valkyria Chronicles
    Tales of Maj'Eyal: Ashes of Uhr Rohk
    IWD:EE

    2014 was one of the best years of gaming for us that are interested in RPG in my opinion.

    [Edited] : Forgot to put IWD:EE on the list, can't forget to promote my favorite Enhanced Edition game :kissing_heart:

    Post edited by SionIV on
    FinneousPJJuliusBorisovCrevsDaakIsandir
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