When Will You Reach The End Of Gaming?

A week ago, we pondered the chance of living to 100 and still playing games at that age. But even as the gamer demographic trends older, many feel like the time will naturally come when they'll put down the controller.

Sean Sands, writing at Gamers With Jobs, is one of them. He's always been a gamer, but "It has only just begun to occur to me, however, that it may not be who I will always be." I'm not sure that I've always considered myself one, so facing the end of this as an interest or a lifestyle isn't as thought provoking for me. But then again, I have to wonder if I ever will.

Because there are men and women with kids and jobs and the full spectrum of adult responsibilities and interests who still squeeze in time for video games. I've got a much more limited set of obligations, plus a professional interest for the time being. But how long will this hold my attention? Until I'm 50? Until I'm 60? And how big will my pile of shame be then? Will I have finally finished the first Mass Effect?

As Sands ponders the end, let us and your fellow gamers know, in the comments, whether you imagine an age or a time when you'll stop gaming.

Future Uncertain [Gamers With Jobs, April 15, 2010]

I'm always hesitant talking about the end, because it may come off as though I'm cheering it on like a nihilist the day before the Rapture, and that's not my goal. At the same time, I think I need to acknowledge that someday there will likely be an end - that someday I will just not have enough time and enough enthusiasm to keep the dying ember of my passion for gaming stoked.

When I glimpse the hazy vision of myself at 40, at 50 and beyond, I'm not sure I see a controller in my hand or a mouse under my palm anymore.

In my twenties I firmly believed that my professional destiny was inevitably intertwined with the gaming industry somehow. I always kind of figured that I'd either end up writing about or maybe even for the games that seemed so symbiotic to my identity. I didn't have any kind of clear pathway to achieve that effort, but it just felt right. It felt like who I would be.

Now, I talk to my friends in the industry, and though I hear the passion they still have for the job and the way that passion carries them over what sounds like an endless parade of challenges and disappointment, I am unerringly grateful that my professional life took a different turn. I realise that a lot of people get into writing about games with at least the vaguely unformed hope that someone will take notice and hire them into the industry, and many of these people succeed and go on to lead happy enough careers. For me, the more I write about games, the happier I am that I don't rely on this industry for the well being of myself and my family.

The point is not to slander the gaming industry, a job that seems not to need my further assistance. The point is that as I look back, I see a growing distance between what I thought would be my life as a gamer and what I now know as a life deviating slowly but irrevocably from that vision.

I suppose it's a silly thing to take so seriously, but it is also something that has been a defining factor in a life for now creeping up on forty revolutions around that hoary old sun. In some ways I'm still as close to gaming as I've ever been, popping up here as I do most weeks to wax contemplative on whatever issue has sat on the front of my brain and demanded attention, and in other ways I am increasingly disconnected and uninspired by things that would once have been momentous.

The thing is that the idea doesn't bother me like I might once have thought it would. It seems right that someday gaming can just slip away, like a forgotten childhood friend who once was bound to every corner of your life. When the time comes, I think I will be at peace with it.

- Sean Sands

Weekend Reader is Kotaku's look at the critical thinking in, and of video games. It appears Sundays at 11 a.m. Mountain time.

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Comments

    One of my co-workers at my old work is 30-something with two young children, that pretty much killed his gaming life. He's lucky to sneak in a race or two on Forza before he has to get up and deal with the kids again.

    If I ever get into that situation, I'll just put them on a leash attached to the couch. That'll work, right? Right?!

      Im 30 something with 2 kids and I have learnt to play with them. There are other games that I obviously cant play with them, but thats why kids have bed times :)

    Ive often thought (and been worried) about just that. I honestly cant see anything getting in the way of gaming. My dad still plays all the new fps on his pc and he is turning 52. I want to game forever, but it is weird to picture myself 70 and playing a hard core fps. Though... games will probably be delivered in a whole new way by then.

    I might have to give up my games rather soon (which has put me into a moral crisis) as I'm going to Uni and all I'm taking down with me is a DS and a iPhone. My consoles will stay at home growing dust and mildew (well my sis is getting my 360 since I bought it with her in mind).

    I am interested in gaming with my potenial future kids, though.

    I've been finding it harder to undertake a 'proper' gaming session in the last few years since leaving Uni. Feels good to get the odd dedicated weekend in to finish that new release. Lan parties are also non-existent with all the mates unable to agree on weekends. Life simply gets in the way.

    I think I won't be able to really ever game again until I'm retired. By then I feel gaming will be as prevalent as TV.

    When you get old your reaction times and hand-eye co-ordination will start to go, so that will limit the games you could play.
    With the way games are becoming part of everyday life we probably will be playing something at 50; but it will likely be bejeweled 10.2 or Farmville Universe rather than Call of Duty 40K.

    I'm 25, married, with my first child due to arrive within 3 months. I intend to keep gaming afterward, but I think it'll be in a much reduced capacity.
    I've played across SNES, PC, N64, back to PC, GameCube, PC again, Wii & 360.
    I just can't see myself saying "with our child around, I still think it's worth the money to buy this PlayStation 4 or Xbox Whatever". I'd enjoy them if I had them, but priorities have to change when appropriate.
    If you refuse to change, you refuse to grow. If you refuse to grow, you may as well book a plot and a pine box now, cause you're not gonna do yourself much good from now on.
    I'm content to accept that my gaming will be very far down the list of priorities from now on, but I'll never rule it out altogether because I don't think you should ever rule anything out; you're only limiting your options for no reason if you do.

    My Dad's in his late forties, and still playing occasionally. I hope to be like him, but maybe some more gaming?

    If you can get your kids into the same games, it's probably easier. And a gaming girl couldn't hurt...

    I've found myself with less time to play games in the last couple of years, much in the same way that I have less time for other recreational activites.

    I will always pick up a controller for fun when I get a chance but I dont always have time for a weekend long gaming session

    I have had times in my life where I have stopped gaming, usually because of relationships but now I'm 37 no kids but married. I have a 360 and PS3 and cant see a time when I don't. I don't play as much as I used to maybe 2-3 hours a week put these are more than just gaming machines I'm watching free view via play TV now, so I think they will always have a place in my life (I hope)

    Interesting you guys who feel like you dont game now that you've finished Uni. Im 39, work 12-13 hours a day in a high stress job, and I still find time to game, even at 1am and exhausted (perhaps why Im stressed). My wife says Im addicted but I say passionate. I dont have a lot of games, but those I have, I play the absolute s*#t out of (MW2, Halos). Perhaps when I have a kid (one on the way), I will game less. Then again, any "me" time will likely be 360 time, and then when they are older, co-op!

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