Older Americans Increasingly Using Video Games as Recreational Alternative

Anxious about the mental cost of aging, older people are turning to games that rely on quick thinking to stimulate brain activity. A step slower than in their youth, they are using digital recreations of bowling, tennis and golf.

Alright, first things first. I don’t believe this for a second. Yes, there maybe a less than 1% of the total who occasionally do this, but given past and current experience with non-gamers of any age this is hugely over stated. Every time I ask someone why they don’t play video games at all,the excuse is always “I don’t have time”. Of course, that is total and utter crap. It’s really fun to hear this time after time when everyone has some type of hobby that they make time for even when they legitimately don’t have time for it.

The story here is the issue of people bowing down to societal pressure that say’s you shouldn’t be playing a video game if you’ve breached a certain age bracket. Any real gamer would call that hogwash in a second, but older potential gamers have mainly fallen for the pier pressure of other non-gamers that will immediately chastise them for partaking in what way to many believe to only be for kids. Just as most eventually stop playing with dolls or action figures, video games have long been wrongly branded as just another toy for far to long.

Much like early film or contemporary music in it’s early days, gaming has is and continues to fall to the misbranding of the uninitiated just because of the simple fact that gaming “will root your brain”. As many times as some will chose to say such blasphemy, us gamers know that they have just been smoking there crack pipes for just a wee bit to long.

Ironically though, the vary mediums that have become socially acceptable by nearly everyone in modern society require the least amount of interactivity and thought up against almost ever other activity one can think up. Sitting in front of a screen being shown something like a wild animal being mesmerized by a hanging steak that they can’t have is what most consider the pinnacle of being entertained. Surely that’s what a lazy minded person would side with when they have no real interest in having a real stake in what they choose for entertainment. Commitment is the essential thing that separates gamers from everyone else. Gamers are willing to learn while they are being entertained at the same time. You can’t tell me that isn’t where the real evolution of entertainment is at.

The mere fact that so many have decided to banish video games into the wasteland of kid only activities clearly shows that the overwhelming majority just flat out only want to be told a story or passively shown it from one point of view that never changes after subsequent experiences. Frankly, it’s a shame that it has to be this way. While all gamers continue on the forward path that gaming has in store for itself, everyone else is going fall further behind the times when everything isn’t about having the same experience that everyone else has, but making your own entertainment with whats given to you and turning it into your own unique playtime.

Banishing video games into the world of misfit’s has it own issue in an of itself. People like that maniac down in Florida, Jack Thompson, not understanding the medium and casting only violent or sexually related video games into the fire all the while the real mother load seen in movies and television today far surpasses what any game has done so far, which in turn makes this extremely maddening. With a clearly marked rating on every package, how is it that anyone can get outraged wihen there kid plays something that was obviously not intended for them. Bad parenting and the lack of understanding are the real problem here. Coupling from this are the politicians jumping on board a train of idiocracy with the driver headed for a titanium laced brick wall.

Citing all of this and much more, it’s difficult to believe that anyone from a older generation even has a clue as to what video games are beyond the stereotypical kids only activity. Until we get to the point where a game doesn’t have to be shown to anyone and is seeked out because of plain normal interest by someone that’s not in the so-called know, I for one can’t begin to believe that older-gamers outside of someone like Old Grandma Hardcore, giving gaming any time of day. The Wii may be what Nintendo hopes changes all of this, but the stigma that the very meaning of video game has contracted is for the moment a disease that yet has a cure.

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Posted on March 31, 2007, in Nintendo, Video Games, Wii. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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