DrBloodmoney

Age, Experience & The Myth of the 'Gaming Veteran'

38 posts in this topic

It is usually the combination of these fallacies

  • Argumentum ad antiquitatem
  • Ad hominem

Nothing we can do about it.The internet is full of logical fallacies and stupidity.

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I think there is some historical gaming experience that can help bring constructive and interesting perspectives that maybe a younger generation of gamers wouldn't be aware of - I'm personally fascinated by some of the experiences older generation gamers had compared to how things are today and I don't think that should be discounted. But using that same experience as a way to cancel or devalue the opinion (or 'qualification' to have an opinion) of a younger generation gamer is so cringeworthy to me and kind abuses something that could be used to actually help newer members of the gaming community who like to think critically about the industry and individual games.

Anything which starts with things like 'back in my day' or 'you kids don't know how good you've got it' is just bullshit though and not worth anyone's time to read further. Ignore and move on - folks like that are pretty much the gaming equivalent of a cantankerous old fart.

Edited by Crispy_Oglop
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15 hours ago, DrBloodmoney said:

Why is it that in gaming circles, it still seems to be considered acceptable to dismiss the opinions of other gamers vis-a-vis the hobby, simply because they are younger?

 

I've lost count of how many different times I see people dismissing an argument out of hand, simply because the person espousing it grew up on Mario 64 instead of Mario Bros, or on Goldeneye and not DOOM, or (God forbid) on Pokemon and not Chronotrigger.

 

I feel like between some threads on this site, others on Reddit, and basically any other gaming outlets with a comments section, I am constantly seeing 'older' gamers - generally guys in their late 30s - early 40s (of which I am one BTW!) - throwing their "years of gaming experience" around like an elitist truncheon, dismissing or diminishing the opinions of younger gamers with various gussied up versions of basically the same argument:

 

"You kids don't know anything! Back in my day... rah rah rah!"

 

It's called Generational Bias. As someone that is in their mid-40's, I know what I'm talking about. :P In all seriousness, this happens a lot in many hobbies such as sports and movies and even in the workplace so it's never going away. The kids growing up with Fortnite and Among Us, will be critical of the generation of gamers following them.

 

I do think gaming is a unique though as it's still relatively new hobby compared to other ones where you have a generation of gamers that lived and played through all of them. There is some truth to the "back in my day" trope as playing a downloaded game is much easier to navigate then shuffling ten 3.5" floppy disks around to load a game...so in a sense, younger gamers don't know how good they have it. But I also don't think that's their fault, don't wish they went through those experiences and try not to judge them. I'm fond of the latest and greatest and think younger players are way better at gaming than my generation and I think the majority of retro games (8-bit and 16-bit) are overrated. Ironically, I have a 17-year old son that's into retro games.

Edited by pathtoninja
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Young people generally know fuck all about life.

 

But video games? That, they know. Respect. 

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17 hours ago, DrBloodmoney said:

Why is it that in gaming circles, it still seems to be considered acceptable to dismiss the opinions of other gamers vis-a-vis the hobby, simply because they are younger?

 

Do you perceive it is worse in gaming circles than other settings?  I would have hoped that the anonymity of gaming profiles and the linear performance metrics expressed by trophies would have blunted the disappointing occurrences of "Yeah well you're just a kid / girl / Mexican / whatever."

 

My workplace is unconsciously devolving into "pre-Covid" and "post-Covid" camps.  Covid telecommuting started just one year ago, yet those of us who predate that experience tend to gravitate to each other rather than interacting with post-Covid employees we only vaguely know as names from email lists or Zoom handles.  That can/should/will be fixed.  But statistically average amounts of Generational Bias (thank you @pathtoninja) in gaming seems inescapable.

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To some extent having experiences does give you an edge up over younger gamers - but eventually your reflexes start to die down and all the experience in the world can't keep you afloat. E.g. as someone who's been playing games since I was seven (I'm twenty three now), I feel like I have a pretty instinctual grasp of core game mechanics, and an ability to naturally adapt to most game design styles.

 

That aside, the elitism is the same as it is in the real world - older people grow up with the world having been one way, and rather than accepting that the expectations and views they cultivated were the natural product of their environment, they decide that they're objectively correct and that younger people growing up in a very different world should share those perspectives. I don't honestly think there's much reason for younger gamers to play old games unless they're exceptional ones that are likely to appeal to them - it's nearly impossible to keep up with current gen games, let alone current gem games + a selection of last gen games (be they remasters or just getting a PS3), and there's virtually no reason to go further than that. Every door you open is another door closed (or multiple doors closed!) and modern games are going to prepare gamers much more for the future of gaming than games from decades ago.

 

That being said, I do appreciate having been raised on games like UT99 when I was a kid, back in like 2005-2007, so I can't say it isn't a good idea to cultivate an appreciation of old games as well.

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15 minutes ago, Darling Baphomet said:

older people grow up with the world having been one way, and rather than accepting that the expectations and views they cultivated were the natural product of their environment, they decide that they're objectively correct and that younger people growing up in a very different world should share those perspectives

 

No no no no no.  "Some older people ..."  Otherwise you are propagating the inappropriate generalization observed by @DrBloodmoney.

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I'm older then DrBloodmoney and think MGS5 is the best from the series.

 

As an older gamer I can't accept shitty cell phone games or the flood of non gamer gamers who leave as quickly as they start, It's just who I am. I have no problems with young gamers, I'd rather encourage them.

 

There is one fact, games are allot easier now.

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4 hours ago, pogo_loco said:

 

Do you perceive it is worse in gaming circles than other settings?  I would have hoped that the anonymity of gaming profiles and the linear performance metrics expressed by trophies would have blunted the disappointing occurrences of "Yeah well you're just a kid / girl / Mexican / whatever."

 

 

Hmm...

 

that's an interesting question, now that I think about it.

 

I have to admit, I do perceive it to be worse in gaming circles, but I wonder whether it is actually more prevalent / pronounced in gaming discussions than in discussions of other media etc. or if it just seems more egregious, given that the 'older' gaming generation is still, basically, pretty young - given that the earliest games in the form we know only go back to the mid 80s.

 

While it does bother me somewhat to see someone dismissing a younger persons opinion based on age when discussing, say, films or literature, I guess personally I find that a little easier to stomach, as those media have been around long enough that it's possible for, say, a 70 year old, who him/herself went back and learned about the entries before their own time could realistically have over a hundred years of 'experience' (knowledge I guess, not experience. That would require time travel).

 

It seems so much more ridiculous in gaming because the 'old' gamers are in their 40s & 50s! They are referencing 'old' games that are actually only a few decades old!

It seems a terrible fate to me, that anyone can be in the old-man-yelling-at-cloud , "Back in my day, Sonny" stage of life by the time they are 35.

I mean, is that what we get now? 3 decades of being a young turk, then another 60 years of being a miserable grump?

Oh no!

My life!

 

Don't get me wrong, there are times where I read something someone has said and get a "Holy Cow, I'm old AF!" moment -  

(one I remember was when someone referred to the 'old' Mario games they played first, "like Super Mario Sunshine..."

(is it possible to actually feel the grey hairs?  I'Cause I think I did....😂),

...but in reality, they were making a bunch of smart, astute and well reasoned points about current Mario.

Did they get many responses? Yeah...

...and almost every one was jut dismissing their opinions, and making fun of them for considering Mario Sunshine to be 'one of the old Mario's'

 

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4 hours ago, Z1MZUM said:

 

There is one fact, games are allot easier now.

 

Sure...

I'll grant you that there has been a general shift from 'games are meant to be endless', to 'we want people to see the ending we made'...

but lets not kid ourselves.

 

A lot of old games were only rendered as difficult as they were by poor design, frame rate drop, or from the "keep those kids pumping in quarters" mentality lingering from the arcade-cabinet era.

 

Now, the big blockbuster games are designed so pretty much anyone can see them to the end, but to simply state 'games are a lot easier now' is to ignore the idea that gaming has fractured from a monoculture, to a flourishing garden in the past 30 years.

 

 

It used to be, all games were broadly aimed at the same audience - and it was considered that that audience wanted the same level of challenge.

 

Now, you have games aimed at all sorts. You have the big Action Blockbusters, the Meditative Walking Sims, the Casual Puzzlers, the 'Forever Games' (Minecraft / Fortnight etc.) and a hundred other specific strains, including - crucially - the 'difficulty-as-gameplay' ones. (Souls-like / Rogue-like / Ultra-difficult platforms like SMB etc. where the enormous difficulty curve is baked-in, and advertised as a feature, rather than a bug.)

 

I think the difference is, back in the 'old days' (uh-oh, now I'm the cloud-shouting guy😱) crazy difficulty was not a category of game - it was just something indiscriminately blasted around the place like a chimp with a shotgun. Sometimes it was on purpose, sometimes not so much.

 

Nowadays, it is something people can choose to engage with or not, based on the games they choose to play, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist out there.

 

I've been playing Invisible Inc this past week, and when I loaded that up for the first time, I died on the first level on the second easiest setting 4 times before I even limped my sorry way to lv.2! 😳😳😂

Edited by DrBloodmoney
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20 hours ago, DrBloodmoney said:

given that the earliest games in the form we know only go back to the mid 80s.

 

The single-cell ancestor of Call of Duty multiplayer is the tank game from Combat on the Atari 2600, released in 1977.  That game springboarded me through geometry class later in life.  Hard walls?  Reflective walls?  Transparent walls?  The options seemed so endless!  My hands shiver from recalling the joystick blisters.

 

Totally agree with the irony of 'old' gamers giving hell to youngsters.  Getting dressed down by a 100 year old WWII Vet is one thing, but by someone with fond memories of a SNES???  I am jealous of gamers who will still be active in 40 years and the advances they will relish.  The complexity, the immersion, the quality - gaming only gets better.

 

Edited by pogo_loco
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I'm around your age, but I make a strong effort not to slip into that mindset. In general, people in their thirties who act like wizened old sages are insufferable—you're 35, Jeff, not 80.

 

My experiences have led me to believe that much of the "back in my day" sentiment stems from a fear of getting old, being left behind, and so on. It's a bit scary when you first realize that you don't understand or "get" a lot of modern stuff anymore. For instance, I've never used Discord, and wouldn't really know how to. I could learn easily enough, but don't care to bother, and I would feel insecure about it anyway, like I'm the embodiment of that "how do you do, fellow kids" meme. Silly, I know.

 

Honestly, from what I've seen, today's young people are largely cooler, smarter, more progressive, and more skilled with tech/video games than I'll ever be. I do worry about the preservation of gaming history, though; I'd like for new generations to have easy access to the classics, to broaden their gaming palate if they want, but with digital distribution and cloud services taking over, who knows.

 

17 hours ago, pogo_loco said:

The single-cell ancestor of Call of Duty multiplayer is the tank game from Combat on the Atari 2600, released in 1977.  That game springboarded me through geometry class later in life.  Hard walls?  Reflective walls?  Transparent walls?  The options seemed so endless!  My hands shiver from recalling the joystick blisters.

 

 

Ah, I adored Combat! So many great matches against my parents and friends. The jets were my favorite.

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I’m going to go on a limb here and say this goes both ways. I had an argument with the TC over a week ago regarding ‘trophies’ and the very concept of them. To pull out games like Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Revelations as being ‘stuck in that era’ while criticizing the newer Assassins Creed is just piss poor. I love the older Assassins Creed games, so does that mean I’m stuck in the past? Does my enjoyment of indie games and retro games mean I’m stuck in a time warp? No, it does not. 
 

Things like Discord and Skype I picked them up right when they came out. But I don’t think I will ever understand the concept of TikTok. My generation loves Twitter and Instagram, I have used both social media platforms excessively in the past. But TikTok is a platform I will never touch. 
 

Like with older people before us, we criticize the more modern stuff because obviously, we’re not the target audience. Again this doesn’t mean to imply that we’re old farts. But in recent years we have taken the notion that suggests someone coming off as an old man yelling at clouds is seen as ‘ok boomer’, which I find offensive and insulting. We’ve all seen it. It’s a trend I wish to see end in the near future. 
 

I’ve had constant arguments with people on YouTube and Twitter regarding gaming and why we enjoy it, to the point where I just avoid comments altogether. I’ve had plenty of friendly conversations as well. Videos that try to demonstrate the generation gap will always have those comments.
 

I don’t like a lot of the newer games, but I also don’t like a lot of the older games. Watching James Rolfe as the Angry Video Game Nerd helped me see a lot of old games were outright torture, with poor controls, poor gameplay and not fun to engage in. 
 

This goes both ways. I do things that are more commonplace with the new generations. Acting as the wise old sage in many cases is more counterintuitive than beneficial. 
 

I love gaming, always have and probably always will. We often debate our gaming standards with others who don’t hold the same standards, and thus our arguments devolve into flame wars. 
 

How we see gaming veterans is subjective. I know people in real life who have been gaming for over 40 years. On the flip side I have a niece and nephew who are just starting to get into gaming. Does that place me in some middle category? I don’t know.

Edited by AJ_Radio
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19 hours ago, AJ_Radio said:

On the flip side I have a niece and nephew who are just starting to get into gaming.

 

That's great to hear.  I like to think you'd find a different way to say these things to your niece and nephew:

 

On 10/18/2020 at 7:21 AM, AJ_Radio said:

Kids nowadays have it so fucking easy.

 

On 5/22/2020 at 10:10 AM, AJ_Radio said:

Not going to be a factor for me because I decided I will never have kids. I can't stand a lot of them, especially in this day and age where they are being sheltered and overburdened. Kids in the 90s were better.

 

I don't think the original post was a critique of anyone who prizes memories of old games or dislikes modern gaming trends -- it just observes that the indiscriminate dismissal of hundreds of millions of strangers via haphazard application of the label "kids" doesn't seem justified.

 

There is value in precision.  Statements like this contain so many sweeping generalizations, I fear the point gets lost:

 

19 hours ago, AJ_Radio said:

Like with older people before us, we criticize the more modern stuff because obviously, we’re not the target audience. Again this doesn’t mean to imply that we’re old farts.

 

Edited by pogo_loco
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4 hours ago, pogo_loco said:

I don't think the original post was a critique of anyone who prizes memories of old games or dislikes modern gaming trends -- it just observes that the indiscriminate dismissal of hundreds of millions of strangers via haphazard application of the label "kids" doesn't seem justified.


You have to think that Gen X did the same thing to me. Make the same generalizations. TikTok has some older people, but mostly has kids aged 14 - 24 years of age doing those stupid challenges. Am I saying my peers didn’t do the same things? Of course not, but a lot of us have matured, have jobs, a spouse and kids. 
 

I don’t have the time to play games like I used to. I have more responsibilities now. 
 

It’s true I hate a lot of modern gaming trends, many of which started late in the PS3/Xbox 360 era. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the newer games, however I’ve made a standard that I won’t support franchises like EA’s Madden or NBA 2K, which are definitely series wholeheartedly intended to sucker money out of naive people. Assassin’s Creed at least has a story, great lore and many historical backgrounds which Ubisoft can draw on. Origins for instance I think is far better than either Unity or Syndicate.

Edited by AJ_Radio
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On 2/21/2021 at 5:59 AM, ScarecrowsFate said:

Honestly, from what I've seen, today's young people are largely cooler, smarter, more progressive, and more skilled with tech/video games than I'll ever be. I do worry about the preservation of gaming history, though; I'd like for new generations to have easy access to the classics, to broaden their gaming palate if they want, but with digital distribution and cloud services taking over, who knows.

 

Ah, I adored Combat! So many great matches against my parents and friends. The jets were my favorite.

 

I play allot of COD multiplayer, The new players basically camp and use the same weapon every map. Don't sell yourself short with your gaming experience.

 

My first video game was a stand up Space Invaders at a train station. Combat at home was amazing.

 

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Admittedly, back when I played multiplayer (not CoD), camping was also one of my main strategies, and probably a large part of why my kill/death ratio was quite good in some games! 😅 However, an experienced camper knows when it's time to relocate, and when it's necessary to stop camping altogether and push the enemy team to finalize a win. I noticed many players didn't grasp that.

 

That's a great first game. Not entirely sure what my introduction to gaming was, but I think it might have been Phantasy Star on the Sega Master System, which I still love to this day. The first-person dungeons were a big deal at that time.

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On 2/18/2021 at 9:43 PM, Darling Baphomet said:

To some extent having experiences does give you an edge up over younger gamers - but eventually your reflexes start to die down and all the experience in the world can't keep you afloat. E.g. as someone who's been playing games since I was seven (I'm twenty three now), I feel like I have a pretty instinctual grasp of core game mechanics, and an ability to naturally adapt to most game design styles.

 


It's a literal fact in human development that men do not peak in hand-eye coordination until the age of 35. That's peak...and that does not start to diminish until around age 50. George Foreman won the Heavyweight Championship of the world close to his mid 40's in boxing...and Barry Bonds...with strength being restored from wear and tear through the use of physical performance enhancing drugs was and is still considered the most dangerous hitter in baseball history and this is evidenced by breaking the record for intentional walks in a season (2004, 120 walks) at 40 years old. The toughest thing to do in terms of hand-eye coordination in all of sports is to hit a baseball thrown from a Major League pitcher...no amount of performance enhancers are going to help you in that department....and major league pitchers wanted absolutely no part of Barry Bonds past the age of 35 years old. 4 of Tom Bradys 7 Superbowl wins came after the age of 35 years old.

It is a total myth perpetuated by younger gamers that hand-eye coordination diminishes after the 20's when in reality...it is a proven fact that hand-eye coordination in men peaks at the age of 35. The human brain doesn't even reach full development until the age of 25.

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2 minutes ago, Shua_J said:

It is a total myth perpetuated by younger gamers that hand-eye coordination diminishes after the 20's when in reality...it is a proven fact that hand-eye coordination in men peaks at the age of 35. The human brain doesn't even reach full development until the age of 25.

 

Most of the time when I hear it, it's from older gamers complaining about how good younger gamers are at shooters at such. Regardless, that's good to know, thanks for the correction!

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10 minutes ago, Darling Baphomet said:

 

Most of the time when I hear it, it's from older gamers complaining about how good younger gamers are at shooters at such. Regardless, that's good to know, thanks for the correction!


I can see that. Most of the time I hear it...it's coming from "pro" level gamers in FPS that are barely in their 20's.

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Truly, I'm more bothered by younger gamers saying that I'm too old for gaming because I'm over 40.  I find it a bit weird that this sort of attitude still persists when there are so many gamers who are older.  Only thing that would annoy me regarding a younger gamer not having played older games is if they outright assume the game sucks because of inferior graphics due to age.  Doesn't matter how old someone is, I really hate it when people assume graphic quality has anything to do with the quality of a game.

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I was never aware of this actually. I'm 28 and have been a gamer since the Crash and Spyro days of PS1, with my first game ever being Pokemon Silver. The thing is a lot of my colleagues in all of the places I've worked in so far were gamers too, all around my age (mid 20s to early 30s), so I never thought about age that much when it came to gaming as I know a lot of other older people who game, and everyone around me is as such. No one has ever said I'm too old, only because everyone I know is around the same age. I think only my parents have, they keep saying I should cut it out playing games like a kid and become an adult by "socialising more and getting married", while I remain career focused, single and focused on myself.. 😅

 

I agree that kids these days have it a lot easier with games becoming easier as a whole, like being able to save anywhere, choose difficulty levels etc. Back when I was young, things like cheat codes and action replays were a thing because games were somewhat harder back then and also more buggy. They also have youtube walkthroughs. When i was a kid, I used to be that one who bought all those massive Piggyback and Famitsu guidebooks. I subsequently have sold them all on ebay

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My take: A real gamer (someone who loves and explores gaming) isn't limited to an age or a time period. I think a gamer would be a gamer no matter when they were born. Some of us were lucky enough to be born from the inception of the home gaming console while still pumping tons of money into the arcades. Some of us were born way before that era and played board games, card games, written mind puzzles...etc...etc. I think you're a gamer in disposition and that's related to a general archetype that has been present since the dawn of mankind. Some of the new gamers I've met are absolutely amazing players...in both understanding and in physicality.

I do however think gaming today has become a fad....one of the biggest reasons we see a drop in difficulty. In order to make the greatest amount of money possible...most companies follow the misnomer that you have to be accessible to the greatest amount of people. In theory that is fine...but the result is age-old....when you try to please everybody...you please nobody. You may initially be successful...but the long game suggests that you are actually creating a fatal deficit in exchange for short-term gain. The actual amount of complaining and online unrest is created directly by the slippery-slope of people pleasing. The greatest games in history were the ones that weren't like any of the others. The greatest breakthroughs in anything were a direct result of individuals creating things on their own without the permission of the group. This creates attraction...either instant...or over time. The key word being attraction...meaning a natural proclivity towards the direction of something because it is apparently true, absurdly false or just. Modern promotion is outright lying...and is the artificial means to attraction which always ends in a deficit in the long-term sense.

This climate is the opposite of any growth condition we've seen in the industry. Half of everything on the market is a remake. Nostalgia is a key target for marketing. Young pedestrian gamers have gained way too much of a voice...and that voice is actively destroying an industry that became acutely strong by the independent developers who are responsible for this current juggernauts success...and who it also sits squarely on the shoulders of. No. Doubt. You can argue "but...the industry has grown so much in the last 40 years." Has it? The base world population in 1980 was 4.5 Billion. The base population now is nearly 7.8 billion people. So..of course your numbers are going to increase and because you need to justify your salaries...you're going to say it's because of your "brilliant" marketing schemes...when in reality...your numbers have increased directly in proportion to routine base population numbers and quality of life increases in 3rd world countries.

So...sometimes...when older pedestrian gamers are saying something to younger pedestrian gamers...both were and are equally full of sh*& and it's good to let them just argue. But when a younger gamer has real questions, real ideas and real strategies...maybe the older gamers should take the best and most valuable lesson they should have learned to this point which is: "Shut the f*$% up and listen for a second. You might actually learn something." You don't have to tell the younger gamers that...and especially not at your age. They will fully learn that lesson on their own.

Edited by Shua_J
One word throwing my flow to complete sh*%
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10 hours ago, Lava_Yuki said:

I was never aware of this actually. I'm 28 and have been a gamer since the Crash and Spyro days of PS1, with my first game ever being Pokemon Silver. The thing is a lot of my colleagues in all of the places I've worked in so far were gamers too, all around my age (mid 20s to early 30s), so I never thought about age that much when it came to gaming as I know a lot of other older people who game, and everyone around me is as such. No one has ever said I'm too old, only because everyone I know is around the same age. I think only my parents have, they keep saying I should cut it out playing games like a kid and become an adult by "socialising more and getting married", while I remain career focused, single and focused on myself.. 1f605.png

 

I agree that kids these days have it a lot easier with games becoming easier as a whole, like being able to save anywhere, choose difficulty levels etc. Back when I was young, things like cheat codes and action replays were a thing because games were somewhat harder back then and also more buggy. They also have youtube walkthroughs. When i was a kid, I used to be that one who bought all those massive Piggyback and Famitsu guidebooks. I subsequently have sold them all on ebay

 

It's all relative I guess - I'm nearing 40, and for me, Crash and Spyro were newer games - games I missed out on in fact, because at that point I was in my late teens, and feeling all 'edgy' and "...those games were for kids, man..." 🙄 

Total nonsense of course, those games were good (well, personally I still don't much care for Crash, but there are plenty of games in that category that I skipped at the time, thinking I was too cool for them, only to later discover I was, in fact, never cool, and also an idiot.

They were great games - J&D, Sly Cooper, R&C, Ape Escape etc.)

 

My first games were Mario Bros 3 and Duck Hunt on the NES and the early Final Fantasy and Zelda games, and my version of the Piggyback & Famitsu guides was calling the outrageously expensive 'Nintendo Hotline' if you got stuck (and knowing that at the end of the month, when the phone bill came in, you were going to have to eat some serious crap and probably endure a grounding from the parental unit, so you had to really be stuck in a game to make that call and sit on hold, watching your digital watch timer counting out the minutes and calculating the severity of your future punishment!)

 

The difference between me and some of my peers though, is that I don't think that gives me a 'better' or 'fuller' or 'more relevant' context with which to judge new games.

 

I think it gives me a different one from you - and since hearing my own opinions echoed back at me ad-nauseum is nothing but a boring, conversational circle-jerk, I'm far more interested in hearing the opinions of someone your age, or even a generation younger, on newer games.

It is far more likely to yield an interesting conversation than just 4 old guys like me having our 800th conversation about how Zelda was better in a pixelated isometric form than in 3D! 😂

Edited by DrBloodmoney
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