Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

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Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:14 pm

This question has crossed my mind on a few occasions as of late, and got me thinking - Does anyone else ever think this, or believe you actually do?

I'm not talking about games designed for kids where I'm clearly not the target audience, I'm on about physically getting to old. In games that require fast response times, I feel actually like I am way past my best and the games feel like a steep learning curve, or a punishing lesson in how you can't quite cut it anymore. In games like Battlefield, CoD and Crysis I get nowhere - I will kill one or two, but will have died myself some 20+ times per game. I see the enemy coming, go to fire, but in the time just thinking about that I'm already dead.

That's just one example, but in other games like racing titles I'm also pretty hopeless. I never used to suck this bad at games right across the board and still try to play them as much as when I was a teenager - The end result is very different though, and one that isn't making gaming a lot of fun anymore. I'm really curious to see what others think, does age play a factor, is it a lack of time compared to when I was younger, or is there some other factor (I'm just ****)?
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:25 pm

Nah, I'm much the same. Declining ability at FPS games (I used to be passably not-bad at original UT)0, but despite trying things like Titanfall and BFx, I either lack the reaction times or lack the patience required to acquire the skill necessary - not for lack of trying). My "action" games now are limited to Diablo 3 and World of Tanks (give it a shot if you like FPS), and I play a lot more strategy games.

I don't think you get "too old", but my gaming ability has definitely changed :).
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:31 pm

System lag can have a profound effect on your performance in twitch games (aka wireless mouse/keyboard, WiFi, weak CPU/GPU). Anything that delays the loop of having the game delivered to your eyes, then sending your response back to the host. Also, it's hard to hold a candle to the middle/high school/college kids that play BF/CoD for hundreds of hours. Practice to learn the maps and experience to get better weapons puts them ahead of the "casual" players. That's never fun.

I think age can play a factor though. I don't have any scientific proof, but I could imagine reflex times slow as we age.

Perhaps look for online games that aren't PvP FPS. Even Co-Op FPS' like Warframe (free 2 play) give you that first person experience, but you don't actually have to face off against real players, they're helping you instead. League of Legends or World of Tanks also. Online multiplayer introduce the complexity of having to face off against other real people, just try to find games that don't stress the reflex/reaction times as strongly.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:31 pm

I think response time and ability to quickly learn subtle complexities are very much tied to youth.

There's a reason the vast majority of pro League of Legends characters are young. 25 is pretty old for a pro.

I enjoy strategy games, but I know I will never, ever be a pro or even extremely competitive player. My strategies are predictable and easy to counter, and my response time is slow. But I still play them and enjoy them. It's just more of a sandbox experience for me, and a way to probe the limitations of the simplified AI (think games like Galactic Battle Grounds, Age of Empires, Star Craft, etc.).

I'm 25, for the record.

I'll continue enjoying games when life gets slow, and I'll continue dropping them when life gets busy. I really enjoyed Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs last year, and plunking down 90 hours for Skyrim this year was fun. But now I haven't seriously played a game in over four months, and that's okay. Life has been busy. For me, games are a fun source of entertainment to get into on occasion.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:45 pm

No. And get off my LAWN!
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:53 pm

No. But it seems like waiting for specific games (Fallout 4, L4D3, HL3) makes me feel like I'll be retired before I can play them.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:58 pm

DPete27 wrote:Perhaps look for online games that aren't PvP FPS. Even Co-Op FPS' like Warframe (free 2 play) give you that first person experience, but you don't actually have to face off against real players, they're helping you instead. League of Legends or World of Tanks also. Online multiplayer introduce the complexity of having to face off against other real people, just try to find games that don't stress the reflex/reaction times as strongly.


I think this also speaks to the change in priorities as you play.

For instance, my father has been playing games for quite a while. Our in-house LAN started with 007: Nightfire (it came free with something, my dad saw it could be networked and saw setting up a good network as a worthy challenge). Playing, then, started as a good way for him to oversee what his children were doing and provide a little guidance. It essentially became, for him, a way to connect with his children.

Now that we aren't playing quite as much (because of our jobs), it has remained with him as a way to relax a little after work. My mother actually encourages him to play, since it seems to make him a little bit happier. She also does what she can to force him into upgrading his computer so that he'll remain competitive. And so, for Father's Day this year, he received a Logitech G500.

Weirdly, he's also started using gaming as a way to bond with the younger guys at work. He gets to play the "father figure" when they talk about the games they play. They exchange Steam names then go play online together. None of them are particularly good, but it replaces the "go out to the bar" or "play on the extraordinarily lousy office softball team" system of old.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:41 pm

Nope. I want a good test I can always whip out Tetris and see how far I can go, which is still hours for a single game.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:01 pm

WhatMeWorry wrote:No. And get off my LAWN!


Get off my LAN!
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:10 pm

I'm on the back 9 of life, according to statistics, lol.

I think my reflexes are still there, compared with 20+ years ago. I get impatient, though, with the complexities of modern FPS. But that 's not the only arena in which my impatience has grown. I've found that I've grown increasingly impatient with argumentative folks, over-verbosity, and really anything that strikes me as needlessly complex.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:37 pm

I hope not. I'm pretty old for a gamer (50+), but as they say, you don't have to be good at it to enjoy it. I've been doing Borderlands 2 co-op with Nanoflower from this site and this weekend he just embarrassed me--he was blowing stuff up before I could see it; totally dominated the map and I felt pretty useless while he p@wned. But I had fun, and videogaming means I have something in common with my 11-year-old son, and it gives me a reason to upgrade my rig. My wife just pre-ordered the next Borderlands game for my Fathers' Day gift, and I hope to be strategizing, fragging, looting, shooting, bagging and tagging for at least a few more years.

EDIT: Added "me"
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:40 pm

My interest in games remains, despite the 37 years since I bought my Atari 2600 after graduating from school, but my reflexes are slower and the types of games I play have changed some. (Strangely, I still like to go back and play the original star trek games I played in school with the grids of K's and R's fighting my lonely E. At least now the computer computes the trajectory for me - I used to have to do the trig for the photon torpedoes manually, which seemed odd on a 22nd century star ship.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:41 pm

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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Obviously we all reach a point where our reflexes slow and our eyesight starts to decline. That doesn't mean that you're "too old to game", it just means you might not be able to hang with the kids anymore. You can counter this by playing games that trend more toward your strengths, or don't rely as heavily on twitch gameplay. If you still prefer those types of games, you can get some of the edge back by spending extra time learning the maps, or using better strategy and tactics.

On a completely different note, I've been asking myself the same question lately from a more philosophical standpoint. Basically, I've spent countless hours of my life playing games, and if I had spent that time and energy doing something else, I'm sure I could have used it to accomplish alot more. Gaming is a complete and utter timesink, with almost no payout (aside from your enjoyment, of if you're using it to bond with your kids like Neutron). I mean, you should do what you enjoy, but damn if I don't feel like I have nothing to show for all that time spent.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:51 pm

I'm 43 and I still play. I'm sure until I'm physically unable, I will be playing something. Guess it's just in my blood.

But I only play single-player... if I get owned by AI I just quickload. ;)

My hand-eye coordination was never great, so one thing that annoys me and keeps getting worse is just how many dang buttons does an FPS need? Doom was just move, fire, and open doors. Playing Deus Ex HR, I have 5 mouse buttons, the arrow keys, and over half a dozen other keyboard buttons I need just to play! Ugh!

But... I've been gaming since the Atari 2600, so it's been interesting to see it evolve in so many ways.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:55 pm

The Egg wrote:Obviously we all reach a point where our reflexes slow and our eyesight starts to decline. That doesn't mean that you're "too old to game", it just means you might not be able to hang with the kids anymore. You can counter this by playing games that trend more toward your strengths, or don't rely as heavily on twitch gameplay. If you still prefer those types of games, you can get some of the edge back by spending extra time learning the maps, or using better strategy and tactics.

On a completely different note, I've been asking myself the same question lately from a more philosophical standpoint. Basically, I've spent countless hours of my life playing games, and if I had spent that time and energy doing something else, I'm sure I could have used it to accomplish alot more. Gaming is a complete and utter timesink, with almost no payout (aside from your enjoyment, of if you're using it to bond with your kids like Neutron). I mean, you should do what you enjoy, but damn if I don't feel like I have nothing to show for all that time spent.

Like anything else in life, you're really just doing it for the thrill of the moment and the memories you take with you. I have some incredible gaming memories that made it all worth it.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:19 pm

Neutronbeam wrote:I hope not. I'm pretty old for a gamer (50+), but as they say, you don't have to be good at it to enjoy it. I've been doing Borderlands 2 co-op with Nanoflower from this site and this weekend he just embarrassed me--he was blowing stuff up before I could see it; totally dominated the map and I felt pretty useless while he p@wned. But I had fun, and videogaming means I have something in common with my 11-year-old son, and it gives me a reason to upgrade my rig. My wife just pre-ordered the next Borderlands game for my Fathers' Day gift, and I hope to be strategizing, fragging, looting, shooting, bagging and tagging for at least a few more years.

EDIT: Added "me"


LOL. That's not age. It's pure necessity (and panic.) With my character (Gunzerker) I've realized the only way to play and stay alive is to stay in the action. With Zero (and most of the other characters in BL2) you can't do that. So I am constantly trying to watch the mini-map and keep track of where enemies are coming from and still missing some and letting them get close like in Finks where a few were on the platform with us.. Also just look at me still discovering simple things about my character and what he can do even after putting in all this time.

It's a fact that reflexes slow down some as you age. Few of us are even capable of playing at top level even if we were in our teens. I could never play at the level of top StarCraft 2 players who manage 100s of clicks (and decisions a minute) but that doesn't mean that we can't have fun at any game.

As others have said the key in many games is understanding the map. Especially in FPS game. I remember trying a game of Counter Strike years ago and quitting out of frustration. I was getting sniped and had no idea who was doing or where. If I knew the map and weapons I might have survived longer but I had no idea and didn't care to take the time because it felt inherently unfair. That's also true with most FPS games in multi-player because survival comes down to knowing weapons/maps as well as your own response time. If you know the map and where people tend to go then you can take advantage of that knowledge regardless of whether you are slow or quick to react.

That's probably the biggest issue with age. As you get older your career becomes more important, you get a home to take care of and maybe a family of your own. All of those things lessen the time you have to play any game so even if you play only one game you aren't going to be as good as someone that has spent hundreds of hours and learned many of the ins and outs of the game. You can't be, and you shouldn't need to be. Good game design should give a new comer a chance (after some limited learning time.) If they don't it's likely that people will give up whether they are young or old since there's always something new being released.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:37 pm

geekl33tgamer wrote:This question has crossed my mind on a few occasions as of late, and got me thinking - Does anyone else ever think this, or believe you actually do?


I don't think you're ever too old to do something you genuinely enjoy doing. I'm turning 40 in a month, and I still enjoy gaming as much as I ever did. I don't have the time I used to have, but I still enjoy the time I can find. There is a dude that I always see in my local Panera Bread that plays WOW almost all the time, and he's well into his 60s. And he's pretty good!

I'm not talking about games designed for kids where I'm clearly not the target audience, I'm on about physically getting to old. In games that require fast response times, I feel actually like I am way past my best and the games feel like a steep learning curve, or a punishing lesson in how you can't quite cut it anymore. In games like Battlefield, CoD and Crysis I get nowhere - I will kill one or two, but will have died myself some 20+ times per game. I see the enemy coming, go to fire, but in the time just thinking about that I'm already dead.


Not yet... I can still do pretty well on fast response games. Mind you, I was never great to begin with, so maybe the bar is low :D

But no, I haven't noticed any significant dampening of my skills. Yet.

That's just one example, but in other games like racing titles I'm also pretty hopeless. I never used to suck this bad at games right across the board and still try to play them as much as when I was a teenager - The end result is very different though, and one that isn't making gaming a lot of fun anymore. I'm really curious to see what others think, does age play a factor, is it a lack of time compared to when I was younger, or is there some other factor (I'm just ****)?


For the most part with me it's that I don't game as much as I used to, and so it takes me a bit longer than it might have to pick up a new game and really get going... but once I get the controls down, I generally have no problem.

If anything, I feel like gaming might be a pretty good way to KEEP your reflexes and hand-eye skills from degrading... at least, that's what I like to tell myself... and the wife, when I'm justifying that new game purchase... ;)
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:39 pm

Do I think we get too old to play video games? Absolutely. We get too old for everything eventually, even basic tasks such as showers or bathroom visits :lol: . However, I do find that now that I've gotten older (I'm 25), I simply don't have enough time to play video games like I used to, and therefor I'm not as good as when I was 18.

Not to say I don't play at all, but when I was 18, I would say I used to put in roughly almost 65 or 70 hours a week in steam, and worked full time. Now between having a son, and working even more, all of my free time isn't really "free" anymore.

Heh, we all have to grow up sometime. I still enjoy them though, and will continue to play them for as long as I can.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:41 pm

Then you retire. I'm 67, be 68 soon and I play games. I can play all I want, anytime. I play ESO these day and it's a great deal of fun. I am learning how to play MMOs, well this one anyway and it's endless fun.

I was good at one time, in various FPS deathmatch games, Q3 was perhaps my favorite. You had to be pretty good to keep up on some of the severs and those skill atrophy rapidly when not used much. I can still field a useful fighter in many games but nothing like I was.

The combat in ESO is delicious, a real treat, and I play about 5 hours a day these days.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:55 pm

I'm not sure "youse guys" would count this as a game, but still my favorite thing to play on a 'puter is MSFT's Flight Simulator, alternating between the 2000 Pro, X and Combat versions. IRL I'm somewhat of a frustrated pilot.

The problem for me with various FPS games seems to be moving around, jumping, ducking, watching my 6, etc. Over the weekend, I played Wolfenstein on iPad, and nearly every shot that got me was from behind me. I think I (tried to) pick this up too late in life. The one exception is, if any one remembers the original "Descent" (~20 yrs ago?), I could move around in 3-space fairly well. On X-Box, and PS 1 and 2, I tend to prefer (ie, do well at) the racing type games. I thought I was good at Wii Tennis until my adolescent nephew kicked my butt soundly, though I beat him at Wii Skiing (to the extent that one can 'win' at that :roll:

So, I'm holding out for the "hat" controller that reads my thoughts, instead of my finger movements on silly buttons/keys/sticks - maybe 5 years away? Then, I'll beat everyone 8)
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:56 pm

Nope. You're just getting too old to be playing crap like CoD.

I find the older I get the more I'm bored with generic dudebro shooter after dudebro shooter. Nintendo's games are very refreshing for the aging gamer. I also like storydriven experiences like The Last of Us and The Walking Dead Game more now. And first person games that try to do something different with the perspective instead of just being shooty shoot-fests, like Mirror's Edge.

Most FPS's just seem to be excuses to play out male power fantasies instead of creating a deep experience.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:33 pm

End0game wrote:now that I've gotten older (I'm 25)
Nope. Just nope. (Edit: you have a hopefully long happy life ahead of you before 'age' is even on the radar, let alone an issue.)
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:44 pm

Most of the *twitch* shooters don't really require super-fast relaxes. They require good muscle memory and pattern recognition than anything else. The problem is that requires hours of getting a feel for the game in question. It is kinda hard to do when you have other real world responsibilities unlike most kiddies.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:47 pm

No, you never get too old to play games. My mother plays plenty of computer games in her 60s.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:56 pm

I think I was born too old to play games like Call of Duty. The game itself doesn't seem that bad but the community that has built around seems built on kids that love to denigrate anyone and everyone. That's not the sort of place in which I want to spend much time.
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:32 pm

Just like most others have said you are never too old to play games.

I have to say I used to be awesome with the original Battlefeild 2 that had the huge modding community. " I miss the modding community that went with it bigtime"
At that time as my primary rig I had a water cooled 4800x2 overclocked to 3ghz with x1800xt cards in crossfire originally displayed on a Mitsubishi superbright 22" superflat CRT that i upgraded to the Original DELL 24" 1920x1200 panel. My backup gaming rig was a 2.7ghz 940 pin FX-53 with a x800xt video card and both rigs had the latest and greates sound cards from creative # the time of building each rig "this was when on board sound was far from adequate. My main games I played were Warbirds that is a WW2 flight simulator, Nascar Racing 2003 sim from papyrus that is now the foundation of Iracing and BF2 with the desert mod. I remember i was crazy good at all 3.

I went and sold my 4800x2 system monitor at all after a year of use for $2800 to a friend of mine which was not a bad price considering the custom water loop and a $1000 monitor included. I then purchased 2 DELL HD Zino's with AM2 1.5ghz dual cores with 4 GB of ram and MXM based HD 4330 512mb video cards to use as HTPC's. Needless to say my serious gaming days were over. but the HD Zino's did a fine job as HTPC's with very low power usage.

Around 3.6 years ago I got the itch to play real games again so I purchased a 2600k with 8GB of corsair vengence ram, a Gigabyte P67-UD4-B3 motherboard with 2 EVGA GTX560TI superclocked cards in sli a 60gb Corsair force SSD for a OS drive and a couple HDD platters along with a H50 Corsair AIO water cooler and a Corsair TX850 PSU to mount in a HAF922 case all for a cheap price of around $1500 and I can truly say it was the best $ I even spent on a CPU and computer ever. Since The only things i have upgraded were my 2 560ti cards for 2 EVGA GTX 770 Classified ACX cooled 4gb cards and 4 black Cougar Vortex 120mm fans and I think i will be good for at least another 2-3+ years.

Now when it comes to gaming of FPS games I have lost the edge I used to have....I think it isa my reflexes that have gotten slower or it is just the way they are designed. But I would be after taking 5+ years off from gaming my reflexes Took a dump. But when it comes to flight sins and WW2 flight combat tactics I still have it along with the racing skills.

Bottom line is you are never too old to play. I mean for god sakes we had a 70+ year old guy racing nascar 2003 and going quite well and was a competitive and above all else a clean racer with courtesy on the track. I know I used to host the races on my 2.7GHZ 940 pin FX-53 with 2x 512 mb sticks of Corsair Dominator registered memory that I recall being very very expensive.

Keep On Trucking/GAMING :D
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vargis14
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:47 pm

I don't think you get too old, obviously senses and response times degrade with time but for most people it's not a huge barrier. These are my suggestions:
- Connect to servers with <100ms ping, ideally one which kicks players with pings higher than that
- Only connect to servers with the best anticheat measures
- Beware of pubstompers, you have no chance in a public game if you come up against an organised clan on teamspeak
- Learn the basic FPS principles: the minimap is your friend, raise your weapon/aim before firing, fire very quick successive bursts/single shots rather than continuous automatic fire, etc
- Configure your game right: disable V-sync, render at the native resolution of your monitor, get >60FPS, disable mouse acceleration, make the mouse sensitivity the same as on the desktop so you're used to it (i.e. distance you move the mouse to get from left edge of screen to right edge on desktop should be the same as rotating 180 degress in the game, on all games)

Beyond that focus is really important, if you're mentally tired or your mind is on something else it's better to not play a FPS multiplayer IMO - it just leads to disappointing performance. Do something else or play a different type of game where response time isn't everything.

Xizer wrote:I find the older I get the more I'm bored with generic dudebro shooter after dudebro shooter. Nintendo's games are very refreshing for the aging gamer. I also like storydriven experiences like The Last of Us and The Walking Dead Game more now. And first person games that try to do something different with the perspective instead of just being shooty shoot-fests, like Mirror's Edge.


I'm the same way. Ten years ago I was all about the FPS but it no longer gets my adrenaline going the way it used to. I like my games to have a little more cerebral involement these days.
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puppetworx
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:23 pm

When I was at the top of my FPS game in my teens and early 20's, I used to play for many hours straight each night. I'm pretty bad now, in my early 30's, but I also play much less frequently. Ability declines with age, but I think time spent playing is the larger contributor. In any case, I always enjoyed adventure games and strategy games. In fact, I played more of them when I was younger because there were more of 'em.
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FireGryphon
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Re: Do you ever get "too old" to play games?

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:44 pm

I can't play RTS games because of this, and I can't play many of the characters on League of Legends because of it. I just try to use my brain to outsmart the other team when I play LoL.
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