Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Coming out as an older player in WoW

I’ve never ever lied about who I am in WoW.

I’ve never pretended to be younger than I am and I’ve never kept my gender a secret. Not that I walk around talking about it all the time uncalled for. There’s no reason to do it. But if someone puts the question I’ll answer truthfully.

You could wonder why. Why shouldn’t I enjoy the anonymity that WoW provides (to everyone who refuses Real ID)? It’s a role-playing game. I could take upon any role I wanted to and explore it to the fullest. I could pretend to be a 17 year old boy and see how far I could pull it before someone became suspicious. It would probably make it way easier to meld into parties, to become a worthy, accepted group member.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I haven’t seen any examples of open age discrimination in WoW (apart from possibly guilds not letting in anyone younger than 18, but I don’t consider that discriminating in its true sense.) But being older than 40 certainly isn’t meriting. While I’ve often been accepted without anyone making a big issue out of it, I’ve got the feeling that there still are a few of the younger players who would get a bit suspicious or bothered at the thought of playing with folks who basically could be their parents or grandparents.

I can hear their thoughts: What are you really doing playing WoW at your age? Shouldn’t that lady rather play the real stock market than AH, knitting scarves rather than tailoring spellweave boots? Maybe you’re having a secret agenda. Maybe you’re some sort of spy or Peeping Tom? In any case you’re probably a terribad player, because we’ve all seen what happens when grown-ups are trying to pre-programme the video recorder. Better stay at a safe distance from the wicked granny.

Being that old lady
Let me tell you a story. This is something that happened to when I attended the Swedish Peace & Love rock festival a few days ago. I was there as one of some 40 000 visitors for two reasons: One was to keep an eye on my teenage girls and see that they had a good time and didn’t end up robbed, hurt, smashed drunk and even unconscious as some of their friends who were there on their own. A typical parent/grown-up reason. Yep. I’m that too!

The other reason was different though. I was there because I enjoy music and festivals and there were some pretty good bands playing there.

Most of the time I did like the rest of the older part of the audience: I watched it from the far back, away from the crowd, looking at the big screens that broadcasted it. But for one band I did an exception. I had seen them live before, I knew they were good and I wanted to do what I used to back in the days, joining the crazy frontlines. So while one of my daughters looked after my handbag, I squeezed myself into a spot if not in the first line, at least very close to the stage.

It was cramped, but for some reason my demands for a personal sphere fly out of the window at concerts. We were inhaling each others smell in the almost tropical heat, and if it wasn't for all the noise going on I could have heard the heartbeats from my neighbour. Just as it should be.

As we were waiting for the band to start, I heard a guy in the 20s calling on his gf:s attention.

“Pssst!” “Look over there!” Do you see that old lady”! “She’s standing right behind you. There, there! Do you see her?”

They were talking about me. I smiled at them and waved to acknowledge that I heard them perfectly well. They didn’t wave back though. Obviously they thought they were visiting a zoo and they had ruled out the possibility to communicate with someone as old as I was, long time ago.

A little bit later another guy standing next to me turned to me. But rather than just staring, he spoke up: “Excuse me ma’am, but may I ask you how old you are?”

He looked at me with curiosity, but his eyes showed either pity or contempt, so I answered him truthfully and we had a little conversation about what I was doing here. I told him that I just loved this band and gave me a little bit of information about my punkrocker background, sharing some concert memories from the past. He looked at me with appreciation and raised his hand to make a high five. And then we went back to where we were, trying to keep the masses pressing on from behind away from stealing our spots. A few minutes later the concert started and we lost ourselves in the music, singing, dancing, jumping, sweating – and we could have been 5 years old or 100 – it didn’t matter, because we were fans and that was all that mattered.

Messing up the generations
But afterwards I thought about it a little bit more. Something has happened with the generation gap. It isn’t what it used to be. Remember The Who’s “My Generation”? It was old was I grew up in the 80s, but it still felt relevant at that point and I loved it (I still do). But what about now? Are their still any generation barriers to talk about? We like the same rock bands. We dress alike. And we play the same computer games.

It’s almost as if I feel a bit sorry for the ones growing up today. Have they still got any secret hideout? A territory where they still can claim is their own, something that the older generations don’t access and don’t understand? I doubt it. And maybe they miss it. Don’t we all need to revolt a little in some phase of our lives? But how can you revolt if your mother’s friends enthusiastically are bouncing side by side with you in the audience or pugging the same raid boss with you? Are we in fact causing a them troubles, preventing the kids from a natural personal development?

Maybe that guy who just pointed at me like an animal was distressed at my presence, making his own concert experience less “cool”. You can’t love the same music as a grey haired old lady, can you? Perhaps I should leave those kids alone, staying in the background after all rather than bouncing with them? I don’t want to mess up their brains, do I?

My decision to come out
I was talking to myself back and forward. And then I recalled another performance I saw at the festival, the 63 year old Patti Smith, who managed to enchant everyone in the audience, regardless of age. She sang with authority and presence and as opposed to many other bands at the festival, her messages about peace, love and freedom were more than just a pose. She wasn’t 20 years old, face lifted, with big boobs, a short skirt and a mission to seduce. She was the woman she was, standing there on the stage – simple, strong, intelligent, successful and glowing. I was so glad that my daughters were there to see it, hopefully taking her performance to their hearts.

I thought to myself: this is what it’s about. Patti Smith doesn’t hide in the back. So why should I?

No matter how convenient it could be to pretend I’m a 17 year old boy in WoW, I refuse to.

My musical taste has developed a little further, I don’t bother to make my hair spiky anymore and I don't tear my clothes into pieces, but in my heart I’m probably still a little bit of a punkrocker. I don’t need anyone’s approval. Especially not from zoo visitors.

Life doesn’t automatically end at 30, 40, 50 or whatever. You don’t reach a magical zone where you suddenly ditch all your former passions to start to gather grown-up-points, doing adult things. Your physical body ages – yes. The pain in my Achilles tendon after the concert is a testimony of that. You get more money at your hands as well, so I spent the nights at the festival in a hotel bed, rather than enduring the hardships of the camping site. But in your mind and heart you can be just as old as you decide to be.

I hope that my presence in Azeroth – a 42 year old woman and mother of two – somehow can inspire others not to be so wary about their ageing.

It's easier to hide your age in WoW than standing in the audience at a rock concert. But regardless, I've chosen to come out.

53 comments:

Ysharros said...

Eh, everyone knows 40+ is the new 20!

(It has better be, or I'm in trouble! :D)

Brian 'Psychochild' Green said...

I've been online for a long time and I've played a wide variety of games. I've met a lot of interesting people from all walks of life. I've said before, the thing that really got me interested in online was the fact that I could chat with people from England while sitting in a computer lab in the middle of the U.S. I've met people who are young and old, male and female and transsexual, white and black and all other sorts of nationalities.

Ultimately, I've realized that I could care less about what you look like on the other end. It's your words and actions (in a game, for example) that matter. I'm old enough that I don't feel the need to flirt with anyone who might hint at being female online.

So, while it's certainly nice to get a variety of opinions and not have the blogosphere be dominated by white males like myself (although I'm a bit older than the "average" these days), the size, shape, age, skin color, or reproductive organs of the person I read ultimately don't matter. Post insightful stuff and draw upon your experiences and we'll all be better for it. Sadly, I realize I'm in the minority here, but perhaps there's still hope that sometday distinctions will not put a wedge between people.

Windsoar said...

My very best friend in my first MMO was a 60+ retiree living in Florida, when I was 18. Until a few months in our relationship, the topic never came up, and by the time I realized that my "spear-sister" had grand-children it was irrelevant to our in-game friendship.

Would our relationship been different if I'd known from the beginning? Most likely. We would have probably had different conversations from the beginning with that barrier of age that requires "respect" that would have inhibited us from talking about the multitude of things that we DID talk about.

However, since it was a non-issue, we never built up that barrier of social propriety based on our age differences, and enjoyed a beautiful friendship based on who we were, not what age range required us to be perceived as.

Vigorless Fragmentary said...

I don't see the age gap having diminished, let alone disappeared. It's different than it was 50 years ago surely because society as a whole has gained more freedom and a sense of individuality. but in general today's teenagers still live in a totally different world from their parents, socially and culturally. the majority of adults I know doesn't try and reach down, be it that they can't, won't or don't dare to - it really doesn't happen so often. at least where I live the average 50 year old isn't listening to lady gaga, tucking his pants into his shoes and playing PC games at night. its true that the gaming industry has become a lot more commercial and their target audience has become a lot broader too over the past 20 years, but this can't necessarily be seen as overall social representative. let alone that huge part of the world that's separated from the wealth and education of western civilization.
even in wow people over 40 are a minority and wow has the biggest share of that market atm. so I still think you're "special" in the most positive sense. people should have the courage to live life the way they want, nevermind their age. but these processes take loads of time and this is only really the beginning.

Sephrenia said...

Yay for 40 something ex-punk-rocking female WOW players :) I think there's a few more of us out there than you would think.

Although I did prefer Duran Duran (and still do). Occasionally I paint my finger and toenails black like I used to, or fluorescent pink.

And I listen to loud music.

Carson 63000 said...

Since Wikipedia says Mando Diao formed in 1995, and the members were in other bands prior to that, I doubt that you were more than a few years older than the musicians on stage. :-)

nowiamtree said...

As a woman of 42, I sometimes wonder that myself. I remember years ago hearing someone saying about a friend once "what's grandmother doing here?" in a rock nightclub of all places. I was disgusted.

I act as I act because it's who I am. I may be serious, giggly, playful, thoughtful. These are all aspects of me, and they're what whoever connects with me in game gets. As a guild leader, I suspect it's seen as a good thing that I have a little age, a little more experience of life behind me. It's given me much more insight. And if people have a problem with my age, then they can go elsewhere!

Sephrenia, I hear you loud and clear! I do too! I even wear the odd corset and goth up still, if I'm given a chance!

Prelimar said...

*high five* from this 43-year old mage.

Aloix said...

This 37 yr old female WoW player loves this post! :D

And I agree, ingame I don't really go around 'flaunting' my age (or my gender) but I don't really hide it either (with guildmates or other people who I can tell are of the non ahole type).

Klepsacovic said...

At 23 I feel old enough when I see 16 year old players. I guess I don't feel that players older than me are all that unusual. My guild seems to be filled with parents, one couple even plays with their daughter. Though if my mom played I'd be weirded out. Then again, I feel it's weird that my cousin plays. Maybe I like having a separation between WoW and family.

Louise said...

That was a lovely post, enjoyed it a lot.

Dyre42 said...

I've got players old enough to be your mother in my guild.

Holly said...

being one of 'dem younger generation gamer girls in their mid-20's, I can safely say that I've never discriminated on age. I've discriminated on aolspeak 'lulz ur a nub 4 typing 2 many letters' lack of awareness 'durrr, fire makes my feet happy!', and general stupidness 'warriorz like spellpowerz!' I've always enjoyed playing with older gamers as much as I do people my own age. It's a game, and I see myself gaming well into the 90's when I'm on an IV, have an oxygen tank, and literally just beat my fist on the keyboard to activate the neural interface we'll all be playing with in the future (the keyboard is just to feel retro of course) and I hope I'm accepted then, if not, I'll have to show them what a beast I can be in some kind of deathmatch or something.

The very first person I ever talked to in an online game was in his 60's and a massage therapist, I met him during the diablo 1 beta. We went through the levels me going "look a shiny!" and him going 'gah, don't go that way we haven't even killed these mobs yet!" but we had fun and developed a very good relationship. I was very sad when the beta went down and we didn't have a way to keep in touch. So um, in short, live long and prosper older gamers, just don't force any of your terrible music on me! *hides*

Ngita said...

I normally just say older or older then you without getting into how many years or decades older. I have mentioned my specific age on a couple of occasions when others where being specific.

I doubt their would be any band at a rock festival that I felt was too young for me, on the other hand. Rap? no thanks.

Vigorless Fragmentary a 50 year old would have been 16 when apple started,18 when space invaders was introduced, 20 when Pacman and 21 when the pc was introduced. They did not really grow up with computers and games. On the other hand a few years younger? We did. We where the generation of the only band that mattered not the disco era.

Mind you people do change. A couple of years ago i met up with a old friend from 20+ years before, This had been someone who allways thought computers where for nerds and toys. He went off to be a panelbeater, and yet here he is with kids and a house and a computer room...

Keeva said...

Eh.. I always thought 30 was old when I was in my teens.. now I'm 31, I still feel exactly the same inside my head as when I was 19. Actually, I remember having a 31yo online friend when I was 24, and thinking she was so much older than me (not in a bad way, just in a mature way). Now I'm 31 and I look back and think.. this is no different to when I was 24, how silly.

I suspect I'll feel the same at 40, 50, and 60.. it's only the outside that will change. I'm still me.

In fact I rarely, if ever, ponder how old people might be (in game, or bloggers). Now that a few of you have said how old you are, I think "Oh, really? That's interesting" but that's the extent of it.

Kimberly said...

I'm 37 and the only time I'm self-conscious is when I get into a conversation with a player and realize he's underage and I'm old enough to be his mother.

And does his mother know he's talking to a woman of a certain age? Would she believe that we're only chatting about the best way to do the Emerald Void achievement?

Then I shut off the worry-part of my brain and go get that achievement. :)

Thela said...

The guild I'm in has quite a few 40-somethings, with me being 41. We tend to poke fun at our age and joke about who's buying who a cane for Christmas/Birthday gifts.

Outside of the guild my age isn't discussed, but I will tell how old I am if asked. I have gotten the occassional, "You're how old?" reply. But most who find out don't seem to let it phase them.

At times it can get frustrating/annoying playing a game that so many sub-18-year-olds play. But there have been times where being the "old fart" has had it's rewards.

At one point I was in a guild and there were two 12 year old brothers in the guild. I kind of took them under my wing (they both created hunters and I had been playing a hunter for a while). I helped them with gear, learning the class, showed them how to train a pet and so on. I got a kick at seeing how excited they were about the game and how open they were to suggestions and tips on how to play. Over the course of a few years they would whisper me whenever they got a shiny new epic or mount (we were in different guilds by then). They would whisper me just to say hello and chit chat and tell me that they got into trouble for whatever reason. I would kind of "scold" them and let them know that they did wrong and deserved whatever punishment their parents gave them. It kind of made me feel that by me letting them know they messed up they would see that their parents weren't just being mean or unfair.

Just last summer one of the boys (who are now going on 16) whispered me to ask me how to go about asking out this one girl he liked. I felt so proud that he valued my opinion so much on the matter.

I don't get to chat with them anymore as they have both taken their toons to the Horde side. But I still value the time I got to spend with them and teach them things (about stuff both in game and out of game). I would not have gotten to experience any of that had I not been the "old lady" in the game.

Kudos to all of us old farts that play WoW!!!!

Talarian said...

Man, I'm feeling young in this crowd at 27 *grin* The guild I'm in has people of all age ranges, from 18 (we're an 18+ only guild) to 70+, and I rather enjoy the diversity of opinion and view that such a large age range brings with it. I also note that most of our older members (not all, mind you) are more grounded and stable in terms of their play time and not guild hopping. Interestingly enough, though, the amount of drama generated doesn't seem to diminish with age. Guess that means I've plenty to look forward to for the next 40 years of my life :)

Larísa said...

@Several commenters:

It appears as if the commenting feature in Blogger is kind of broken currently. I've got notified about a bunch of comments that haven't appeared on the blog. I'll see if I can repost them below.

Louise said...

That was a lovely post, enjoyed it a lot.

Copra said...

Coming 42 at the end of this year I feel -in a strange way- proud that my daughter and son (16 and 15) want to play WoW with me and even ask for pointers from time to time. As it happens, they both have started to play on a toon on my account after seeing me play.

I find it hard to be as old as I am and with as limited play time as I have, compared to the more zesty and more selfishly dedicated younger players. As I don't have any interest in bragging, putting my self in front of anyone else and trying to live by the rules set by the game, I feel left out in more ways than one in the game.

For me the game is relaxation after work: I get enough competitive environment in my work to be competitive in the game, especially against other people or their accomplishments.

Recently I've noticed that I'm alone with my thoughts about the end game being still mystified and confined to the people who are raiding, leaving us real casuals who pay for the whole show out of the 'main' content all together. It seems that everyone else is raiding... and those who are not would be if they had the chance.

I suppose we are in fact a growing majority of the games population, we who have grown up with the text based adventures and prehistoric computer games with real stories, permanent death and running the same content several times to overcome that one obstacle killing us time and again. And the more we have done that, the more the current games seem 'easy mode' and not challenging enough...

C out

spinksville said...

I'm 42 and I was an indie kid, dammit! Err, possibly still am.

My husband is in a prog band (www.tinyfish.org) and actually when I go to his gigs I'm usually one of the younger members of the crowd :) I also bet that if you went to somewhere like Glastonbury, no one would dare comment on age.

Korenwolf said...

I'm a similar age to you (ok, base20 became a viable option this year and I'm looking forward to my 21st next year ;), I've not explicitly said what my age to anyone I've not already shared a RL beer with in WoW but dropped enough information within the raid group (Tank ftw) for them to work it out, but both my home guild and the raid group have age ranges from mid-teens through to 50's. All are damm good players, enjoying the game in their own way.

Let's face it, as a friend of mine once pointed out, my teenage self is seething with jealousy over the cool toys my adult self gets to have thanks to the changes in tech.

Dwism said...

Video-recorder? what the fudge is that? I highly doubt any kids today remember vhs.

Anyways what I wanted to touch on is the youth revolt. Or lack theiroff. It is part of a very long discussion that i'd rather not dive into. but in short i do think that generations since the punks in the 80's and the grunge in the early 90's have found ways to revolt in their own ways. Most of these cannot do a uniform revolt, since their parents are so different. You do not have the same upper middle class surburbia to fight, because most parents these days listened to NWA or Nirvana or AC/DC in their youth. So the way that they can revolt is by going full-fledged corporate. No bars full out "here is everything about me". They don't give a fudge about REALID, face-book info. Their phone-number. Mailing nude photos to each-other. Showing boobs for a happy-meal.
Or go on reality tv and have sex on screen (paradise hotel for example). There are still plenty of ways for the next generation to revolt and upset us old people.

And possibly one of the more sneaky ways of disturbing older generations is by not caring that they play their video-games, go to their concerts of facebook-friend them.
I know I'm disturbed as fuck when my 16 year old cousin writes about how drunk she got last weekend (and who she ended up going home with), on facebook. Knowing full well that both her parents and our grandmother is reading that too.

Stabs said...

I think you're preaching to the choir here Larissa, there's probably more 40+ bloggers than >20 ones.

Yeah I've never hid it. One of the coolest people I've ever played with was 69 - she liked to play Barbarians in Diablo 2. I believe it's just normal and 17 year olds who aren't comfortable with it are weird.

I'm 45 and I don't imagine I'll ever not play video games.

Daergel said...

omg all these old people makes me feel quite young!

I did get into a conversation the other day though where ages were discussed - there were three of us in a party (very possibly afer a pug) and one of the players was 12, which made the 20-something say something along the lines of "that makes me feel old"!

When I told them I was 38 and that I have a 12 y-o son (I didn't mention my daughter!) you could almost see both their jaws drop!

Pangoria Fallstar said...

I don't know why, maybe because I'm american or some stupid thing like that, and therefore know nothing of the outside world. But half way through reading your post, the voice in my head became that Sharon Osbourne.

Go figure....

Larísa said...

@Ysharros: … and once we ding 60, we push the limit forward, right? :D
The secret? We ate some “krumelur” pills offered by Pippi Longstocking, providing you with eternal youth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pippi_Longstocking

@Brian Psychochild Green: I think unfortunately our need to label, categorize and become strangers to certain groups is quite well founded. The tribe mentality is strong. It’s not just age that makes a distinction. Dressing up in a suit at that rock festival would have rendered the same zoo-look I suppose. But yeah; I’m all with you. I think that MMOs are breaking down the walls and the boundaries on our way to the far distant future when Starfleet values rules the universe… :)

@Windsoar: What a lovely story! Thanks for sharing. And what a good thing that your age never came up that early, preventing you from becoming friends.

@Vigorless Fragmentary: Yeah, I think it differs a lot, not the least between major cities and the rural areas. My impression, at least from where I live, is that the adults in rural areas often are more adult-like in their approach than the urban forever-teenagers.

@Sephrenia: Duran Duran!!! Yak! ;)
I actually use earplugs these days (I’ve got enough of tinnitus from attending concerts in my youth. Although I must admit that I pulled them out for the concert where I was close to the stage… And it actually wasn’t as bad as I had thought: the ones who arranged it followed the guidelines put up by the Swedish health authorities.

@Carson 63000: According to the Swedish article the members are born somewhere around 1980-1982.

@Nowiamtree: Yeah, that’s how I feel too. We have all those different sides inside us. We’re like the sunshine broken into a crystal, creating all sorts of colors and patterns. It’s all there as a potential. Some of us grab it, embracing the “childish” impulses as well as the “adult”. But not everyone can grasp that.

@Perilmar: *high five*!

@Aloix: Thanks!

@Dyre42: Oh, I hope it isn't my mother.... THAT would be embarrassing! (Just kidding!)

@Keeva. I’m in a pendulum movement between 17 and 87. And occasionally I’m at 42 as well. One thing happens as you grow older: you get a different, more flexible view on age.

@Kimberly: Yeah, to be honest, the thought has come up sometimes. “What would that boy’s mother think”. But only for a second. Then I push it a away and we get back to what we were doing.

@Thela: Kudos to you! That’s an awesome story! I try to not slip too much into the “mother role”, but sometimes it’s kind of inevitable. And it can actually be very rewarding. Just like being a parent for real is.

@Klepsacovic: I wouldn’t mind my mother playing another MMO; as a matter of fact it would be a great thing for her to do, she has way too much of time at her hands as it is. But WoW… hm… I’m not so sure I’d like that. Maybe if she was an another server. Come to think of it; imagine the amount of family drama the Real ID thing could cause from this aspect… refusing to become real ID friends to a relative since you’d rather play alone and incognito…

@Louise: thanks!

@Holly: Hehe! Yeah I guess the homes for elderly will look pretty wild compared to the ones we have now. Imagine the 24 hour LAN parties you could have going there! With some super-big screens ofc so you don’t have any problems with the high resolution you need to see stuff…

Larísa said...

@Ngita: I’m with you about the rap, sad to say. I’ve never been able to take that too my heart. But I’m not sure it’s about age. There was music styles in the 80s that I didn’t like at that point either. Some music just doesn’t attract you.

@Vigorless Fragmentary: Yeah, I think there’s a difference between those born in the late 50s and the late 60s/early 70s. Most definitely. Funny to hear about your friend. And that’s true. Just look at me! I never was into gaming or computers at all and now I’m sold out on it…. In a matter of three years. It’s never too late to try new stuff in your life.

@Talarian: 70 year olds! Wow! I’ve seen occasional articles about it at wow.com, but never encountered one myself. As far as I know of of course, they might be hiding. And yes, I’d dare say you have a lot to look forward to!

@Copra: Great to hear about your kids playing! Ever considered getting a second account so you could do it together, as a family?

I’ve never thought much about if there is a different playstyle and different expectations coming from different generations of players. Are the younger ones really more selfish? And do they always have more time at hands? I’m not entirely sure about it. I think that older players might have a tendency to be more planned in their playing since they have a lot of RL obligations to tend to. But I’m not so sure they’re more casual and less into raiding. Hm. I’m not sure if that huge project… what’s it called… Daedalos or something like that… if it ever covered that.

And by the way: even if we’re the same age, I’m not grown up with games like you are and therefore I’m not so fussed about WoW not being harsh and difficult enough. Permadeath? No thanks. I’ve got enough of permadeath in my life to look forward to in a not-too-distant future…

@Spinksville: I actually red an interesting opinion article in a major newspaper in Sweden, where they discussed how it’s way more grown-up in UK than in Sweden. I let Google make a translation of it which I hope makes sense.
http://translate.google.se/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=sv&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.svd.se%2Fkulturnoje%2Fnyheter%2Fhultsfred-dog-i-jakt-pa-kidsen_4943589.svd&sl=sv&tl=en

He really has a point.


@Korenwolf: Yeah, agreed! Oh, especially growing up in Sweden where we had two government TV channels which showed cartoons about 1 hour a year or so, on Christmas eve. And look where we are today! I could never, ever have imagined I was to live my life in an amusement park.

@Dwism: gah… I should have written DVD recorder. But I suppose you understood what I meant.

Your ideas about where to find the revolt of today are interesting and I think you’re pretty much right about it. Showing your boobs on facebook IS very provoking to me…. Food for thought.

About facebook: I’m not using it myself. The rest of my family does though. And interesting enough my 16 year old daughter stubbornly refuses to become “friend” with her father. But on the other hand he’s a friend with many of her friends. Which annoys here incredibly. I’m not sure who is revolting to who in this case.

@Stabs: Hehe, yeah it seems so looking at the response. There are more oldies around in the blogosphere than I might have realized.

@Daergel: Only 38! Kiddo! :)
And yeah, all those “I feel old” comments you here from 23 year olds are quite funny.

@Pangoria Fallstar: Maybe it’s because I’m European or some stupid thing like that, but I don’t get that comment at all. I must admit that I’ve never watched the series about the Osbournes so I don’t know about her at all. But I looked her up at Wikipedia and from what I saw it was hardly someone that I could identify with. We don’t have anything in common as far as I can see it. I’m missing something? Should I feel insulted? I’m just clueless.

spinksville said...

Larisa: Cool article. I suspect he may be exaggerating a BIT about the 5 star hotels, but it's definitely true that the festival scene in the UK is adapting to a more family oriented and older audience... and to older performers too. (Some festivals were always more family oriented -- folk and world music, for example.)


This is the sort of setup available at our local rock festival for example, which is one of the biggest in the country.
I hope we're not inadvertently ruining it for the kids, if only because things are getting more expensive. But honestly? People are resourceful and kids are resourceful too. I think they'll be ok and hopefully will appreciate better kept camping sites and food that doesn't give you food poisoning when enjoying their music festivals too.

Anonymous said...

Original Adam Ant, Celtic Frost and Black Flag FTW!!!!! The kids talk about getting punked nowadays - give me a f'n break!

That's right, you whipper-snappers, us golden oldies know all about THAT scene - WOOT! Just because we don't punk it down old-school style, doesn't mean we walk around cluelessly. In fact, I remember this one time.........nevermind, I don't really remember it that well and you wouldn't understand; needless to say it involved a riding whip, a raccoon and twins from Barbados.

Ahem, anyways. Great post, keep 'em coming, old girl - and keep going to the front of the stage - just because we're growing old doesn't mean we have to grow up!

SpiritusRex

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Good for you. But you are still just a kid from my 59 year old perspective.

Larísa said...

@SpiritusRex: If I recall it right I listened to maybe a slightly weird mix of punk/new wave band which for instance included The Exploited, Stiff Little Fingers, The Jam, The Clash, The Stranglers... Mostly UK bands. But also Swedish that I don't expect you to ever have heard of like Ebba Grön. I still know the lyrics of many of their songs by heart.

Here's an example. You won't understand a word of it of course, but you'll hear the energy... They were brilliant live.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTxajd7O7xQ&feature=related

Oh, the nostalgia!

Ratshag said...

All the cool kids is 42 these days.

Actually, the Purge is built around a group of us buggers what started playing D&D together back in the mid-80s, so 40-45 is the norm fer us. We was nerds then too, though, so not much has changed fer us. We move a little slower than yer typical guild, since one night a week fer mebbe two hours seems ta be the most we can regularly manage what with jobs and kids (and grandkids) and all, but we still has funs tagether and is still makin' progress. And I figger that be what counts.

Ysharros said...

@Larísa -- <3 Pippi! She was a huge part of my youth, as were other Astrid Lindgren chars. And the Moomins, oddly enough.

Apparently I'm strange. (But not Scandinavian, just for the record.)

More on-topic, I think Stabs is right. The blogging crowd certainly seems to be older. We're just THAT much smarter. So NYYEEEERRRRHHH!

Cap'n John said...

I think Gabe & Tycho's thoughts on this meld beautifully with yours :)

Gronthe said...

The guild I found myself in shortly after reaching level 80 had, at it's heart, a majority of players over 30. This was welcome to me, being 34 myself, and it surprised me, but pleasantly so.

I've never had a negative instance regarding my age. I enjoy playing with older people, I think simply because I have more in common with them. It's even better now that I know there are so many "older" people playing WoW, I actually don't feel a bit of social insecurity like I did when I first started playing this game.

I wonder if I'll ever play the same games as my grand-children will...when that time comes. Knowing me and my love of diversions, I probably will and will love it.

Linda said...

I am a 47 year old woman, married with four grown kids. I have played WoW since it came live. I played as a way to keep in touch with my husband while he was stationed elswhere and my kids as well. They played. The majority of feedback was positive. Most wished their parents would play with them on the game, so most thought it was cool. The Guild Im in are all adults as far as I can tell.. I would say the median range for age is about 30. I don't lie about my gender or my age. what is the point? I embrace it, i can't change it any. High Five to the pple who refuse to let age be a barrier to experiencing life..

Klepsacovic said...

About the comments, it looks like they were very delayed. Maybe Blogger's having a bad day; on my last post my comment count is three less than the actual comments. Sometimes that seemed to happen with it not counting anonymous comments, but none are anonymous.

Redbeard said...

You're 42? Wow! You're older than me!

...by one year. ;-)

We old folks have to stick together!

Copra said...

@Larísa: sorry, but I didn't state clearly enough: my two oldest kids have their own accounts and I even brough my daughter to SAN so I can play with her. We do have our gather arounds, but their characters aren't high enough yet to include them in to our brotherly "three stooges" adventures... but knowing them, it won't take long.

C out

chaakyar said...

Awesome post! Can so relate to this.

Larísa said...

@The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure: Thanks for that! Puts some stuff into perspective.

@Ratshag: It sounds like a great place to be!

@Cap’n John: Good finding, thanks!

@Gronthe: Hopefully you will. Even though there still may be generation differences I think it will be easier to activities that you will enjoy together than it might have been back in time.

@Linda: High Five to you too!

@Klepsacovic: Yeah… very weird stuff going on with comments. Which is a bit annoying when it coincide with a post which gets a lot of comments…

@Redbeard: to be honest I’ll be 43 this year. But not until December so…

@Chaakvar: Thanks!

Scarybooster said...

Pure awesome post! I have been dating a woman 12 1/2 years younger than me so I always feel young. When I first started dating her, some of her friends were pissed. One friend would not even talk to me or even look at me. Her father accused me of having police report for domestic violence and said I was only dating her because I'm a player. I am none of those things and plan on marrying her. Some people just don't get what life is about, love and fun.

Russ said...

Excellent article. Older than the writer here by some 30 years I still find time to enter dance halls (mainly Montréal) to dance the night away. Those who look at me askance don't appear in my vision. Those who do dance with me. I love it and am giddy for it.

One can see life anew and still share a maturity with others.

Russ

Blackwater Park said...

I'm older than Gwen Stefani, younger than Madonna. I play Wow. I listen to Norwegian Black Metal (was a very committed punk when younger). This is my culture. It's been my culture for a very long time. I don't fit the norm, but in a way, also, I think I do (except for the music, which most people, young and older, can't tolerate, hehe), but most people wouldn't know it, which is a problem.

In one form or another, I've been gaming since my teens. WoW is just the latest and rather ultimate expression of it. So has my husband, my sister, my brother, and several RL friends. My guild is full of people in their late 30s through 40s, maybe even in their 50s. We're all gamers. We've all been doing it since we were young. We also all of us grew up reading sci fi and fantasy--cut our reading teeth on the stuff.

Why should any of us give this up just because we're not 20 anymore? It's what we know, it's ours, it's what we helped make.

It's painful, though, not just to feel the old pressure from the parental generations to give up "childish" pursuits like games and music, but also to feel pressure from teenagers and people in their 20s who also think we're doing something we shouldn't be.

I do wish we could break the stranglehold of young adult males and the young in general on ownership of WoW and gaming. It's not right, it's not fair, and it's not even accurate. They didn't invent gaming, they inherited it from several preceding generations, and many, many different kinds of people play Wow. Real generational gaps in music and gaming exist, which is ok in my book. It's all viable, and we needn't merge them. I'm certainly not giving up my metal for Lady Gaga.

Anyway, thanks for being so open and honest about being an older player. It's one of the main reasons I come here to read.

chewy said...

I'm a bit late to the party (probably my age) but I really enjoyed that post L.

49, married, children all the usual stuff you'd expect and I play WoW because I enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

49 pushing 50 Druid here and have no plans of giving up playing video games anytime soon.

Judgëment said...

My Guild is made of a family. We know each other by real name, and could care less what outsiders think of our shared closeness. Typically, our lineup is made of members over 18, simply because I've noticed less steady behavior out of the younger crowd. We work as a family, farm mats as a family, help craft as a family, instance/raid/gear as a family. We put in our work with a smile because we know we'll be there for each other no matter what. I know this sounds tacky, but if you're ever in need of a family... Age is nothing; experience and maturity is everything. Just say the word. hereticbliss@yahoo.com

M.Moore said...

I'm 57, I play wow with my wife, 56. All three of our kids play wow, 34,32,28. Their spouses (except 1) plays. My 16year old granddaughter plays wow.

Video games have been shown, in studies, to activate parts of the brain that otherwise experience diminished capacity in older people. In other-words WoW can actually help keep your brain youthful. I refer you to 'the brain science podcast'.
I am particularly interested in WoW as a potential therapy for elderly in care facilities. I know several players who have physical disabilities. These people are greatly helped by having a virtual world where they can run and jump and seriously kick some ass. The human mind is able to suspend disbelief. If you've ever felt yourself boosting up in your chair as you jumped over an attacking mob, you know what I mean. So, if you are young, urge your elders to give WoW a chance. (... all we are saying ... is give WoW a chance) It's not only fun, it's good for them.

Irmie said...

It's funny to read the whole article, then find out you are only 42. Our guild is primarily people in their 30s who have jobs and kids and a lot of real life on the side. Vent is definitely not appropriate for the lower than 18 crowd on some nights.

On other nights, we are sharing recipes, talking about caring for our aging parents, and generally acting like a bunch of 25 to 56 year olds. Exactly what we are.

I love my guild especially because we can relate to one another. I find us 'older' folks are more biased against the kids, then the kids are biased against us. Us grumpy old people - makes me laugh.

Twan said...

Meet you @ the punk rawl show!

Bikutanda of Nazgrel said...

Jolly good post!

I am 59, and played Everquest for 5 years before moving to WoW.
My guild has a minimum age limit of 25 years old. We have many parents and grandparents in the guild. Nothing wrong with "older" folk enjoying MMO's.