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Jon Hamlin avatar 1:10 PM on 04.24.2013  (server time)
Am I Gettiní Too Old For This Sh^T: Getting Old With Games

Donít take anything you are about to read too seriously, folks.

Letís be clear about one thing: Iím 24 years old. But if you think Iím actually 24 years old, youíre wrong. If I am 24 in Earth years, that means Iím 37 in Gaming years. 37! Letís face it, gamers follow the same development trajectory tennis players do. We learn we like to game at an early age, and we do it lot, but we aren't particularly good at it. Then we become teens, where technique and reflexes are honed and perfected. Then the 20s come. For some gamers itís when they hit their prime. But for others, itís when reality, life, and age catch up with us. And by the time weíre in our early to mid-30s, the best of our years are nothing more than a distant memory.

Recently, I was playing Injustice: Gods Among Us for review, more specifically I was playing some S.T.A.R. Labs missions. Very early on in one of the Superman missions, I got stuck. For those of you wondering, it was mission 6Ö or maybe it was 7Ö see, old age. It catches up with you fast. What was I talking about again? Oh, right. So, I played this mission 46 times before I finally beat it. 46 godforsaken, fucking-bloody-puss, hissing-snakes-and-slimy-eels times! After I beat it I sat there, stunned into silence and near paralysis by a sudden feeling of inadequacy. Then I went into the online multiplayer lobbies and tried my hand at a few online matches.

My first match I was pummeled by someone playing as Harley Quinn. Oh, how my ego was not-at-all massaged. I narrowly escapedónotice I said escapedódefeat in my second match. I would then go on to lose the next four matches in embarrassing form. And I've always considered fighting games to be sort of my genre. I've always been good at them. Hell, I've even played them competitively before. What the hell is going on, I thought. Then I asked myself a question: Am I getting to old to be good at games?

Like I said, Iím 37 years old. I thought back to all the online multiplayer games Iíve played over the last several years. Battlefield 3? HmmÖ got my ass kicked at that one. Call of Duty? Which one? All of themÖ got my ass kicked at all them. Crysis 2? Ha! I could barely compete and Crysis 3 doesn't even give me a chance. Assassinís Creed III multiplayer? EhÖ it could be worse, I suppose. Starcraft II? Those matches are done before they even begin.

And I thought more, and as I thought more terrible truths made themselves known to me. I realized that the only games I tend to be ďgood atĒ anymore are ones with a single-player focus. Racing games, RPGs, Action/Adventure and turned-based strategy gamesÖ I can run gangbusters in those types of games. No! No! This canít be! How is this possible? Am I done?! Is this my life now?! And then the world went dark.

24-year-old me didn't want to believe what 37-year-old me had discovered. He fought it hard and very long for about 3 minutes and 27 seconds. Somewhere between getting up and walking to the fridge to make a sandwich and sitting back down again, I had made my peace. I was done forÖ I was now the gaming equivalent of Sylvester Stallone. My avatar is probably wondering around Xbox Live as we speak, mumbling incoherently and pooping in his adult diaper. The best of my multiplayer days are behind me, and with all the multiplayer features being worked into traditionally single-player games, wellÖ letís just say that I sucked at SimCity too. The simple fact of the matter is that Iím going to be a noob at everything I play for the rest of my life.

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