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When Did I Become an Old Gamer?

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Look for the six signs

[Promoted from our community blogs! Can you relate?]

No seriously, I'd like to know the answer to that.  When in the hell did I become an old gamer?  

I've had a lot of time for quiet contemplation recently and with my birthday coming up in 2 months, this question has popped into my head numerous times.  I mean sure 32 doesn't sound that old, but back when I was 18 and starting college...anything over 30 was pretty damn old.

As the years pass by, I find myself more and more looking back fondly on some of my old games.  Don't get me wrong, I love the advances of games nowadays, but as I get older I look back fondly on those gaming experiences and I sometimes yearn for yesterday.  

Yearning for the old days of gaming is probably Sign One: I've become an old gamer.

 

Back when I was 18 I couldn't wait to go out with friends and have a drink ( I know legal drinking age is 21...I'm a rebel) and come back and play the newest game until 300am in the morning.  Now I get home from work, sit in front of the TV, play some Gears of War or some such and after about 30 minutes, I'm exhausted, ready for bed, and cursing the sun for still being out at 600pm.  I haven't seen 300 am let alone midnight in probably 5 years, except for those late night runs to the bathroom due to my ever shrinking bladder.  

I guess this is Sign 2:  No more marathon, late night gaming sessions

I've recently found myself daydreaming about 2 of my favorite consoles ever.  The Super Nintendo and The Gameboy (The Gameboy was a beast and having something that solid in my hands just felt right).  I'm telling you right now, when the SNES Classic is announced, my panties will drop faster than they did on my wedding night.  I absolutely loved A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, Super Mario World. Illusions of Gaia was my freaking jam.  I miss those games!  Those were some awesome gaming experiences that I'll never forget.  My nephew's are now teenagers and into all this Call of Duty stuff.  I tried to explain to them these old Zelda games and Mario games and Illusions of Gaia.  They looked at me like I was one step away from being admitted to a nursing home.  "But Uncle Dere, those games are so old".  The youth today has no clue and no appreciation for old classics.  I weep for humanity.  

Sign 3: I'm an old gamer, weeping for the future of humanity and wanting to punch teenagers in the face

Back when I was in my early 20s I used to be able to run around for hours on end.  It didn't matter if it was 20 degrees or 100 degrees.  I could do anything for hours.   Now in the comfort of my home, I need to make sure I have a space heater, an air conditioner, and my trusty lamb blanket handy in case the elements get to be too much.  While I'm gaming if the temperature drops below 65 I shiver like a little Chihuahua.  If the temperature goes above 70 I sweat.  And then I sweat some more.  And when I'm done with that I sweat some more. The amount of sweat my ass alone accumulates would throw scientists for a loop.  

Sign 4 I'm an old gamer: Having a 5 degree temperature comfort zone while video gaming.

My body now makes noises that scare small children.  As am I sitting in my gaming chair if I stretch my legs, my knees and ankles crack.  It's like the whip in the Whip It song.  It's hideous.  Not to mention every time I stand up from a gaming session, I fart.  And not just some little stinker.  I'm talking a fart that reverberates through space and time, so that my ancestors past and future wonder what the hell just happened.  I am single handedly responsible for moving the Earth's orbit.  It didn't used to be this way.  Now I feel like a perpetual smell has invaded my gaming space.  

Sign 5: I'm becoming an old gamer, flatulence at unintended times.  (pro tip)

 

But undoubtedly the one thing that reminds me time and again that I am unwittingly becoming an old gamer is my constant bemoaning of games no longer coming with instruction booklets.  Call me crazy, but those little booklets we're my comfort zone.  They were like that big strong someone who held you and wouldn't let you go.  Nothing dressed up an already beautiful game like a svelte looking instruction booklet.  You show me a fancy instruction book with a game, I'm putting out on that first date.

Renting games was a blast because I could start the fun on the car ride home.  Reading through that booklet about the do and the don'ts.  The control schemes.  Oh yeah, I need to change my pants just thinking about it.   Most of the time I'd get home and instead of popping that game in the system, I'd go up and take a dump and sit on the toilet for an hour reading through that booklet.  Just like God intended damn it!  

Sign 6 I'm becoming an old gamer: Longing for the sweet instruction book.

But now thanks to the internet and walkthroughs those books have gone.  Kids nowadays with their instant gratification.  Oldies can be goodies.  And get off my lawn!  All I have is memories and this hole in my soul that constantly reminds me that I'm getting older.

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