Had you asked me in my mid-twenties whether I thought gaming would still be an integral part of my life when I turned the corner around forty, I have to admit that I would have said no. I think this probably says more about how little I understood at that age what being forty was going to feel like — in that as far as I can tell, I feel emotionally pretty much like I did in my twenties — than it does anything about how much I cared about gaming.
You have to understand, gaming still might have been a fad for me around age 25. I was a gamer during my childhood, but then for a variety of reasons I took a long hiatus from the pastime. During high school there were several years where I had neither a PC nor a console, and any games I did play found themselves along the fringes of my life. I might read the occasional PC Gamer or get in a game of Joe Montana Sports Talk Football at a friend’s house, but during a big chunk of what was arguably the golden age of PC gaming, I was fully invested in a social life that had no crossover and didn’t give video games much of a thought at all.
For five or six years, I left behind what I had perceived as a childish pursuit and a social albatross around my neck. Which is interesting because it’s only as I grew up and matured that I was comfortable letting video games back into my life. And even then, it was only slowly at first, and not really until 1997 or so that I would think to self-identify as a gamer.
So, rounding the corner of my mid-twenties, no — I figured this would all be over again in another handful of years. Color me surprised, now in the last two months of my thirties, that I am still an eager and insatiable gamer. I guess, should you ask me if I’ll still be playing when I’m 60, my answer will be a horrified, “Wait! I’m going to turn 60 someday?!”
Several hours later I might be calm enough again to say, yeah. I guess at this point I’ll probably still be gaming straight on into retirement.