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Gaming When We're 64

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the old-gamers-frag-harder dept.

Games 132

Via Kotaku, a post on the Aeropause site about gaming as we get older. Richard has a great 'get off my lawn you damn kids' rant, and some insightful commentary on the problems we'll face as we get up there. From the article: "The other issue older gamers will face is the ever increasing difficulty of games. Games have come a long way since the simplicity of the A and B buttons. Today's controllers are becoming more and more complicated and require greater dexterity to master. While this is no problem for gamers right now, as we get older and lose some of our dexterity we will need to come up with ways to simplify the gameplay or the controller."

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what are they talking about (5, Funny)

nocomment (239368) | about 8 years ago | (#15930951)

By the time we're 64 we'll be able to control the games just by shitting in our pants.

Re:what are they talking about (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930994)

And nintendo will come out with a new incontenance powered controller, the Weemote!

And I, for one, welcome our new frag dealing geriatric overlords.

Re:what are they talking about (2, Funny)

kclittle (625128) | about 8 years ago | (#15931467)

I think you mean the "Peemote"....

Game controls (1)

Petrushka (815171) | about 8 years ago | (#15931554)

From TFA:

The other issue older gamers will face is the ever increasing difficulty of games. Games have come a long way since the simplicity of the A and B buttons. Today's controllers are becoming more and more complicated and require greater dexterity to master.

I guess he never played Defender.

Re:Game controls (1)

gatzke (2977) | about 8 years ago | (#15931959)


The sequel was even worse. More bad guys and an extra button.

Re:what are they talking about (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | about 8 years ago | (#15933397)

but how will we justify that control scheme for use in Duke Nukem Forever?

Or... (1, Funny)

creimer (824291) | about 8 years ago | (#15930954)

You can still play the games. But you still suck just like you did when you were younger. Some things just don't improve with age.

Re:Or... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15931041)

It just feels better cause you don't have any teeth :o

Who says older folks don't play games? (5, Insightful)

lkypnk (978898) | about 8 years ago | (#15930982)

Since when don't older people play video games?
I may be a young whippersnapper and know nothing about being "old", but my parents and grandmother play computer games. My mother loves Simcity. Do the big console companies not realize that the over-30 market is...well, huge? Back in the NES days, adults would actually play the console games. Maybe its just my experience, but that doesn't seem to be the case any more.
I don't know why that is, but I have a feeling the complexity of modern games and the reliance of so many games on reflexes (read first person shooters) puts a lot of would be casual gamers; I believe most people over thirty could be classified as the casual gamer type. Whatever happened to the trivia, puzzle and strategy games adults seem to love?
Maybe Nintendo's Wii will work its way into this market.

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (1)

skam240 (789197) | about 8 years ago | (#15931158)

Who says older folks don't play games?

Statistics do. Here's some research done by the ESA on the subject http://www.theesa.com/facts/gamer_data.php [theesa.com] . Only 25 percent of the 50+ age group plays games and you can bet the bulk of that group is clustered towards 50 years of age and less around 64. Certainly in the future there will be more older gamers but right now the number of people 64 or older playing games is fairly small.

wrong! (4, Interesting)

John Nowak (872479) | about 8 years ago | (#15931400)

You can't even read the statistics you're citing properly. That link says 25% of gamers are 50+, not that 25% of those 50+ play games. That's a huge difference, and indicates that 50+ gamers make up a large percentage of the market.

Why do I even bother with Games postings...

Re:wrong! (0, Flamebait)

skam240 (789197) | about 8 years ago | (#15932809)

well you are correct (sorry i was busy at work and misread the study) but my point still stands. Given that only 50 percent of Americans play games (from the study) and that only 25 percent of those people are 50+ the number of people 50+ playing games is actually less than 25 percent.

So congrats on being great and finding fault but said fault was irrelevant. You do earn an A+ for arrogance and being an ass (I would call it trolling) with your "Why do I even bother with Games postings..." comment, however. Thanks!

Re:wrong! (3, Informative)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | about 8 years ago | (#15933188)

Sorry, just to be clear: you're trying to claim that "12.5%[1] of all Americans" is a small number?

According to to US population clock [census.gov] and some basic maths, that means around 37437999 people are gamers of 50+ years old.

Which part of 37-and-a-half million implies "older folks don't play games"? Is it the part that's larger than the population of Canada [cia.gov] , or the part that's seven times the population of Finland [cia.gov] ?

So congrats on being great and finding fault but said fault was irrelevant. You do earn an A+ for arrogance and being an ass (I would call it trolling) with your "Why do I even bother with Games postings..." comment, however. Thanks!


Nice. Except that by jumping straight in and posting an unsubstantiated opinion, helpfully providing supporting evidence that completely negated your point, taking the time to dig up a web link but not even bothering with the simple mental maths required to realise that 12.5% of the population of a country might not actually be "fairly small", and your sarky and offensive response to a mildly-dismissive posting... well, I'd say you've more or less proved his point for him.

Good work.

[1] 25% of 50%

Re:wrong! (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about 8 years ago | (#15934662)

I wish there was a moderation category for "flamed beyond all recognition"

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (2, Interesting)

Traiklin (901982) | about 8 years ago | (#15932188)

that's a pretty big ass percentage there.

I'd like to see more games for older people to play come back. Before the current generation there were TONS of those games around then they went to the PC area but lost the multiplayer aspect of the game so kids could no longer play with parents.

I remember back in the NES days my parents were usually willing to play a game with me (naturally it was harder for them since everything went so fast) My dad didn't care for it (cause the two baseball games we played had weird rules, one was androids and if you stole a base you had to fight for controll and the other had kids that defied gravity and do special hits and what not).

My mom was more willing to try but she to had problems, She never really stopped gaming though. When we got our first computer (a Commodore 64 I think it was, her dad sold it to us for $100) it came with a couple of games but somehow we came across a magazine that sold ALL kinds of games for it and we ordered a couple and she played a few of them but her favorite one was Jeopardy cause it was simple to play (course the keyboard helped the most). She Still plays games but it's mostly just Zuma, Diner Dash, Mystic in ( a clone of DD) and stuff on Pogo.com.

She played all the Spyro games (except for those on the GBA & PS2) she completed the first two games to 100% to, So if they could get more games that offered a challenge but not to the point it just makes you want to quit (like Ninja "Bad camera" Gaiden on the xbox) they would keep more in gaming, just because a controller has a bunch of buttons doesn't mean every single one of them HAS to be used.

With the Wii though, they are looking at everyone for this, from little kids to the elderly to people who can't react quickly. Everyone can flail their arms around and being able to play a game doing that will make people feel happy.

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (1)

skam240 (789197) | about 8 years ago | (#15932847)

As good old John Nowak politely pointed out (sarcasm) I read the study wrong. The real amount is 12.5 percent of Americans 50+ play games (based off the numbers on the ESA report), which only emphasizes my point that not many older people play games.

I do agree with you, however, that the Wii controller offers interesting interface options to those who might not have the manual dexterity they used to have.

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 8 years ago | (#15933661)

"..had to fight for controll and the other had kids that defied gravity and do special hits and what not"

Super Baseball Simulator 2000. Man I loved that game. I hated watching & playing Baseball & I loved that game. I'm already seriously considering getting a Wii (& I'm not a console person), & if they remake that game or Smash TV I'll be completely sold....

Jaysyn

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (5, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15931161)

What's more, who says older people lose dexterity?

I play with musicians in their sixties on a regular basis and sometimes with musicians in their seventies and eighties. I wish some of them would lose some damned dexterity so I could bloody well keep up. I've also noted that a piano accordian is more complicated and has more damned buttons on it than any game controller I've ever seen (although the controller sounds better); and if you want a complicated "controller" just have a look at an Irish pipe player, pumping the bellows with one arm, squeezing the bag with the other, fingering the pipe itself, hitting regulator keys, stopping the end of the pipe against his knee while the other leg stomps time.

Don't you know how the old saying goes?

Use it or lose it.

You don't lose dexterity when you get old, you lose it when you quit.

"Doctor, doctor, I lose dexterity when I don't go like this!" Figure out the rest on your own.

KFG

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 8 years ago | (#15932037)

who says older people lose dexterity?

The Olympics?

-Eric

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15932352)

The oldest Olympic competitor was 72 years old, although it's true he didn't win.

He had to settle for silver.

KFG

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (1)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | about 8 years ago | (#15932175)

You don't lose dexterity when you get old, you lose it when you quit.

Fortunately, that's not an issue for ADVENTURE [forkexec.com] .

Jamie - will play Elite [wikipedia.org] if pressed.

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (1)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | about 8 years ago | (#15933201)

What's more, who says older people lose dexterity?


Doctors [wikipedia.org] .

You are right - exercise and usage can keep fingers (and limbs) limber for longer. However, it can also bring on RSI and hasten a loss of dexterity.

However, I think that "as people get older they lose dexterity" is pretty much unimpeachable as a general guideline.

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15933809)

However, it can also bring on RSI and hasten a loss of dexterity.

I know preteen musicians with that problem. Injury is injury. It isn't age related; except that with the wisdom experience brings older musicians are less likely to do that to themselves.

I think that "as people get older they lose dexterity" is pretty much unimpeachable as a general guideline.

In the sense that older people are more likely to have been hit by a bus, but being hit by a bus is not a function of age.

KFG

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (1)

PygmyShrew (618310) | about 8 years ago | (#15933641)

squeezing the bag with the other
Did anyone else read that as "Squeezing the bag with the otter"? There's me thinking... I gotta go see more live music! Seriously though - I agree with the above post wholeheartedly. My dad's 67 and plays sax and clarinet in at least three gigs a week, often lasting two or more hours. I'm constantly amazed at the speed and intricacy of his playing.

There are casual games! (1)

jarboy (653135) | about 8 years ago | (#15931479)

I just started working for a casual gaming company, bigfishgames.com. I didn't even realize there was a market for this sort of thing, but they've grown hugely in the past year, and the overall market is expanding as well. The main demographic is over 35 and mostly women. Go figure. The games are really cool, but you can play for 20-30 minutes and get something out of it, as opposed to most games these days, which take weeks (or longer for old farts like myself at 38) to even get started. Older folks don't have the patience or time for that. Making a game that can be played and enjoyed with little time commitment (and be fun and cool at the same time) is pretty challenging. Great job, beats the hell out of working for an ISP.

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 8 years ago | (#15932060)

Back in the NES days, adults would actually play the console games. Maybe its just my experience, but that doesn't seem to be the case any more.

Rookie. Back in my day adults would play the Atari 2600 and the licensed Sears Telegames consoles. I used to kick my grandfather's ass at the Atari boxing. My mother used to keep getting devoured at Pac-Man.

LK

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (3, Interesting)

PriceIke (751512) | about 8 years ago | (#15933911)

How much do you want to bet there's a huge boom in MMOs about the time the Gen Xers reach retirement age?

Imagine how easy it will be to take care of senior citizens in nursing homes then .. forget bingo and Scrabble, just plug them into their MMORPG of choice and just keep bringing em coffee (or soft drink, whichever) .. by that time you won't be wondering if that hot blonde elf you've been cybering is being played by a 14 year old boy, but a 70 year old codger in an assisted living facility. And hey, LAN parties every day ..

"Ms. Daisy? Time for your evening medicine Ms. Daisy .. come on, time to log off, the Covenant will be there in the morning Ms. Daisy .. now, Ms. Daisy .."

Re:Who says older folks don't play games? (1)

dolson (634094) | about 8 years ago | (#15934037)

Do the big console companies not realize that the over-30 market is...well, huge?

I'm pretty certain that it is indeed part of Nintendo's strategy with the Wii. And I daresay it's going to work, just from the excitement I've heard from people I know. Even my mom seems interested, and my mother-in-law perked up when I mentioned a Bob Ross painting game... Nintendo is getting ready to tap that market, and younger, under-30 gamers are going to win too. The more that I think about it, the more the name seems appropriate. I'm gonna be in the lineup overnight, waiting for EB to open. And I can't wait.

Dusting Off My Apple II+ (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about 8 years ago | (#15934629)

"Do the big console companies not realize that the over-30 market is...well, huge?"

Wait until you hit 35 your waistline will get wider too, you little smartass! ;)

"...I have a feeling the complexity of modern games and the reliance of so many games on reflexes (read first person shooters)"

My reflexes are still pretty good, it is the coordination of quickly finding the right key in a hurry that is hard. Using macro keys isn't a solution because I'd still have to find the right macro key (now what does M3 stand for again?). That is why I prefer roles in FPS games that call for patience and thought more than just twitchy fingers, like sniper or engineer in BF1942.

It is also a reason I like turn based games, or at least ones that let you pause, like RPGs so I can test my thinking instead of just my reflexes.

If you can still read the lettering on your WASD keys you are still a young'n.

Geriatric gamers (1)

crazyjeremy (857410) | about 8 years ago | (#15930989)

I foresee no retraining will be necessary. Grandpa's power wheel chair will have a USB plug into the computer. When he's done driving around town cruisin for hot grandmammas, he just plugs his cart in and plays with the chair's controller.

Re:Geriatric gamers (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about 8 years ago | (#15934748)

Wait until some old codger cuts you off in traffic and yells out the window "I own you beeotch!"

will you still need me, will you still feed me (2, Funny)

42Penguins (861511) | about 8 years ago | (#15930997)

It's obvious. 10 years from now, everyone will have neural implants for playing games and activating blast doors on starships.

We'll also have mass-produced flying cars.

Re:will you still need me, will you still feed me (1)

vinividivici (919782) | about 8 years ago | (#15931052)

It's obvious. 10 years from now, everyone will have neural implants for playing games and activating blast doors on starships.


Except it's already happening now.
RFID anyone?

Re:will you still need me, will you still feed me (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 8 years ago | (#15931758)

activating blast doors on starships.
It's a blast door. *sticks a second block of C4 on*

Re:will you still need me, will you still feed me (1)

revlayle (964221) | about 8 years ago | (#15934322)

"We'll also have mass-produced flying cars."

Yeah... but you'll have to lose a foot to get that

new joystick (1)

hurfy (735314) | about 8 years ago | (#15931008)

How about the fact that my new joystick is a fair bit stiffer than my old one was and makes my arm sore on long races :(

I'll leave the innuendo/jokes to the rest of ya ;p

hurfy
online gamer for 25 years :)

Slower Reflexes, Slower Games (4, Insightful)

dorath (939402) | about 8 years ago | (#15931012)

My dad just retired, and he's been playing and loving Diablo-style games since, well, Diablo. He has played any number of knockoffs, and seems to have found a new one every time I visit. In addition to those, he spends a fair amount of time playing RPGs and adventure games. He saves early, and saves often.

He also really takes his time. It's no race for him, and he doesn't have a problem returning to old saves. He's played Guid Wars with my brother and I, but he doesn't chat because he can't type that fast (I haven't got him set up on Ventrilo yet, bad son). He tried DAoC and EQ2, but he just doesn't like grouping with people because he'd rather take his time.

I'm guessing that as I/we get older, we'll look for games where we can take our time too.

Re:Slower Reflexes, Slower Games (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 8 years ago | (#15931080)

I'm guessing that as I/we get older, we'll look for games where we can take our time too.

Agreed. I'm only 28 and have been gaming since I was about 8 (F15 Strike Eagle, Gunship and all those other Microprose games). Now that I'm playing WoW, I'm just taking my time going through the quests and marvelling at how FREAKING BIG the game is. Even without monsters, I'm sure it would take you a good hour or two to cover the entire game on foot.

Re:Slower Reflexes, Slower Games (1)

reanjr (588767) | about 8 years ago | (#15932070)

Marvel will slowly turn to annoyance as you progress and find out that everytime you log on you have to travel for literally 20 minutes before you do anything. Unless of course you dedicate you life to the game like most players seem to and log in once in the morning and go from there.

Re:Slower Reflexes, Slower Games (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 8 years ago | (#15933883)

Marvel will slowly turn to annoyance as you...have to travel for literally 20 minutes before you do anything

Dude, I'm middle aged; I'm (literally) relieved when I've got a long multipoint flightpath coming up. My bladder isn't what it used to be!

It's like what TV commercials used to be, before TiVo and the like. The only problem is if you get delayed IRL longer than the flight, and you're flying into a PvP battlezone ("Tarren Mill is under attack!"). So you come back to a ghost. But PvP death isn't that annoying anyways.

Who needs reflexes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15931123)

Turn based, baby!

You'll take my 4X games from my cold dead hands! Literally...

Re:Slower Reflexes, Slower Games (1)

edunbar93 (141167) | about 8 years ago | (#15932730)

My dad just retired, and he's been playing and loving Diablo-style games since, well, Diablo.

Heh. My mom is in her 50s now, and she's been playing Diablo-style games since, well, *Rogue*. She still generally likes the RPG genre, and plays Baldur's Gate a lot.

Re:Slower Reflexes, Slower Games (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about 8 years ago | (#15934727)

My dad is a MS Flight Simulator fanatic. I even offered him some real flight lessons but he said he prefers the simulation! He also didn't think his heart could handle it.

I've offered to build his next PC for him when he is ready so he can max out the graphics. I've already bought him a yoke and rudder pedals.

"I'm guessing that as I/we get older, we'll look for games where we can take our time too."

As I get older I'm realizing that frequently just getting there is half the fun.

Answered his own question.. (4, Insightful)

jacks smirking reven (909048) | about 8 years ago | (#15931017)

From TFA:

Obviously the Wii is something that could be improved upon over the years, and just might become the senior's console of choice.

As Nintendo has already stated older gamers is one of their targeted demographics with the Wii, I believe we'll see less dependence on buttons and a stronger focus on immersion in games as motion control and "VR" type systems get better and cheaper. The gaming system in 20-40 years may have no buttons whatsoever.

Trying to predict anything about life in 20 years, much less technology, is a total crapshoot.

Re:Answered his own question.. (1)

John Courtland (585609) | about 8 years ago | (#15931138)

This is exactly what I'm banking on for my father, who just turned 59. He loves playing Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest games, but the buttons really screw him up for some reason. He just can't memorize X, O, triangle, square, R1, R2, R3, L1, L2, L3 at the speed at which some of these games require. His memory and motor skills just aren't there anymore. It sort of makes me sad because I know he just wants to smash more monsters without having to dick around with button combinations in some stupid puzzle to continue the game.

I think the Wiimote will work well for him, if done right. I'm hoping he'll just have to wave the dumb thing around, point at what he wants to smash, and click the button.

Re:Answered his own question.. (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | about 8 years ago | (#15931701)

The gaming system in 20-40 years may have no buttons whatsoever.

"You mean you used to use your hands to play games, Grandpa?"

Re:Answered his own question.. (1)

deviceb (958415) | about 8 years ago | (#15934158)

I expect quantum computing to be around when I am like 65ish. (28 now) At this point somebody better have invented full-on VR or i will shti my diaper! I expect to be semi wacked out of my mind by then so i just want to sit and chill in VR in a nice park with some sweedish girls w/ pigtails.

Assumptions (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 8 years ago | (#15931030)

Today's controllers are becoming more and more complicated and require greater dexterity to master.

I see one right there. The Wii is clearly an example of a controller that's actually become *less* complex compared to it's contemporaries. Frankly, I think we've seen the peak of controller complexity.

Re:Assumptions (1)

DesireCampbell (923687) | about 8 years ago | (#15933140)

I think we've seen the peak of controller complexity.

The devil's gamepad [arstechnica.com] .

Wrong issue (3, Insightful)

Sigma 7 (266129) | about 8 years ago | (#15931033)

Today's controllers are becoming more and more complicated and require greater dexterity to master.


No, today's controllers require a grip which does not comfortably fit in the hand when you want access to all buttons all at once (and a game that requires that probably shouldn't be released.)

Here's a quick way to handle most situations (assuming you have what I have, a Cyborg P2500):
- Left palm on left grip, right palm on right grip.
- Middle fingers on shoulder buttons.
- Left index finger on D-pad.
- Right index finer on 6-button array. Most often, you won't need to press more than one of those buttons at once.
- Left thumb on left analog stick.
- Right thumb on right analog stick.

Alternativly, rest the gamepad on a surface, and use another grip you perfer.

BTW, if you have dexterity problems arising from this grip, you'll probably have dexterity problems handling a simpler controller. Dexterity issues primairly arise from the D-pad or analogue controller, not reaction on when to press a certain button.

If you instead have arthritis problems, I can't comment on what to do then. However, you'll probably have the same issue from regular controllers unless you use a "non-standard" grip.

Re:Wrong issue (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | about 8 years ago | (#15931437)

I'm sorry what world do you live in..? D-pads and sticks very rarely have to be used together, so we just moved our thumbs from the D-pad to the left stick and TA DAR problem solved. Other than the D-pad-analog stick thing I've not seen pads change since the SNES. Hell I can't remember when I used the R3 button on my PS2 or the C stick on my cube.

The buttons are there incase the designers want to use them, that doesn't mean EVERY game uses all of them at once.

Re:Wrong issue (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | about 8 years ago | (#15932646)

D-pads and sticks very rarely have to be used together, so we just moved our thumbs from the D-pad to the left stick and TA DAR problem solved.


If you carefully read my posting, you will notice that I already stated that.

As demonstrated by games such as Goldeneye, you need to use the D-pad and stick to both move and look at the same time. While this doesn't represent most games, Goldeneye is part of a genre popular enough to make this significant.

Saying that D-pads and sticks (or two sticks) aren't needed to be used at the same time would be no different than saying that a keyboard and mouse aren't needed to be used at the same time.

The buttons are there incase the designers want to use them, that doesn't mean EVERY game uses all of them at once.

Games that don't use all buttons at once can be resolved by using any alternate grip. For example, laying the controller down, and mashing the buttons from above.

Re:Wrong issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15932698)

You are insane. Fingers for dpad and face buttons WHILE using thumbs for sticks WHILE using your middle fingers for the triggers?! Good grief what do your hands look like?

Also to use a dpad and an analog stick at the same time you use the left dpad and the right analog stick with your left and right thumbs. Not the left dpad and the left analog stick with your left finger and left thumb O_o owwwchhh.

Guess it takes all sorts. I even know people who play FPS's WITHOUT inverted y-axis on their mouselook! Insane!

The Beatles (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | about 8 years ago | (#15931039)

When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now.
Will we still be playing Castle Wolfenstein?
On emulators ported to WINE?
If there's a walkthrough on quarter to three [quartertothree.com] , with some ancient lore?
Will ya still RUN me,
Load-eight-comma-one me,
My C-64?

I could be handy, slip you a disk, when your drive has gone.
You can bunny-hop with the rocket tube, then go back to Quake and some DOOM.
Slower reflexes, arthritic grips, who could ask for more?
Will you still need me,
Duke Nukem 3D?,
AMD-six-four?

Send me an Inter-net through the tubes, stating point of view.
The night of the LAN party we'll take Geritol,
By Sunday morning, we'll pwn 'em all!
Well past my half-life, emulate STEAM, Duke Forever IV.
Will ya still phone me,
Will ya still pwn me,
When I'm 64?

Re:The Beatles (1)

Asm-Coder (929671) | about 8 years ago | (#15931573)

I have to say, I laughed my pants off. I don't think people focus on the positive on /. so, Thank You. (BTW: Is it ok if I sing these lyrics? I don't want to get sued.

Re:The Beatles (1)

nacturation (646836) | about 8 years ago | (#15932864)

Well done. Most attempts at parodying a song use half-baked rhythm and far too many syllables. With the exception of "The night of the LAN party..." line, it all flowed well. A suggested alternative:

"At the LAN party we'll take Geritol, Sunday morning we'll pwn 'em all!"
 

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15931066)

Snakes on a PLANE friday

Bollocks (1)

Captain Pedantic (531610) | about 8 years ago | (#15931086)

Only now are games rated in terms of hours gameplay. And what's considered a good game offers 30 hours. I challenge any youngster to finish, for example, Head Over Heals [demon.co.uk] in that time.

In my opinion, intelligent gamers just can't be arsed to play this modern rubbish, based on the same stuff as the year before, only with slightly smoother graphics. This is why the Wii will probably be successful. Not because it's Nintendo, but because it offers some actual gameplay developments over the previous 20 years.

Re:Bollocks (1)

arodland (127775) | about 8 years ago | (#15931622)

I really can't figure out what you were getting at, through the verbal jungle that was your post, but I leave you with two points.

1) I've played really great 80-hour games, and really great 10-hour games.
2) Hardware does not offer "actual gameplay developments". Games do. A creative producer will make a good game idea work on any system, and a crappy idea will be crappy even on the CoolThing 9000.

Re:Bollocks (2, Insightful)

Sigma 7 (266129) | about 8 years ago | (#15931713)

Only now are games rated in terms of hours gameplay. And what's considered a good game offers 30 hours. I challenge any youngster to finish, for example, Head Over Heals in that time.


Games within that era:
- Generally didn't have saved games. (Passwords/passcodes qualify as saves.)
- May have loading times between screens.
- May rely on manually creating maps to navigate around.
- In case of puzzle games (which were common at the time), cause the game's plot to be blocked if the person can't solve a given puzzle.
- Usually had a fixed number of "lives" (that emulates an arcade-continue system with a fixed number of credits).
- Sometimes did not receive the technology from the U.S.S. Framerate.

While Head over Heels does not experience all of these problems, these are the exact things that can prevent people from playing these old games (ignoring emulators.)

BTW, "hours" of gameplay is not a good metric for puzzle-oriented or adventure games - these games generally focus on puzzles where time to the solution may vary based on trial or error, logic, or some other tactics. Regardless of solving path, it just takes one deadlock that prevents the player from proceeding - unless he uses a walkthrough which disqualifies him from finishing the game within the 30-hour contest.

The same applies to the IFComp [ifcomp.org] , which scales games to two hours - it just takes one puzzle that you can't solve to force you past the two hour-barrier.

Electricity? Bah you kids had it easy! (4, Funny)

_Hellfire_ (170113) | about 8 years ago | (#15931103)

When I was a lad, all our games ran on Steam! [steampowered.com]

Games (2, Funny)

tgpo (976851) | about 8 years ago | (#15931127)

We may finally be playing Duke Nukem Forever by then.

Increasing difficulty? (4, Funny)

uucp2 (731567) | about 8 years ago | (#15931157)

Yeah, right. Kids today have it easy. When I was young, there were no such things as save or pause button. When your friend called you, too bad, can't come to phone right now mom.

Re:Increasing difficulty? (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15931195)

When I was a kid we played games with our friends -- by snail mail.

Ummmmmmmmmm, that's not a joke.

KFG

Re:Increasing difficulty? (1)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | about 8 years ago | (#15931506)

Of course, your bandwidth was billed per-packet too...

Re:Increasing difficulty? (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15931530)

Nickle a packet, but then you only needed one.

Really screwed up the game when the pigeon got lost though.

KFG

Re:Increasing difficulty? (MOD PARENT UP) (1)

Propagandhi (570791) | about 8 years ago | (#15931302)

Pity this point wasn't made higher up in the thread, as it's key to the discussion at hand. Features like pause and save game have made games considerably easier to beat than games that existed before such things were common place. I once beat Half-life without taking any damage (aside from the freezer) but can RARELY get passed the third level on Marble Madness.

Every game I buy now I find I'm quite capable of completing, with skill to spare no less. Older games will no doubt outpace me as I age, but I doubt the new ones will. As long as there's an audience there will be game makers to cater to that demographic and ensure that the games aren't frustratingly difficult...

Re:Increasing difficulty? (MOD PARENT UP) (1)

trdrstv (986999) | about 8 years ago | (#15932167)

As long as there's an audience there will be game makers to cater to that demographic and ensure that the games aren't frustratingly difficult...

I suggest you play F-Zero GX on 'Master Difficulty'.

Re:Increasing difficulty? (MOD PARENT UP) (1)

Reapy (688651) | about 8 years ago | (#15933789)

Or Ikaruga. I got the the 4th world after a lot of effort on my part, then put the controller down forever, because there was no way in hell I was ever getting past that rotating ship thing. Good lord.

Re:Increasing difficulty? (MOD PARENT UP) (1)

trdrstv (986999) | about 8 years ago | (#15934169)

Ikaruga and F-Zero GX are 'For Closers' [amazon.com] only.

Re:Increasing difficulty? (1)

xtracto (837672) | about 8 years ago | (#15933147)

Yeah, right. Kids today have it easy. When I was young, there were no such things as save or

Well, you may joke about it but if you played Ninja Gaiden (any of the 3) in the NES you know you had to play somethin glike 3 or 4 hours straight in order to finish the game.

To think that during vacations I used to go trough all the Ninja Gaiden 2 game several times (3 or 4) just to see the cut scenes (why didnt I just recorded them ? haha, well I was 10 year old back then). I spent all the day, no wonder why I am the way I am today =oP

64 years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15931240)

64 years should be enough for anybody!

I notice his list for 2042 (1)

jthill (303417) | about 8 years ago | (#15931249)

...still doesn't include Duke Nukem Forever...

foggie... (1)

7Prime (871679) | about 8 years ago | (#15931301)

I have a hernia!

I already have the games I've saved for my... (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | about 8 years ago | (#15931319)

...retirement. I have a big plastic box and within it are original boxes for each of the 35 Infocom text adventure games that were released. What more could I want?

Re:I already have the games I've saved for my... (1)

dhasenan (758719) | about 8 years ago | (#15931411)

A computer that can still play it.

Re:I already have the games I've saved for my... (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | about 8 years ago | (#15931480)

I expect that I'll have a machine M1 that can emulate a mchine M2 that can emulate a machine M3 ... that can emulate a machine Mn that can run them. I could just pack my Psion 3mx in the box - it runs all but the three or so graphics ones.

Actually it's not a big deal, the source code for Frotz [csubak.edu] is freely available and I have copies of all of the required data for each game. My only concern is that the scratch 'n' sniff [cs.uwo.ca] card that came with Leather Goddesses might no longer work.

Re:I already have the games I've saved for my... (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | about 8 years ago | (#15931548)

A really great eye doctor.

That was cruel (1)

PaganRitual (551879) | about 8 years ago | (#15931322)

It's early friday morning and the clock watching has already started until the 5:30 freedom call, and in my blurred 'havent had sugar/coffee' state I just assumed this was an article about the Commodore 64. I got all excited, and then I find out it's all about the few people that have actually grasped technology that wasn't around before they hit 30. (RIP DNA)

64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15931342)

When I first read this I though they were talking about 64 bit.

Get off my lawn you damn kids! (1)

MMaestro (585010) | about 8 years ago | (#15931364)

Shouldn't it be "Get off my server you damn kids!"?

Ever-increasing difficulty? (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | about 8 years ago | (#15931404)

The other issue older gamers will face is the ever increasing difficulty of games.

It seems that many older games made up for technical limitations on content by being very difficult. Donkey Kong for Atari 2600 is hard, because it has to be. Otherwise it wouldn't provide more than five minutes of entertainment. (One could reasonably debate whether it provides much more than that as it is, but at least it's still a good challenge.) Modern games are, in my opinion, on average less difficult because they don't need the difficulty to compensate for lack of content.

Note: difficulty is not the same as time required to beat the game. WoW can take six months or so to get to level 60, but doesn't really require much skill. Many 8-bit nintendo games, on the other hand, can be beaten in one sitting but require far better reflexes.

Re:Ever-increasing difficulty? (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | about 8 years ago | (#15931497)

I'd argue the point on some games which clearly go "this is going to be hard, don't even think it won't" like Devil may cry on DMD mode. But then most of these games also have much easier modes and allow you to get the game on a difficulty you want while still giving us "veterans" (ahem) a good seeing to if we want them to.

I think the problem with "todays hardness" is they have to do something a bit more each time. So where in say Doom you had to shoot your way out of problems, now we have to take it to a step beyond where you have to fight twice as many things and dodge around a maze at the same time. Think of it like feature creep, every game must add a new thing or extend something and so we've got to the point where we're forcing people to write entire books when all they want to do is write a quick note.

Personally I love hard games where they are straight out honest and go "we're going to screw you over, but if you're good enough you can still win", but I can see people who won't like that sort of thing. Back in the PSX era we had games which were better suited to the "other" (as opposed to me) type like Tomb raider, where you spent a lot of time exploring a little fighting or survival horror games which weren't action based (RE4 is action based IMO) which had their own set of skills required. Where did all these goto? They weren't hard once you got the hang of them, they just required you to hold your nerve and take risks (which games today don't seem to do).

But I'm drifting off course. The point is games arn't any harder, they just require more history to get into. In some cases this is good (RPGs) and in others it's bad (platformers etc.)

I don't think I've slowed down (3, Insightful)

ahenders (537057) | about 8 years ago | (#15931475)

I've been playing games since the late 70s. I started in arcades with space invaders and asteroids, then moved on to choplifter, wizardry and infocom on an Apple II. After that there was a Commodore 64 and an Amiga (the Amiga was great). I played Wing Commander and Privateer in the early 90s. I loved Doom and Doom 2.

In the last year or two I've played through Far Cry, GTA:SA and Doom 3. I'm now approaching my mid-forties and as far as I can tell I'm as fast as I was 25 years ago (if not faster). Perhaps some older people have difficulties because it's the first time they've tried gaming. I don't think kids are any more coordinated when they play for the first time.

I'm sure that I'll still be gaming in 20 years!

A story a while back on slashdot (1)

jpardey (569633) | about 8 years ago | (#15931546)

...At least, I think it was on slashdot. Those videos of the old woman playing side scrollers and stuff in her chair, swearing away at the console? Anyone remeber that?

Not sure where it is, but it was called "Old Grandma Hard Core" or something. You might try googling for that, but I won't.

Old Grandma Hardcore, red-neck game-playing granny (1)

Strolls (641018) | about 8 years ago | (#15932055)

Those videos of the old woman playing side scrollers and stuff in her chair, swearing away at the console?

... it was called "Old Grandma Hard Core" or something. You might try googling for that, but I won't.

Actually, I found the results of that search [google.com] to be relatively safe.

The website is indeed a blog called Old Grandma Hardcore [blogspot.com] and it chronicles Grandma's hospital visits and back surgery as well as her video gaming addiction. The lucky old gal even gets free shit from Microsoft, Sony & Nintendo, which surprises me a little considering how she refers to the bad guys in their games as "fuckers". [youtube.com]

Stroller.

Age isn't a problem (1)

cheese-cube (910830) | about 8 years ago | (#15931613)

My grandparents are in their seventies and they still play games. Of course they only play games like Myst but still they play games none the less.

My Mom and I (1)

edremy (36408) | about 8 years ago | (#15931618)

My mother is 72. She plays computer games every single day, often for several hours. She likes logic/puzzle type games: I've given her a bunch of the Everett Kaser [kaser.com] logic games which she and I both enjoy- she plays while my Dad gardens. (I highly recommend Watson's Map)

I'm 40. I picked up WoW the other day and I'm busy playing around with Combination and Hetheru, my warlock and shaman. I also really like the little logic games as a good break at work. Time is an issue since I have a job, wife and two kids, so I'm not exactly powerleveling, but that's fine.

Age doesn't have to mean that you stop gaming.

Gaming and Interest (1)

Milikki (103463) | about 8 years ago | (#15931732)

It doesn't seem to me that the problem with older gamers will be with the ability to control the games, the problem will be with the interest in available games.

I used to play a lot of games, prefering the arcade and adventure type. I enjoy games along the lines of pac-man, battlezone, asteroids, diablo (I-II), warcraft (I-II), starcraft and things like morrowwind. As games shifted more to the side-scrolling fighters and shooters, my money and interest went elsewhere.

Current generations will face the same problem when the next generation genre comes out. New style that just doesnt fit their interest and time to hunt the bargain bins for older titles.

Kevin

Only 64? (1)

SnowCzar (726517) | about 8 years ago | (#15932064)

I hope I'm gaming when I'm 128!

Get off my lawn you damn kids (1)

dougmc (70836) | about 8 years ago | (#15932372)

Get off my lawn you damn kids
While not directly related to the story at hand, I do have a question ...


What's the origin of this phrase? I'm seeing it, or variations of it everywhere, but can't seem to track down what it all came from. Some movie I'd guess, but I don't know which one ...

google isn't much help, as the (ab)use of the phrase has really taken off, and it's now everywhere, and it's hard to tell who used it first.

Re:Get off my lawn you damn kids (1)

some guy I know (229718) | about 8 years ago | (#15933167)

What's the origin of this ["Get off my lawn you damn kids"] phrase?
When I was a kid, back in the 1960s, we used to play outside.
That's right, outside.
I know that that seems unbelievable to kids today, but it's true; we used to play outside.
One of the places we used to go to was Johnny's Gully.
(It didn't actually belong to Johnny, but it was behind his house, so we called it Johnny's Gully.)
There was a shortcut we could take to get there that ran across this old guy's lawn.
Whenever he'd catch us crossing his lawn to get to Johnny's Gully, he'd yell at us.
Sometimes he'd yell, "Get off my lawn, you damn kids!".
Sometimes he'd yell, "If I catch you on my lawn again, you're dead! I've got a gun, and I'm not afraid to use it!".
And so forth.

Now, I'm sure that he's not the only person who ever did this, and it's likely that anyone who yelled things like that in today's Nanny State would immediately be arrested for and convicted of child abuse and placed on some sort of stupid government list and be forbidden from living within 1000 yards of a public school and all sorts of other nonsense that placates the public without actually doing anything to protect children, but this was back in the 1960s, when we could go play in Johnny's Gully a half-mile from home without adult supervision and our parents never worried that we might be abducted by some nutjob and I've lost my train of thought here.
Oh, yeah, I'm sure that many old people from that time yelled things like that to kids, so "Get off my lawn, you damn kids!" became a kind of indicator of crochetyness (sp?).

My guess is that today, either people don't care as much about their lawns as they used to, or, more likely, kids play more indoors and are on a tight parental leash when they are outdoors, so the opportunity to trespass on other people's properties is greatly diminished, leading to a corresponding diminishment of the use of that particular phrase in real life.
Nonetheless, the phrase is still used by people to indicate that a particular argument or point-of-view is curmugeony, or that a person is a curmugeon.

Whoa! (1)

edunbar93 (141167) | about 8 years ago | (#15932696)

Somehow, I suspect that by the time I'm 64, lines like this will apply:

"Whoa! Check out those neural kinetics! They're way above normal!"

And maybe video games are the cure for Alzheimer's. :)

Wii controller? (1)

Kuvter (882697) | about 8 years ago | (#15932765)

They don't even take into account the Wii controller. I wonder if we'll still have the energy to play some of the games like Mario tennis on the Wii. Think of a first person shooter when you're hand normally shakes up and down just holding the controller, that'd be a sight to see. Maybe by then we'll just play Uno with cards instead of on the Xbox1280.

Uh... (1)

Sippan (932861) | about 8 years ago | (#15932814)

This may come as a surprise to many, but there are old people out there right now as we speak! In fact, there is quite a large number of 'em - for some reason, there was a huge Old People Boom recently, an unexplainable echo of the Baby Boom 40-60 years ago...

Nintendo for young and old (1)

Snospar (638389) | about 8 years ago | (#15933248)

I reckon that the current crop of Nintendo titles would easily appeal to senior gamers for much the same reason that they appeal to younger gamers:

  • Bright, colourful, simple/cartoon-like graphics
  • Straight forward, easy-to-master gameplay
  • Comfortable controllers with simple game controls
  • Quick 5-minute games

I'm talking about things like Mario Tennis, Double Dash, Golf and such like. The concepts involved in these games have been around for ages; these are just the latest version. I've watched my kids from age 4 play these with their Grandpa age 65. The games tend to have multiple ways to control them - if you can only manage to use button A then the game copes with this and gives you basic control.

Plus, you're going to need the 4-way multiplayer mayhem of "Super Smash Brothers Melee" in that retirement home!

Re:Nintendo for young and old (1)

mario64 (573112) | about 8 years ago | (#15933677)

When I got a DS Lite, I took my old DS and a copy of Brain Training to my mum's. When I showed her that it did not involve button bashing as she had seen all her children and grandchildren doing when playing games, she had a go. Although I had got her using a PC, I had never got her to play a game before, but this time she looked to enjoy herself.

When I left her house, I forgot (my excuse) to pick the DS and charger up and a weeks later she is still playing it 2 or 3 times every day. She now texts me to keep me upto date with how her age is falling on the game. She has even been looking at buying Brain Academy...

Who's gonna live to be 64? (1)

dmsean (902837) | about 8 years ago | (#15934342)

I'm downloading myself into the matrix way before then!

When I was a kid (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about 8 years ago | (#15934545)

When I was a kid all we needed was the IJKM or WASD keys and the space bar, AND WE LIKED IT THAT WAY!

I'll go back to playing AD&D (1)

SABME (524360) | about 8 years ago | (#15934824)

When I'm 64 and older, I'll (hopefully) have the time to pull out the old rulebooks and funny looking dice and play AD&D like I did when I was in high school. Little things like working and raising children are getting in the way right now. :-)
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