One of my guildies recently posed a question that boiled down to “Is it weird for a 42 year old guy to play DnD with 20 year olds?” He wanted to get back in to gaming, didn’t have a group, signed up for the friendly local Comic Book Store’s open gaming. Group was young, his coworkers are hassling him, he’s confused.
This annoys me. It’s reflective of the nature of this site, sure, but come on. If he’d gone to a gym and gotten in to a pick up game of basketball with a group of 20 year olds, it’s not a thing, as long as he can keep up. If he’d gone to a bar to watch a sporting event of note, and there were 20 year olds there celebrating, and they started high fiving, it’s not a thing. If he’d joined a community theater group and been Claudius to a 20 year’s Hamlet, and they hung out, it’s not odd. But if he games, it’s weird?
(I am now diverging from his situation, as I don’t want to discuss his particular situation, but this isn’t uncommon – I even run in to comments like this at my board game night).
I think it might be a hold over from the “games are for kids, grown ups don’t play” thing, which is patently bs. But people still think of games as “that thing kids do.” Not to be the sports basher, but some how sports gets a pass on the “that’s a thing kids do” front (note: I am jealous of sports – they get to be mainstream, and (presumably) fun at the same time) which games don’t, generally.
And yet games are a hell of a lot of fun. They’re good for you compared to some of the alternatives (primarily watching TV). Many of them are social events in some way, whether it’s board games and yelling at people not to touch your pieces, MMOs hating the community around you, FPSes shouting “BOOM! HEADSHOT!” or RPGs shouting “BOOM! FIREBALL TO THE FACE!” Even single player games tend to push you to forums, faqs, etc at some point. Even if they don’t, you’re still (presumably) thinking.
On top of that, it’s rare to find someone who, as an adult, genuinely dislikes games. They may find video games confusing, or think that board games take too much time, or whatever, but if you get them a game they like, they have a blast. RPGs are a bit exempt, as there’s an embarassment factor, but I’ve found that it’s rare that people don’t enjoy RPGs once they get in to them too.
Where was I going with this? Something about “GET OFF MY LAWN!” I think. Maybe I’m just rejustifying the existence of this site, and being thankful for the gaming groups I’ve had over the years. Maybe I’m just prepping my alibi for 5 years from now when someone says “What’s that 40 year old dude doing playing games with 20 year olds?” and I can just link them here instead….