The latest issue of Kill Screen Magazine is out – that brainy journal about game culture – and there’s a small piece with my mug in it. The article is about what will happen to games as players become older, and a few game designers, including Randy Smith, Manveer Heir, and myself, are asked for our opinions on the subject.
Kill Screen frames the article as old age potentially being the “kiss of death” for gamers because of the frailties that accompany older age. The other designers mostly mention things like screens for the vision-impaired and hand-eye coordination issues, but I have a different take on the subject. For me, many real-world games enjoyed by older players, such as Bocce Ball, are already as physically intense as a videogame and I see the issue as more about culture than biology.
Here’s a bit from my response. You can read the rest of my answer in Kill Screen, issue 6.
Videogames do not need to be redesigned for older players. Even the most intense controller-based videogame has fewer physical demands than Shuffleboard. And while videogames don’t offer the same kind of physical exertion, they do offer problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, and social interaction – activities with incredibly valuable cognitive benefits.
But ultimately, people don’t play videogames because they are good for you. People play games because of pleasure and culture. They will play games if they are enjoyable, and if they are a part of the culture in which they live. Today we scoff at “old people’s games” like Bridge and Mah Jong – when we’re all senior citizens, the kids will laugh at our old-fashioned games like Starcraft and Angry Birds.
Filed under: Media Mentions, Writings