Thursday, 19 February 2009

Can you be too old to play Wow?

Interesting question isn’t it? There comes that period in the day when you know the very young are online. School’s out. In General Chat, the facile comments start emerging, there’s the name calling, the swearing and immature sexual innuendo.

There is a collective sigh and eventually someone chimes in:
‘Isn’t it time the kids were in bed?’

Dare I suggest that there is a perception abroad that Wow is a young man’s and woman’s arena. It’s not the place you expect to find mum and dad – or even granddad (!) invading.

Of course Wow is the playground for youth – predominantly. And that’s as it should be.

But I rather suspect most of us would be surprised at just how old some people are behind those chars.

Just as its no guarantee that the female night elf before you is actually female in RL, so it’s no guarantee that the warrior is a 20-something (or 30).

I raise the issue because a fascinating report emerged in the UK yesterday (that’s Britain, btw not Utgarde Keep) where the discussion about dementia and Alzheimers has been a rather hot topic in our national press for the past couple of weeks.

It says that older people who indulge regularly in – and I quote – ‘hobbies such as quilting, pottery and playing computer games substantially cut the risk of dementia.’

This is unlikely to see a sudden rush of ‘oldies’ on to Wow, but I suspect there are quite a few around already. And won’t they be glad to read about the benefits of raiding?

Old people?


Or do you pigeon-hole them into gentle questing, dodgy ability, unable to react and move fast in instances. Let them trundle around making things and leave the ‘real stuff’ to the youngsters.

Is that your view? Well let me tell you it’s sadly misplaced. There’s some old folks online who can show you a thing or two. I know some of them.

Indeed an interesting question would be: ‘Who’s the oldest person currently playing Wow?’

How old am I., do I hear you ask?

Well what do you think? I’m a GM and am leading our guild through Naxx, have a level 80 druid tank that comfortably handles heroics, an 80 frostfire mage that knows a trick or two and 73 MM hunter that whips out a ton of damage.

Does that make me a 20 or 30 something?

Well I’m not going to answer your question, but I have a daughter who plays – and gets married next weekend.



*vlad* said...

I'm 44. There are people in our guild over 50. I think it will be a while before we all need our zimmer frames and false teeth!

By the time I am too old to play WoW, WoW itself will have long receded into the annals of history.

Syrana said...

Great read! I'm in my late 20's and even though I often think of 'darned kids' when there's a lot of immaturity and/or jerkish things occurring ingame... I know the reality is a lot of people my age and older play.

My guild, for example, is mostly made up of adults with families, although we do have a few younger'ns.

And recently, I enticed my parents to start playing. Ah yes, I want to save their minds for a longtime! I don't leave them to do the 'easy' stuff. I encouraged that as their starting point, but have gone with them into instances. And, my mother, bless her, seems to be a fearless pugger! ;)

Dechion said...

Well, lets see. I turn 40 later this year.

Then again that does not hold a candle to listning in on vent as my 60+ year old mother in law was healing her way through Kara, Mags, Gruuls, and SSC.

Chris said...

mmm, interesting, but not entirely accurate I bet. The average console gamer is 30+ and it's even older for PC games. I bet theres alot more 40+ WOW players then you think.

Anonymous said...

Back in BC and LK my GM was rather old, althought I don't remember specifics, he had 3 grand children that played and although he did not raid, I was his raid leader and he was an excellent leader. He genuinely cared for all of his members and it was quite literally a family guild with multiple married couples and even their children in it. I myself am only 18 and am currently leading my guild through FL as we speak :).