Illustration by Angelica Alzona

I am old, Gandalf. I know I don’t look it, but I’m beginning to feel it in my heart.


I’m in my mid-30s, and as of tomorrow I’ll officially be in my mider-30s. In video game years, that means I’m like 90. I’ve finally reached an age where, as Tracy Moore pointed out last year over at Jezebel, I am allowed to stop doing bullshit I never wanted to do in the first place. I excuse myself with the time-tested words of Roger Murtaugh: “I’m too old for this shit.”

A list of video game shit that I’m too old for includes:

Managing my friends lists even a tiny bit.

I have like eight different video game friends lists, and each one is a shambles. The thought of organizing them makes me want to just delete all of my accounts.

Keeping track of saved games.

There was a time when I would carefully preserve my saved games. Those days are gone. It’s probably in the cloud, right? If it’s not, whatever, I’ll probably just start a new game.

Engaging with Uplay and Origin beyond the bare minimum required.

I don’t even remember my usernames for either service. I think one is still synced to my Yahoo email?

Syncing third-party accounts and publisher rewards programs.

I do not need a Square Enix account. I do not want to be in the Rockstar Social Club. I do not want to sync my game to unlock unique rewards. I do not want to sign up for special offers or get emails. I want to play games.

Caring about my own achievements.

I don’t care about Xbox achievements. I don’t know what my gamerscore is. I think my PS4 is still trying to sync its trophies.

Voice activation.

I don’t just mean Kinect here, I mean everything. I don’t want to talk to technology. My neighbors would hear me.

Motion control.

Please, let it truly be dead. VR gets a pass. For now.

Bad tutorials.

If another pop-up box interrupts me I’m just going to stop playing.

Entering a LastPass-generated password with a game controller.

(Looks down at phone.) (Enters three more digits of password.) (Looks down at phone.) (Sees how many digits are remaining.) (Ponders moving to the Alaskan wilderness.)

Entering my credit card information with a game controller.

I always get at least one number wrong and have to go back and enter it all over again.

Entering a download code with a game controller.

I get these wrong more often than my credit card number.

Fast-forwarding a movie with a game controller.

If I breathe on it wrong it skips all the way to the end, usually right to the scene where the guy’s best friend dies.

Basically doing anything with a game controller other than playing games.

It’s pretty good for that one thing, but terrible for everything else.

Waiting more than three minutes for matchmaking.

My party and I can only make so much small talk before we begin to wonder what’s going on.

Not immediately bailing on a doomed multiplayer session.

I understand you think we’ll beat Oryx or Aksis on our twelfth try, but it’s time to take the L and quit while we’re behind.

Playing a bad game to see if it’ll get better.

It’s not going to get better.

Console wars.

I don’t care.

Pretending I’m even considering the GameStop clerk’s preorder pitch.

You seem nice, GameStop clerk, but I’m too old to pretend I’m even considering pre-ordering games from you. Just sell me my thing and let me leave.

Keeping everything charged.

When I need a controller, I just grab a couple and turn them on until I get lucky and find one with a charge. It’s worked okay so far.

Waiting for an update to download if it’s more than like 1MB.

Oh, I need to download an update before I can play? Cool, I’m going to go do literally anything else and forget this game even exists.

Caring if I’m bad at a game.

I beat Bloodborne. That’s enough.

I’ll never be too old for video games. I’ll play these things when I’m ancient and busted and reclining in the VR hub of my post-retirement hibernation tube. In fact, the older I get, the more I care about certain aspects of games. But I’ve spent so many years trying to get my gaming life perfectly dialed in, running smoothly with a minimum of headaches and distractions and hindrances. It just isn’t possible, and part of getting older is learning to be okay with that.



What video game shit are you too old for?