A Retired Gamer Plays Mass Effect

#1 Edited by CerMakAlot (5 posts) -
 Hey guys, this is my first post to the forum after lurking and sticking to articles and the bombcast. I've decided to come out of the shadows and share something I wrote. (And no i'm not trying to spam my site.)

My dad "retired" from gaming about 15 years ago, and I decided that for father's day I'd try to get him started again for some father-son bonding. It dawned on me that I have an opportunity to write about an interesting perspective: A modern game from the eyes of an older gamer who has been removed from the controller for many years. So that's what I wrote about.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Also, I'm going to interview him when he finishes the game to get his views on Mass Effect and high-definition gaming in general. So if you guys have anything you want me to ask post it up.

What do you think makes people "retire" from gaming? Anyone here ever try to get their parents into gaming? Or try to get them back into gaming? Any insights or tips would be welcome, as well.

Part 1

http://www.thumbthusiast.com/2009/06...effect-part-1/

Part 2

http://www.thumbthusiast.com/2009/06...effect-part-2/

Part 3

http://www.thumbthusiast.com/2009/06/a-retired-gamer-on-a-modern-classic-mass-effect-part-3/

Part 4

http://www.thumbthusiast.com/2009/07/a-retired-gamer-on-a-modern-classic-mass-effect-part-4/
#2 Posted by Alex_V (614 posts) -

Good stuff. Pls let me/us know about further articles.

#3 Posted by Ineedaname (4319 posts) -

Oddly enough my Mum never played games, but for some strange unexplainable reason she was absolutely awesome on Rocky on the PS2.

I think my Dad stopped gaming because with age he can't keep up with it aswell, and there's alot more going on, my friend's Dad who's about 50 plays DDO I once had a game of resistance 1 with him on co-op he soon gave up because he said it was too much to follow everything, I think with most games and advances in technology this will probably only get worse, more people on screen with more effects.

#4 Posted by PenguinDust (12414 posts) -

I read your blog.  It was pretty good.  I can't speak to what caused your father to quit gaming, but I know why I quit other hobbies I used to enjoy.  For me, it was a question of time and other more important responsibilities.  On several occasions in my life I had to make a decision if I wanted to continue with a hobby or let it go and put my efforts into more pressing matters.  Certainly some hobbies, including gaming, require a serious amount of time to fully enjoy.  But, each of us only have so much time in the day to utilize.  If we spend our time gaming that means something else will miss out.  Perhaps your father chose to spend his free time in other, more productive or more social ways.  You should ask him why he decided to stop gaming.  I suspect his reasons had very little to do with gaming itself and more to do with the general obligations of life.

#5 Posted by StarFoxA (5123 posts) -

Great article. My dad only used to play Sonic the Hedgehog and X-Men on his Genesis.

#6 Posted by mordukai (7092 posts) -
@CerMakAlot: Good read. Nice getting your dad back into video games. Maybe you guys should play some shooter co-up. 

My dad is the one who got into video games, He got me my Atari 2600, Atari 800XL and my Sega Master System. 
#7 Posted by Euge (108 posts) -

For me that is all very weird. I'm the only one in my family that plays video games. Mostly because at 25 I am the youngest and was just the right age to grow up with playstation.

I could imagine my dad telling me more than 'I've retired' from games and much less politely :D

#8 Posted by RoyaleWifCheese (529 posts) -

Awesome read. I look forward to reading more about your father's progress through Mass Effect. I suppose if RPG's are your dad's poison, you picked one I could easily see a "retired" gamer get into after fifteen years out of the saddle.

#9 Posted by Nat3TheGreat13 (260 posts) -

Nice Article, My Dad usually only plays tiger woods but I showed him fallout 3 and he can't stop playing.

#10 Posted by Sprizmo (347 posts) -
@CerMakAlot:

Sometimes it takes a little push. Its likely that more often a freshly divorced, or "liberated" father would say "fuck it I'm going back to being the man I was, and I'm going to start with this here video game." But honestly, its become more acceptable these days for adults to view games as timeless and for all ages, what with the Wii popping up in every other household, nursing home, and physical therapy treatment center. It was only a matter of time before they became impressed with the sweet, sweet graphics and subject matters that weren't prominent in the days of pong.

Mass Effect is an AMAZING game for dad to test the water in the pool.
#11 Posted by DirtyFuture (73 posts) -

Both of my parents were into games, back when Myst and Doom were new... But when my dad bought a new computer and I told him his graphics card could play COD4 , he went out and bought a copy. He now has a good 6 recent shooters and almost bought Mass Effect after my suggestion, he'll turn around eventually :D

#12 Posted by viklanderviking (198 posts) -

I wish I could get my dad back into playing games...but i cant even get him to pick up a controller anymore. Interesting articles tho.

#13 Posted by GeekDown (1170 posts) -

Great article, but I must say that getting into Mass Effect after 15 years of retirement is a pretty tough challenge. Good luck to your dad though...

#14 Posted by ChickenPants (934 posts) -

Interesting reads! I'll be sure to keep up.

#15 Posted by brainwins (244 posts) -

Great articles! Keep us updated.
I am playing Mass Effect at the moment, so it's great to read your dad's perception of it.

#16 Posted by TheFreeMan (2712 posts) -

Watching your parents game, for me, is a awesome thing. The roles sort of become reversed and now you're the mentor and they're the student. My dad used to play games with me all the time when I was younger (he's quite good as M. Bison, I must say), and he actually got to the last level of Halo: CE with my mom on co-op.

Great article, and if there was ever a game to get your dad back into gaming, Mass Effect would be a sure contender. I want to see his choices towards the more interesting Paragon/Renegade moments in the game, as well as his reaction to the new characters he'll meet soon enough. Keep us posted!

#17 Posted by Claude (16251 posts) -

That was very entertaining to read. Having played the game myself, it's funny reading your dad's choices. He truly is going to play a role in this game. I wonder how he will deal with the racism and the friendships he creates?

#18 Posted by Thordain (959 posts) -

An enjoyable read. Keep us informed, I would like to see more of this.

#19 Posted by VitaminWaterYum (381 posts) -
@Thordain said:
" An enjoyable read. Keep us informed, I would like to see more of this. "
+1

It's always interesting to read how people's parents react to today's games, especially when they're playing them, even more so  when they used to play them like your dad.
#20 Posted by Subject2Change (2965 posts) -

Played some NHL94 with my Dad in like 95. Next time he picked up a game was Wii Bowling last year at my Uncle's house.

#21 Posted by TheMustacheHero (6654 posts) -

Excellent read.

#22 Posted by EvilTwin (3324 posts) -

This is actually a really interesting concept since gaming is still such a young medium.  Most of us probably haven't even thought about a time when we'd stop playing video games.  Getting your dad's perspective on a modern one is a really great idea.  I will admit the whole "retired gamer" thing is a little corny, though.  Still, really great read.  :)

#23 Posted by Lowbrow (840 posts) -

This was a good read, more please.

#24 Edited by CerMakAlot (5 posts) -

Here is part three guys. I hope you enjoy it.

http://www.thumbthusiast.com/2009/06/a-retired-gamer-on-a-modern-classic-mass-effect-part-3/


Thanks for all the feedback, as well.

As far as why he retired, I'm not actually sure. It is something that I plan on asking him after we're finished and doing the interview portion (Which i haven't sold him on quite yet). I'm thinking that the added perspective of playing a game since he quit playing games might add more thoughtfulness to his answer.

It's been interesting for me too. Not only is it fun to have another person play with you through a game like this, but his view of things is often different than mine. So when i'm taking notes for the next article I like to ask and figure out why he chose certain things to say or how he feels about certain characters.

This is completely off topic. But as a new poster, i'm pretty annoyed by the moderators on giant bomb. I've had to ask for this to be moved from the Mass Effect board back to General Discussion 3 times, and the first time I posted it, it was deleted. But i'm finding the users to be far more welcoming.

#25 Posted by Peloquin (30 posts) -

Really enjoyed reading these :) thanks for posting. Looking forward to reading more.

#26 Posted by CerMakAlot (5 posts) -
#27 Posted by Claude (16251 posts) -

Udina and Anderson sitting in a tree. I would have never even thought about that. I was planning on playing this game again, but I will never look at those two the same again. Bar fight was cool too.

#28 Edited by xyzygy (9612 posts) -

Haha... maybe Anderson and Udina DO have something? I know that Anderson in the books was with some chick but they didn't last because of some unknown reason. He was a lot younger than too.

#29 Posted by natetodamax (19136 posts) -

Man, I wish my dad played RPGs like that. He plays games a lot, but he only plays first person shooters and thinks everything else is "gay"

#30 Posted by kerikxi (527 posts) -

I got my father an Xbox 360 last year for christmas, and it really revived his interest in gaming. He's put a ton of time into GTA4, Mass Effect and Fallout 3, more time than I have even. Screw the Wii, quality gaming is what brings people back.

#31 Posted by CSXLoser (582 posts) -

my dad used to be a big arcade guy. Just putting in quarters on the Pac Man and Galaxian machines. 
 
In fact, the first game he bought was Time Crisis for the PS1 because he played it in the arcades before. That became my first video game I ever played at the age of two.
 
Now, he just likes to sit back and watch me play once a while though he played Rock Band for a few weeks when we got it.
 
 
My mom used to play the shit out of Arkanoid on the good old gameboy late at night when everyone else is asleep but that quickly stopped. 
 
Though they dont play anymore...for some reason they want the Beatles : Rock Band !!!

#32 Posted by Branthog (7332 posts) -

Not exactly along the same line, but a little bit...
 
Frankly, I think about gaming as we age quite often. I know I'm at the age where my reflexes simply can not and never will compete with someone who is twenty-two. But what will happen when I'm in my 40s? Or my 50s? Or even my 60s? Will I be able to play FPS games? Will I be able to play game that require speed or dexterity? Will I be relegated to strategy only games? And slow ones at that? Or will I just stop gaming entirely? Will everyone else stop, too?
 
The years creep up on you and I worry that those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s will quickly find ourselves considering these things and wondering if we will be capable of enjoying our favorite recreational activities well into our old age. I can't imagine not gaming, but . . . I can't imagine keeping up when everything starts to deteriorate. And that's assuming that we're all essentially health for old people too (since some of us will suffer a number of other debilitating ailments with age that will shut us down from playing, too).
 
Also, it's interesting that your dad ever "retired" from gaming, because it sounds like he was never really of the right age for gaming to begin with. I mean, I don't really know anyone in their 50s or older who games to start with (then again, I don't really even know anyone my own age who games, because my colleagues are all settled down and worrying about their mortgage and getting enough sleep to bother playing videogames... *sigh*...)

#33 Posted by labam89 (309 posts) -

Retiring from gaming usually happens(imo) when people stop getting satisfaction/entertainment from games. It becomes nothing more than a time sink for them.

#34 Posted by natetodamax (19136 posts) -
@CerMakAlot: Yo man, you still doing these or what? Your last one was from like, June
#35 Posted by zoozilla (974 posts) -

Really liking the series.
 
Hope your dad keeps makes it to the end.
 
He seems really into the story - given how pressure is put on the player to go after Saren, I'm interested to see how many side missions he'll do.

#36 Posted by TwoOneFive (9461 posts) -
@CSXLoser said:
" my dad used to be a big arcade guy. Just putting in quarters on the Pac Man and Galaxian machines.   In fact, the first game he bought was Time Crisis for the PS1 because he played it in the arcades before. That became my first video game I ever played at the age of two.  Now, he just likes to sit back and watch me play once a while though he played Rock Band for a few weeks when we got it.  My mom used to play the shit out of Arkanoid on the good old gameboy late at night when everyone else is asleep but that quickly stopped.   Though they dont play anymore...for some reason they want the Beatles : Rock Band !!! "
for some reason? 
i can tell you a bunch of reasons why an older couple would like to have a Beatles videgame. 
#37 Posted by Damian (1538 posts) -

This is great stuff. And I'm starting to wonder about Udina and Anderson now. 
 
 [ARTICLE SPOILERS AHEAD] 
 
It kinda follows; Mass Effect touched on most contentious political issues, from abortion to freedom of religion, and of course racism. Homosexuality (as an "issue") is just about the only one I can think of that didn't have a mission attached. 
I think it's totally possible.

#38 Posted by c1337us (5751 posts) -

My father was a little into playing. We had an Atari 2600 that we played together before he passed. My step-dad and mum were never much into playing games. I could get them interested occassionally but never for ling or on a regular basis. I think the last game I remember my step-dad playing that wasn't some sort of flight simulator was that 25th Anniversary of Star Trek game way back in the day. I can only remember my mum helping me play a level of Cosmos Cosmis adventure once and never any other time.  
 
I have never really thought about how to get them into (or back if I could call it that) gaming. I guess if I were going to try my best bet would probably to buy them a Wii so that can get some 'casual' party game action with my brother and sister who are much younger then me or with the my sister kids as a family activity. I couldnt see the getting in play games outside of that.

#39 Posted by Cerza (1653 posts) -

There are no retired gamers. Only nonpracticing gamers! 
 
On a more serious note though, I think that what makes people put the controller down is that as they game and age and as the gaming industry changes and ages with them games loose their original luster, or whatever it was that caused people to be infatuated with them originally. This results in a lack of interest and then the gamer starts trying other things to fill their free time and in the process puts the controller down and doesn't pick it up again.
 
I remember trying to get my parents to play games with me as a kid, but they just couldn't get into it. However, my mom really did love the Wii when I first got it.

#40 Posted by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -

Only read part 1 and 2 for now but thumbs up. I always wondered what games today would look like to the old gamers. Welcome to the forums by the way.

#41 Posted by CSXLoser (582 posts) -
@TwoOneFive said:
" @CSXLoser said:
" my dad used to be a big arcade guy. Just putting in quarters on the Pac Man and Galaxian machines.   In fact, the first game he bought was Time Crisis for the PS1 because he played it in the arcades before. That became my first video game I ever played at the age of two.  Now, he just likes to sit back and watch me play once a while though he played Rock Band for a few weeks when we got it.  My mom used to play the shit out of Arkanoid on the good old gameboy late at night when everyone else is asleep but that quickly stopped.   Though they dont play anymore...for some reason they want the Beatles : Rock Band !!! "
for some reason? i can tell you a bunch of reasons why an older couple would like to have a Beatles videgame.  "
Both my parents arent huge Beatle fans. Even my dad said that the beatles music is too slow for him to play on rock band. However they still want it :\
 
Maybe my dad just wants an excuse to play Rock Band again

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