Have you ever "out grown" a type of game, because it focused on characters younger than you?

  • 55 results
  • 1
  • 2
Avatar image for clagnaught
clagnaught

2489

Forum Posts

401

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 18

Recently when I was talking to my brother about Persona 5, he mentioned that this was probably going to be his last Persona game he will play. Right now he's 30, married, and has two kids. From his perspective, he doesn't see himself spending time with a game that is focused on high school students and going to school when he is so far removed from that age and setting.

I didn't dig too deep into this (we were just driving around when this came up), but I did talk to him about why these type of stories are told in a high school setting and asked him some hypothetical questions like "Would you not read Harry Potter today, because it is a book about middle school/high school aged students?" In the end, he still felt like he was aging out of these types of games.

I'm curious if any of the older folks on here have gone through a similar thing. Not necessarily in terms of rejecting something because "it is for kids", but because the game happens to focus on someone younger than you. (Some other examples that come to mind that this could be applied to include Life is Strange, Danganronpa, Night in the Woods, Gone Home, and countless other JRPGs that aren't Persona) Has anybody gone through something similar? Was it caused by a lack of interest in something or more from a "I can't relate to these dang kids" feeling?

Avatar image for luchalma
Luchalma

575

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#2  Edited By Luchalma

I'm 28 now and I can't imagine feeling that way. I don't relate to almost every video game character in many ways. I've never even shot a person! But it's fun to inhabit these characters and see thier stories.

Avatar image for nightriff
nightriff

7247

Forum Posts

1467

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 7

That's insane to think that way from my point of view

28, married 5 years, about to have kid 3

I play games for stories so if the characters are great and tell a good story, I don't care. Love spec ops the line, doesn't mean I personally relate to the characters

Avatar image for ll_exile_ll
ll_Exile_ll

3258

Forum Posts

25

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

#4  Edited By ll_Exile_ll

That just seems crazy to me. The vast majority of characters in fiction have nothing in common with me, but a good story is a good story and characters can be relatable without having to share my age/gender/ethnicity/nationality etc.

Is a story about Japanese teenagers really any less relatable than a story set in zombie apocalype, a story about space travelers 150 years in the future, or a story about medieval knights?

Avatar image for edgekasey
EdgeKasey

302

Forum Posts

10

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

That just seems crazy to me. The vast majority of characters in fiction have nothing in common with me, but a good story is a good story and characters can be relatable without having to share my age/gender/ethnicity/nationality etc.

Is a story about Japanese teenagers really any less relatable than a story set in zombie apocalype, a story about space travelers 150 years in the future, or a story about medieval knights?

This.

I can't wrap my head around it and I'm 39, I don't need to relate to the character...when it does happen it's cool and definitely can be powerful, but a good story is still a good story regardless if the characters are in my age bracket?

I mean, i feel like that line of thinking really limits you in a way and when I try to think about why it kinda bums me out.

Avatar image for tobbrobb
TobbRobb

6616

Forum Posts

49

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 13

Damn, it'll be a terrible day when I'm no longer a 6 year old and can't watch Totoro anymore. Now I'm very sad.

Avatar image for guitargod
GuitarGod

138

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Nah

I even go back to the old Harry Potter and series of unfortunate events games from time to time. I can always relate to characters I'm some way as long as they're human

Avatar image for blackout62
Blackout62

2241

Forum Posts

84

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 11

When you turn 30 and become a family man do you somehow forget your high school memories and experiences that would allow you to relate to a story set in high school such as say Persona 5? What, next is your bother going to say he's outgrown Breakfast Club?

Avatar image for gundamguru
GundamGuru

786

Forum Posts

391

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

@clagnaught: I can definitely understand getting tired of games all about existential teenage angst as you mature out of that stage of your life. I fell out of love with JRPGs in college for a similar reason (among others). However, I do find myself still able to enjoy those kinds games while wishing they had a mature voice of reason in the cast more frequently than they do.

That said, I'm probably never going to stop playing games just because of the ages of the characters. Pokemon is still mechanically entertaining after all these years even with the 12-year old protagonist and coming of age plot.

Avatar image for colossalghost
ColossalGhost

240

Forum Posts

179

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

As a dude in his early 20's I don't find my self "too far removed from the age and setting" of stories about older people to enjoy them. The fact that Logan's main characters are 150, 90, 12 and is set far into the future didn't stop me at all from enjoying it.

Avatar image for mikular
mikular

176

Forum Posts

143

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I'd say that in Persona 5's case especially, I can see the argument - it's actually a little jarring just how much dialogue is spent railing against "shitty/selfish/greedy adults".

The characters' motivations are sound, but the way they express themselves about it is very juvenile and reactive (which, for a father of two young kids, I could see being more than a little tiring).

Avatar image for justin258
Justin258

16405

Forum Posts

26

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 8

#12  Edited By Justin258

What is he going to do when he's 70? Just avoid media altogether?

Avatar image for xanadu
xanadu

2155

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

At a certain point in this argument it distills down to "video games are only for kids." And that's real out of touch old man territory.

Avatar image for damodar
damodar

2251

Forum Posts

1248

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

#14  Edited By damodar

I think I tend to feel more drawn to the idea of inhabiting a character with whom I don't really have much in common. While I'm of a demographic that is about as far from under-represented in games as you can get, I don't really feel the need to play as characters whose lives mirror mine, and if given the choice, I'll usually avoid that.

A quality of writing or voice acting or visuals or whatever sufficient to at least foster a basic level of empathy with a character is about all I think I really need. Tell me a good story and I'll want to go on that journey.

As to the particular example of Persona, high school is also usually such a formative time that I have to imagine it's a subject that really resonates strongly with a lot of people. I presume those games have a lot of thirty-somethings-with-kids in the main creative roles that can still clearly relate to that stuff. Plus, there are always really strong themes in those games that aren't specific to the age of the protagonists, like P3's exploration of the shared human experience of our awareness of our own mortality.

Although, to be fair, Persona games are really long, the required investment is different than playing an FPS campaign or something. It'd be harder to play a Persona game if the setting wasn't really speaking to you personally than it would be to play through DOOM even though your daily life doesn't exactly have much in common with the DOOM Marine, Doomslayer, whatever you want to call him. Especially if you're a family man with limited time to actually devote to those hobbies.

Having said all that, who knows, we all change over time. There's certainly stuff I don't really care about these days that would probably surprise me-from-five-years-ago and it does make me feel old to think about that stuff. Taking the example of Persona, while I still relate to those games, the way I view and feel about those character HAS changed somewhat over the years as my own perspective has changed. I like Naoto more now than I did eight or so years ago, I think that element of her maturity butting up against her insecurities speaks to me more now. Having kids would certainly change a person a whole lot. So I guess I can relate to not being able to relate?

Avatar image for fezrock
Fezrock

749

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Gonna go against the tide here, and say Yes.

I'm 29, and for the past 5-6 years I've had more and more trouble enjoying media (be it video games, movies, TV, or books) focusing on characters in high school or younger. There are exceptions of course, especially when the character age isn't that important, but so often when character immaturity is a major plot point/driver/world lens, I just want them to grow up and stop whining. This is probably an even bigger issue for me in movies and TV than video games, where the daily life of high school and all its minutia are really brought to the foreground sometimes, and I just don't have the patience for all the bullshit that happens there anymore. Its usually just so petty and unimportant.

Maybe this will continue to happen to me with other character ages as well over time, but I suspect not. Once you're an adult, you're an adult. And people still change over time in adult, but not to the same extent. And I enjoy and relate to stories with characters in ages ranging from early 20s to very elderly, and in all sorts of personal situations: with/without kids, richer/poorer, single/monogamous/playboy, stronger/weaker/magical, male/female, various ethnicities, etc.

Its just those damn high schoolers I don't have time for anymore usually.

Avatar image for thepanzini
ThePanzini

1054

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#16  Edited By ThePanzini

Definitely yes I've always hated kids/teens having any prominent role in films and TV I watch and doubly so in games, any sort of angst adolescence is an immediate turn off with anime or high school setting being a straight nope.

Avatar image for rebel_scum
Rebel_Scum

1605

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 3

I can see where he's coming from. You can grow out of stuff when you get older but still like it on some level but not feel the need to consume. Does he have other reasons? I'm thinking because he's got two kids, maybe he doesn't have time to play a 50hr+ game based on a bunch of high school kids?

What is he going to do when he's 70? Just avoid media altogether?

He'll consume media where he belongs, talk back radio. :p

Avatar image for sinusoidal
Sinusoidal

3608

Forum Posts

20

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I'm 40. As the years have gone by, my tolerance for immature protagonists has remained about the same. The same cannot be said of bad writing. I let some things slide when I was younger that would just make me roll my eyes nowadays. Thankfully, writing in video games has matured right alongside me. I have no problems with a young or immature protagonist as long as they're well-written.

Avatar image for thewildcard
TheWildCard

715

Forum Posts

64

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 10

While I can see get tired of the same tropes, good writing should be able to transcend those differences if characters are written to be human first and foremost. Is he going to be tired about young parents in 20 years? That just seems superficial if that's the only reason.

Avatar image for deactivated-5a0917a2494ce
deactivated-5a0917a2494ce

1349

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 4

I have a problem with setting, not necessarily age. Costume quest is great but stuff like life is strange is hard to play; I just don’t care about angsty or depressed teenagers.

Avatar image for deactivated-61356eb4a76c8
deactivated-61356eb4a76c8

1021

Forum Posts

679

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 9

I can see it, I saw the quick look for Life is Strange and knew right away that it wasn't a game for me. Being set in High School or focusing on teenagers isn't an immediate turn off but I can find all the characters very annoying and lose interest.

On the opposite end of things I loved Gone Home.

Avatar image for meierthered
MeierTheRed

6066

Forum Posts

1701

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#22  Edited By MeierTheRed

For me its probably down to the writing of the characters. Personally games like Persona are beyond my threshold of what i like in characters, they just seem way over the top and i don't find the characters appealing in any way what so ever. Then there is a game like Life is Strange, i really like the game and story, but some of the dialogues are so terrible that it breaks the immersion.

Avatar image for fatalbanana
fatalbanana

1107

Forum Posts

5

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

No and l think it's silly if you do.

Avatar image for geirr
geirr

4084

Forum Posts

717

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 5

To me, If the game is well-written enough and the characters remotely interesting, the age usually doesn't matter. I felt a little awkward at first in Life is Strange but I sort of managed to "role play" my way through the first episode.
Then I introduced the game to my wife and we replayed everything together and had tons of fun.

Avatar image for tothenines
ToTheNines

1683

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#25  Edited By ToTheNines

Turned 30 this year (yikes) but for me gaming is often a means of escaping the mundane life. I can no less relate to a high school kid than a marine or a fantasy elf and what not, it's all the same to me personally.

Avatar image for penguindust
penguindust

13127

Forum Posts

22

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

#26  Edited By penguindust

That's baloney. I'm older than 30 and I'm loving Persona 5. I'll play 6 and 7 and so forth. Saying you're going to stop playing a game because the characters are younger than you is crazy. Does that mean when he's 70 all he'll play are games about old guys sitting on the toilet for hours and complaining about the government? Games have the ability to take you out of what's familiar and let you experience something different including being young, old, the opposite sex or a robot from the future whose best friend is a pie.

Avatar image for ajamafalous
ajamafalous

13975

Forum Posts

905

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 9

@fezrock said:

Gonna go against the tide here, and say Yes.

I'm 29, and for the past 5-6 years I've had more and more trouble enjoying media (be it video games, movies, TV, or books) focusing on characters in high school or younger. There are exceptions of course, especially when the character age isn't that important, but so often when character immaturity is a major plot point/driver/world lens, I just want them to grow up and stop whining. This is probably an even bigger issue for me in movies and TV than video games, where the daily life of high school and all its minutia are really brought to the foreground sometimes, and I just don't have the patience for all the bullshit that happens there anymore. Its usually just so petty and unimportant.

Maybe this will continue to happen to me with other character ages as well over time, but I suspect not. Once you're an adult, you're an adult. And people still change over time in adult, but not to the same extent. And I enjoy and relate to stories with characters in ages ranging from early 20s to very elderly, and in all sorts of personal situations: with/without kids, richer/poorer, single/monogamous/playboy, stronger/weaker/magical, male/female, various ethnicities, etc.

Its just those damn high schoolers I don't have time for anymore usually.

26, but basically this for me as well.

I have no real issue with it being kids or teens, but when their youngness/naiveté/immaturity is part of their character/writing then I have no patience for it.

Avatar image for mobiusfun
MobiusFun

405

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I'm 27. I'll likely play Persona 6, but I can understand someone being sick of things focused on high schoolers especially if they watch anime. Anime is OBSESSED with high-school aged characters. Every now and then I'll find one about people in their mid-twenties and it seems so refreshing. I can still relate to high schooler though.

Avatar image for cameron
Cameron

1056

Forum Posts

837

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 2

I think Japan's frequent obsession with youth makes some games more difficult to immerse myself in. When a character supposed to be 16, but acts like he's 30, it just seems silly. It's even worse when they don't look anything like the age they are supposed to be. Take FF15, Ignis is supposed to be 22, and Gladio is supposed to be 23. Both of them look like they are in their late 30s. That's not to say I won't play, and even enjoy, games like this, but it does break the immersion for me.

Interestingly, I think Persona 5 actually does a good job making the characters feel age appropriate. They are whiny teenagers, but they are supposed to be whiny teenagers. It can be annoying at times, but it feels in character.

Avatar image for monkeyking1969
monkeyking1969

8625

Forum Posts

1241

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 17

I think there is more going on with what your friend is feeling than what he is saying. People get some crazy ideas about things that 'are' or 'aren't' age appropriate sometimes and mostly it has to do with hang-ups only they would have. If you want to do it -an as long as you are not hurting anyone - it IS age appropriate.

Can you even imagine someone saying, "Well, I always wanted to read Jane Austen, but I can't...you know ELizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice is only 20 - I'd just cannot relate to those Austen characters;" or, "I can't watch old SNL episodes because Eddie Murphy is only 19 years old - his humor and characters are just unfathomable to me at age 45."

Avatar image for peteycoco
peteycoco

303

Forum Posts

3

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

#31  Edited By peteycoco

I agree to the extent that a lot of popular media focuses on being young and it gets a bit tiresome after you've seen the same teen stories dozens of times.

Avatar image for dave_tacitus
Dave_Tacitus

2541

Forum Posts

19

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

Hell no!

In fact, I'd probably have had more of a problem as a snotty teen trying to relate to video game teens than I do now at 44.

Avatar image for capum15
Capum15

6019

Forum Posts

411

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

No and l think it's silly if you do.

That sums up how I feel about it nicely.

Avatar image for bladededge
BladedEdge

1432

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#34  Edited By BladedEdge

It really depends on how you are entertained form games and what you take away from them. If the pull of P3-P4 for someone was that it spoke to their fond memory of high-school and the trials and tribulations there in, going from high-school to being a Parent and full time employee is a pretty big difference. It is totally reasonable for people to outgrow a genre of something because they got older and the message and audience that genre was for was no longer one they were a part of or applicable too them.

People having a strong knee-jerk reaction to this are gonna over-blowing it besides. We see people moving from one group of age appropriate material to another in every other form of media and think it completely normal. Why not video games? Actually, I've got the answer to that. Age..of video games as a genre.

If there is a demand for long-form roleplaying games for adults about adults, we are going to get those. (Really we already are). In the same way that Young Adult Fiction (I.e. Harry Potter) isn't the same as say the Dresden Files, a genre can be split by age.

That said? It doesn't mean you can't enjoy something outside of your age-appropriate spectrum. After all, the Potter books might have been aimed at the young adult crowd, but plenty of older adults loved those books too. Just because someone wants to read, play or watch content with characters who they can relate too in the here and now, doesn't make them wrong.

Counter-point to be made. P5 is about highschool only in the vaguest sense anyhow at this point. I'm paraphrasing a better writer here (someone on waypoint I'd guess). Its highschool, as recalled and idolized by adults, written for adults. Where all your friends are quirky and cool, where you all do amazing things. Or, as I think I got this point from, why you can date "older" women. Older for the protaganist..but maybe (and specifically) not so much for the fan base. The Persona team knows they are making a game for an older audience.

So fear not, people who think that this is some sign of a coming apocalypse where Persona games are about 40 y/o fathers with child-support payments (though I'd totally be down for playing a 80+ hour rpg about that dude and his trials and eventual triumphs).

Avatar image for oursin_360
OurSin_360

6652

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I think i've outgrown games (like GTA) that are WRITTEN for kids(disquised as 'mature') but the age group of the characters in a medium don't really mean anything to me if the quality is good.

Avatar image for lawgamer
LawGamer

1481

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 0

#36  Edited By LawGamer

Trying to get through Persona 5 made me think I might be hitting this point with JRPGs. I'm not sure that's necessarily due to the age of the protagonists, though. It's more that the similar age of the characters makes a lot of JRPG stories tread over the same ground. Underneath all that style, Persona 5 is still fundamentally about broadly-drawn angsty teen characters learning the Power of Friendship.

It's just a little frustrating because there's no reason the Persona series couldn't do a game with adult protagonists who have adult hang-ups. There's no reason that couldn't work. They wouldn't even have to change the structure that much. You'd just have a work calendar rather than a school calendar and your hideout would be the bar rather than the school roof.

Avatar image for mikelemmer
MikeLemmer

1535

Forum Posts

3089

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 54

User Lists: 2

@clagnaught: I can definitely understand getting tired of games all about existential teenage angst as you mature out of that stage of your life. I fell out of love with JRPGs in college for a similar reason (among others). However, I do find myself still able to enjoy those kinds games while wishing they had a mature voice of reason in the cast more frequently than they do.

That said, I'm probably never going to stop playing games just because of the ages of the characters. Pokemon is still mechanically entertaining after all these years even with the 12-year old protagonist and coming of age plot.

Agreed. I suspect the actual problem here is "I don't like how these characters are written" instead of "I'm too old to relate to them". And Persona 5 definitely has bumps in the storytelling. The trope of "best friend who can't date a girl to save his life" is worn out, the casual leering of female teenagers can be off-putting (especially if you have daughters approaching that age), and the jokes about the two gay revelers commit the cardinal sin of being stereotypical and unfunny.

Avatar image for clagnaught
clagnaught

2489

Forum Posts

401

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 18

#38  Edited By clagnaught

@lawgamer said:

Trying to get through Persona 5 made me think I might be hitting this point with JRPGs. I'm not sure that's necessarily due to the age of the protagonists, though. It's more that the similar age of the characters makes a lot of JRPG stories tread over the same ground. Underneath all that style, Persona 5 is still fundamentally about broadly-drawn angsty teen characters learning the Power of Friendship.

It's just a little frustrating because there's no reason the Persona series couldn't do a game with adult protagonists who have adult hang-ups. There's no reason that couldn't work. They wouldn't even have to change the structure that much. You'd just have a work calendar rather than a school calendar and your hideout would be the bar rather than the school roof.

Ever since I played P3 and P4, I wish somebody made a game like this, but on a college campus. For my undergrad, I attended the University of North Carolina, which borders on a downtown area called Franklin Street. I just can't stop thinking about a game that takes place on a college campus next to a lively downtown area like that. Half of it is to have a new type of setting and structure, and half of it is to have the same type of game with an older demographic, who take part in different types of activities.

Avatar image for shagge
ShaggE

9559

Forum Posts

15

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Not at all. The details change, but the broad strokes are always the same. While I didn't have an adolescence filled with social media and fidget spinners and dank may-mays (thank god... the last thing teen me needed was eternal, accessible evidence of his behavior. What little does still exist online from those years is bad enough), I can relate to the big picture, because I've been through it.

Now, if the game focused on, say, hawking products on Instagram or doing whatever Snapchat actually is, then yeah, I might feel like a confused old-timer out of his element. If the story's compelling/gameplay's fun, though, I'll still play it.

Avatar image for slag
Slag

8295

Forum Posts

15965

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 8

User Lists: 45

I think everybody does to some degree. I mean I don't engage with stuff aimed at elementary kids. Nothing wrong with that stuff, just not interested in playing it.

I think it's one thing that has held JRPGs back in recent years, because japanese companies still aim most of these games at early teen boys. I think it's no small part of Persona's popularity in the states since it skews a little older towards highschool/college aged people.

Avatar image for sweep
sweep

10857

Forum Posts

3660

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 14

#41 sweep  Moderator

I definitely cringed through the awkward teenageness of Life Is Strange, but I think that's part of its charm. I believe if a player can't empathise with a younger character then that's more the fault of the writer, not the player.

Avatar image for teddie
Teddie

2220

Forum Posts

20

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#42  Edited By Teddie

I can see specifically P5 would trip some people up because of its whole "and those darn ADULTS!" thing, but I wouldn't say I'd ever outgrow a story because of the character's ages. Like, Dora the Explorer sure I outgrew it, but that's because the characters and stories are paper-thin vessels for educational purposes, they're not actual characters you can get invested in.

Avatar image for warcat777
warcat777

66

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 47

#43  Edited By warcat777

I don't get it. I'm 30 years old and read Goosebumps books. Guess my personality is childlike enough, still :D

Avatar image for facelessvixen
FacelessVixen

3582

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

I can still go back to Kingdom Hearts, so, no.

Avatar image for ntm
NTM

12222

Forum Posts

38

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#45  Edited By NTM

No. If it comes down to relatability, some stories about being younger can still be relatable as all of us were young and went through schooling of some sort. I don't play Persona; my brother does, and I'm not entirely sure Persona is really what I am describing, but I don't think there should be an issue. I can understand being a kid and not being into something mature since they might not get it, but being an adult and not liking something that features kids or teens isn't really understandable unless whatever that thing is is bad.

Avatar image for sunjammer
Sunjammer

1177

Forum Posts

408

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 17

User Lists: 7

#46  Edited By Sunjammer

It comes down to quality of experience for me. I struggle getting into young adult stuff because I generally find the writing to be pretty bad or aiming for a low common denominator, which I guess makes market sense but was a roadblock with Harry Potter for me, for instance.

Persona 5 suffered somewhat in this regard, too. Not because the characters were young, but because the writing seemed to be dripping with How Do You Do Fellow Kids. The whole screw adults they don't understand waa I want more power to choose in my own life angle was a superficial teen angst appropriation nightmare, and pushed me firmly away towards the end, to where I didn't even finish it after 160 hours: I just didn't care anymore.

On the flipside, read something like Roald Dahl's "Boy", which has all the horrors and hilarious wonder of childhood in a package that never flinches from the worst gut punches. Or pseudo memoirs like Chad Fifer's Children in Heat, which I think does a much better job of actually conveying and empathizing with what it's actually like to be a kid.

I think it's a baseline requirement of a decent person to be able to empathize with essentially anyone. If you can't empathize with, say, a character of another gender or age bracket or racial background, I think you've some bigger and more fundamental problems as a human being.

Avatar image for sammo21
sammo21

6035

Forum Posts

2237

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 18

User Lists: 44

eh, this happens to me more in comic books and fiction than it does video games.

Avatar image for banefirelord
BaneFireLord

3933

Forum Posts

638

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 6

#48  Edited By BaneFireLord

Not in games. I certainly relate with and like most of the Persona 5's (non-villainous) adult characters far more than I do with any of the high schoolers I've met so far, but that's probably more of an issue with how annoyingly written most of the young characters are than any fundamental disconnect in empathy. I'm also playing through Bully at the moment and having a great time...sure, the characters are annoyingly written but the game is lampooning them rather than trying to make you empathize with them and it does a great job of skewering high school bullshit.

With other media it's more iffy, since a lot of media prominently featuring young characters is produced squarely for younger consumers and often aren't all that easy to relate to/don't hold up well when looked at from an adult perspectives. In my experience, the ageless appeal of things like Harry Potter and Roald Dahl's works are exceptions rather than the rule. Media that writes younger characters in ways that don't come across as forced or one dimensional or "Hello Fellow Kids"y is pretty rare and, in visual media, getting child/teen performers who actually seem natural is rarer still. As a result, I tend to avoid a lot of non-game content that prominently feature young characters, not because there's something inherently wrong or unrelatable about them but because I find it so rare for them to actually be done well enough to warrant a look.

So ultimately it all comes down to writing. Deep, realistic (or at least entertaining) characters are deep, realistic and/or entertaining no matter what their age. Since games usually succeed on more than just their writing chops, the problems that arise when that bar isn't met aren't as pronounced..a game with solid mechanics will still have solid mechanics even if I don't relate to the characters. For instance, the issues I have with Persona 5's young characters don't push me away from it like they would if I was watching a Persona 5 anime, since I really enjoy the dungeon crawling and the stat-boosting day-in-the-life mechanics.

Avatar image for lazyaza
Lazyaza

2582

Forum Posts

7938

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 27

User Lists: 42

#49  Edited By Lazyaza

I can still thoroughly enjoy any story staring any cast of characters regardless of any age, setting, whatever. I don't need to relate to them to find the story compelling or empathize with their struggles. Frankly I don't really get how people get so disconnected to it or why they feel they can only enjoy a story if the characters are so similar to them. Just because you're much older and living in much different circumstance doesn't mean fictional characters in a fictional story can't be entertaining or interesting regardless. I can still put my mindset in to that of where it was when I was a child and understand how and why a child would act/react to situations differently to how a teenager, young adult or older adult would. Everyone goes through these phases and its not like its hard to remember how you thought and behaved during those phases. My memories of those times are very strong and so I can still enjoy stories staring such kinds of people no matter how old I get.

Their are a lot of fantastic movies and series' I wouldn't enjoy if the main cast weren't in their 30s like I am now if I were like that. But I've always been able to very easily separate my association to real life and how I engage with media and what is present in that media. Video games being no exception.

In fact more and more I find myself getting increasingly tired of the late 20s to mid 30s white guy protagonist (who i technically relate to more than any other) still staring in a lot of games. I would gladly like to see more titles star people of all ages, genders and in more fantastical sense, a greater variety of species. Its quite frustrating we have so many sci fi and fantasy titles and yet in the vast majority we are still in the role of a human and that's growing more boring for me over time.

Avatar image for rterry808
rterry808

4

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#50  Edited By rterry808

I can relate to your brother in a sense, but ultimately I think it has more to do with the quality of the writing/characters. It feels strange to be constantly immersed in media with characters who don't act their age and are sent on a fast forwarded life journey, or are baseline whiny teens. Anime in general is a serial offender, with characters that are often absurdly young constantly being relied upon to save the world, make well thought out decisions, and find the love of their lives all before they hit 19. I think the idea is to pack a lifetime's worth of stories into a small portion of the human experience, and at this point in my life (I'm not exactly ancient at 23, but still) I find myself having less and less patience with these sorts of narratives. It becomes even harder to watch when the story is focused on important things, then it suddenly gets interrupted by stereotypical teen drama.

Part of the reason why Life is Strange felt fairly refreshing to me was that the characters who didn't know anything batshit crazy was going on (i.e. the dweeby kid who was so realistic it made me cringe) acted in the ways you would expect, while a character like Max could also react the exact way you would expect. Max doesn't have time for you stupid movie nights, a person disappeared and another person tried to jump off the roof. Check back in like 3 months when we're sure no one else is getting drugged/kidnapped. Her rediscovering her relationship with Chloe came naturally, and was the result of working together on other issues. People in that story make bad decisions even if they're completely understandable. Is it a good idea for them to go to the dump at midnight knowing a murderer might be there? No, but it's certainly what someone who lost a loved one might do if they found out that's where the body is. Life is Strange by far the best example of "TEEN STUFF" in games, and goes out of it's way to portray them as individual human beings their age rather than stereotypical whiny shit heads or completely grown adults. The standard there, however, is a pretty high bar, and it's tough to find media that doesn't merely rely on tired stereotypes of young people, or shoehorning teens into adult roles.