The stereotype that most hardcore gamers are either loners or below the age of 21 isn't a stereotype. It's just the way things are.

As one gets older and life responsibilities begin to pile up, your time for gaming has to dwindle; it's just a matter of simple math, as there are only so many hours in the day. Provided you don't let the hobby consume your life (which usually doesn't happen to most normal people), most 35-year-olds don't have the time required to be a "hardcore gamer."

And that's true even if you don't go by time as a definition for "hardcore," and I don't. I believe anyone is hardcore if their primary hobby is gaming, but can one even say that when their time is so limited? Can you even have a primary hobby given all the demands you face on a daily basis? This seems like a relatively boring subject until you start to see how this impacts the industry. Even the older gamers, the "hardcore," those who grew up with a certain "old-fashioned" form of interactive entertainment, have less time to play and therefore, they buy less. Hence, a lesser demand for forms of gaming that are dying out.

It's just a natural progression. So for those of you who are around my age going, "hey, there are lots of us who still love side-scrolling action and pure adventure games and turn-based RPGs," I have only one thing to say: No, there aren't. There are lots of us who have fond memories of those game styles and wouldn't mind seeing new products with those old-school mechanics. But we have to admit we might not even be able to play it if it did arrive. We can't compete with the kid in college who has absolutely nothing to do (you'll learn you had nothing to do in college when you get older, kiddies), heading to every midnight launch.

And because gaming is big business, the publishers just don't care about the dedicated who only used to be dedicated and would like to be dedicated again but haven't the time or money to manage it. Sad but true.

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duomaxwell007
duomaxwell007
8 years ago

I have to disagree, some of us still do it just fine, im 29 and Im still quite hardcore.. I know two people in their mid 40s that are even more hardcore than me (and that alone is an accomplishment lol)

gumbi
gumbi
8 years ago

I'm also 29, and I have a few friends my age who still get lots of gaming time in. However, they're not married and, more importantly, they have no kids. Kids are time goblins. You really don't realize just how much free time you had, until they take it away. Between kids, wife, house, job, etc… I play less than 1/10 as much nowadays as I did up until my early twenties. The desire hasn't faded, in fact it's probably greater, I just don't have the time.

So for me, I thought Ben's article hit the nail on the head, but in fairness that's because it rings very true for me.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Yes duo, are you married and have kids? Are those people in their 40s married with kids? Why am I betting not…?

duomaxwell007
duomaxwell007
8 years ago

as for those two people in their 40s nope theyre not married nor do they have kids, as for me, not married but taken and live together and my significant other has two kids (from a previous relationship, so theyre not biologically mine) and the 4 of us stay in the same house so, id think that comes close to qualifying as "married and have kids"?

The secret to being 30+ and staying "hardcore" is simple… either a) stay single or b) if youre gonna be in a relationship/date make sure that persons a gamer too…., those guidelines have been doing a wonderful job working all these years lol… it also must work for Highlander too, considering hes married, has a kid AND a white knight chronicles 2 platinum so yet another person whos proof that you can still be "old" and hardcore lol.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

That isn't "proof." Exceptions to the rule are never "proof." They just prove the rule, which is obvious with the majority of responses here.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 8/20/2012 9:42:03 AM

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

I think I grew up hardcore. And I definitely played the most amount of video games in my life at university. I still stay tuned into gaming, and I play as much as I can when I've got down time at home. But I gotta be honest… the little dude is a time sponge! A cute one, though. I love every minute of it too. And there is no way I'm giving up the uh… one on one time with the wife, either. And I work, and I'm taking part time courses towards a masters… And I need to stay in shape and healthy too, what with a desk job and all…

So sadly… with age… yes… "life" eats away my gaming time. There was a time when a day could NEVER go by without at least a little gaming. Now… it's a regular occurrence. Heck, last week, I wasn't on ONCE!

As for a gaming wife… not sure I want that. Gaming is my time… and online multiplayer is BRO time…. (Or as we jokingly say, as we are all "attached"…. "Gayming night"… the women love that one… *snicker*) But yeah… I think I like my gaming being separate from my personal family and social life. Gaming is my escape for the most part. Although I wish there were more hours in a day for gaming, I'm pretty happy that what gaming I do get in is on my terms and exclusively for me.

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
8 years ago

I unfortunately fall into this category. I almost have no time to play outside of work and the gym and ny backlog just continues to grow. It's truly a shame. Being a hardcore gamer though is also partly determined by what kind of games you like IMO.

You can spend all the time you want outside of any responsibilities playing COD online… doesn't mean you know sh*t about games.

TGSA
TGSA
8 years ago

I have to agree with Ben, I'm 26, and sometimes it's just hard to play everything I'd like to. Right now, it feels like my gaming tends to be seasonal based on my work schedule. So now, I feel lucky if I can at least play once a week, but come November, I should be able to play more. I know it becomes a lot harder to play once you add kids into the mix.

Nickjcal
Nickjcal
8 years ago

I'm only 17 and I'm already having time finding time to play. I have time to spend a few hours per week on a review copy and crack away at it on early weekend mornings, but that's about it. Aside from school, covering things at Only Single Player, work and upcoming girl friend, it's a lot to juggle haha. But, in recent years I've also begun to get more and more bored of video games. They're fun for a while, but I usually don't sit for more than 2 hours playing till I get up and do something else. Darksiders II was probably the one game I spent the most time with this year so far putting about 20 hours in to review the game.

cLoudou
cLoudou
8 years ago

Confused about the "upcoming girlfriend". Did she give you a timetable for when she can be your girlfriend or just wishful thinking?

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

haha, maybe he's just really confident?

wackazoa
wackazoa
8 years ago

Maybe she's still on order……

Sorry couldn't resist.

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
8 years ago

pretty sure, thinking about it. If ur a guy and single, whatnot to think about a girl.

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
8 years ago

Mail order bride, whatever u do stay away from that.

cLoudou
cLoudou
8 years ago

I'm a loner and also haven't the time to game like I use to but I still consider myself to be a "Hardcore" gamer.


Last edited by cLoudou on 8/19/2012 10:03:09 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
8 years ago

So true. Between two kids, work, my band and other misc. tasks I'm finding it increasingly hard to spend ample time digging into a game. I have to wait until the babies are in bed. I stay up pretty late to get what time I can into a game. I'm exhausted. 🙁

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
8 years ago

There is truth in your post sir. With MGS4 getting the Trophy Patch just recently, I started playing that masterpiece again.

Next thing I knew, I had five hours left before I had to go to work. Needless to say, I was exhausted from a lack of beauty sleep! LOL

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
8 years ago

yah man, it sucks when u lose control of the time.

bluedarrk
bluedarrk
8 years ago

I'm 27 and I'm still a hardcore gamer. I still go to a few midnight releases not as many as I used too. I typically wait till Friday to pick up the game. I don't have kids yet so I'm sure it will change. All my co-workers go to happy hour every day after work I go home eat dinner and get a hour of gaming in. I do miss lan parties though or just getting together with a group and gaming all night.

gumbi
gumbi
8 years ago

I think you nailed it Ben. I still want to play games just as much (or more) than I ever did. But with the kids and the house and work and everything else in life it's real hard to find the time.

Much like Jawknee above I have trade in sleep for precious gaming hours… and now that "sleeping in" is a distant memory of the past, it can be very exhausting indeed.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
8 years ago

Ben, I think you're missing something in this picture. There is a time between the mid-late 20s and mid-late 30s when other priorities do take over. But as time passes and kids age, they take less time and you have more. I'd also suggest that by the time gamers hit their md-40's to 50, they are quire settled in their life, their career is where it's gonna be, and their kids are getting on for being grown. Leisure time becomes more available. Now, while my 50-something colleagues are working in their workshop sanding a table they are making, or restoring for weeks on end, I'm gaming, and when I get to their age, I'll be gaming then too. It's a generational thing I am sure, but my generation just doesn't spend days and weeks working on carpentry or other similar stuff, or even DIY like the generation before did. So as gamers age through this phase of having a busy life, they will emerge victorious on the other side with plenty of time to put into play.

gumbi
gumbi
8 years ago

Very true. It's funny, I'm always joking about all the games I'm going to play when my kids are grown up. Or when I retire. The hobby hasn't lost it's appeal in the last 20 years. So I'm sure in another 20, when I have a surplus of free time again, I'll be gaming. And catching up on all the greats I've missed in the interim 🙂

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
8 years ago

Only a couple more months before I turn 60 years old(Nov 5th), & I'm gaming now more than ever.

It also helps that I'm single, no kids at home(all grown up), no honey, no job, & no damn money to go out anymore.

Thank goodness I've still got a such a humungous backlog of games in every single one of my collections(even retro) that will probably keep me preoccupied for at least the next 9 years.

But hopefully, I'll find another job before I finally finish that very last game in my backlog, LOL


Last edited by BikerSaint on 8/19/2012 11:08:38 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Well, the only way we'll know is when our generation gets older. If we're all still playing games after the kids are grown and gone and we're not hassled with career decisions and stuff, then great. 🙂

But in the 20s and 30s, it's just too hard for many.

PoopsMcGee
PoopsMcGee
8 years ago

I'm doing all right, I game as much as I want (which I'd easily classify as excessive) and I'm a 34 year old, work-from-home-father of a 1-year old. Yeah, I could definitely use more sleep these days but I could say the same about myself 'back in the day' as well…

…and yeah, I'll hopefully be doin' the same when/if (knock on wood) I'm 50 and 60.


Last edited by PoopsMcGee on 8/20/2012 3:10:54 AM

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
8 years ago

My dad, who is in his fifties, does a lot of carpentry. I always saw it as something he needed to do – and I suppose the kitchen he's doing atm IS actually needed; it's crazy living without a kitchen – but I suppose it's something more recreational to him. He came from a generation in Britain where things needed to be built (after WWII), and education wasn't seen as vital as it is today. Thus, a low-skilled job (in terms of qualifications), such as carpentry, made sense.

I know I'll be gaming when I hit 50 for sure.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
8 years ago

I agree Ben, during the 20s/30s people are making many of their major life decisions, they are choosing career paths, partners, whether to have a family, house purchases and do forth. It's a very busy and formative time. It's certainly not a time when you need games getting in the way of other things, nor do you need to be making those decisions based on how much time it leaves for gaming…lol. But once that phase of our lives is over, we do have more time, and personally I think that my generation and several generations around me will be avid gamers until there's literally no more time…

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

Ah yes… I agree highlander…

I will be gaming until the ultimate "game over".

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
8 years ago

lol, I'm hedging against Medial science finding a way to extend my game play with extra lives… 😉

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Unfortunately that's life, but as gaming supplants television more and more people should do alright. The hindrance to this is right there in the image attached to this article. I still see this basic image used as a way to outline immaturity in men, as if having a controller in your hand makes you an irresponsible lout.

My advice: don't have kids.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
8 years ago

I am sorry World, but to me that's not good advice. The decision to have children was one of the best things I ever did.

No hobby or self entertainment should should impede such a blessing.

cLoudou
cLoudou
8 years ago

I think more people should take that advice.

Jawknee
Jawknee
8 years ago

Be fruitful and multiply. Best advise ever given.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

The correct advice is to have kids if and when you're ready (emotionally and financially) and if you feel it's right for both of you.

Beyond that, I'm not into the "you should have kids just because" philosophy.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

I'm going to have my fun first, don't get me wrong I love kids. Got 4 nieces, 3 are kids and 1 is in the military. Very proud of that. I think for me though I've got to be about 40 when I have em.

wackazoa
wackazoa
8 years ago

Dont wait to long World. Otherwise you wont be able to do all the fun things with them becuase you'll be too old.

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
8 years ago

"My advice: don't have kids" Saw that on another forum, but it had to involve the outdoor not a pic of a male gaming on the couch and the girl walking away like on this article.


Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 8/20/2012 11:30:23 AM

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
8 years ago

Great article Ben, it is one that is so true for me personally. My "free" time is nearly gone, yet my desire for gaming is still strong so I don't see myself retiring from this hobby anytime soon.

It's strange really, but it seems these last 5 months or so have been some of the busiest times in life. I am 38 years old and at a crossroads per se, and gaming has to take a back seat. This includes my hobby related internet use as well, although I do visit this website daily.

I will say this though… my craving for online multiplayer is all but gone now. Perhaps I am getting "old" afterall.

Gordo
Gordo
8 years ago

When I was young I had the time but not the money. Now I have the money but not the time!

Wife, 2 kids and corporate job tends to leave very little time for gaming.

Have picked up a Vita for that gaming fix but that only gives me 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.

I still consider myself a gamer mind you!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

In retrospect I didn't play squat during the PS2 days. Rockstar and Squaresoft games. I was way into real life, then real life got boring and now I'm back 🙂

booze925
booze925
8 years ago

Its just life, like a fading interest in your toys when you are no longer a child. When we mature, go to college/work, make new friends and find new love interests, lose family, or find what we want to do with ourselves and our futures the hardcore gamer steadily and imminently becomes the casual gamer. Or in some cases just moves on to other things.
I used to be a hardcore gamer (of my generation) with a huge friends list and countless hours spent on all the CoD's, BF, KZ2 ect. But now I slip on maybe a couple times a week, with 21 on the friends list, most of whom are on Netflix.
Those days are done for me, an ex-hardcore gamer. Games are still a hobby, but not in the big way it used to be.
Life got me, as it does all of us.

Metal Head
Metal Head
8 years ago

I'm a hardcore gamer with less time to enjoy gaming. My dog and girlfriend are my priority. I will only give up on gaming if Sony is out of business.

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
8 years ago

"My dog and girlfriend are my priority"

In that order? xD

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
8 years ago

sorry dawg but it's got to be the gf first.


Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 8/20/2012 11:20:54 AM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Nonsense, my Dog is more important than any woman.

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
8 years ago

the dog always comes first no matter what. period.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Damn right, that's unconditional love right there. Something humans are incapable of.

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
8 years ago

its a special bond none dog owners just can't truly understand.

unfortunately i lost my boy in 2010 but he'll always be in my heart

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
8 years ago

Well World, I said girlfriend, not just "any woman."
But yah, if I broke up with my gf, it would be the dog getting a lot more love.


Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 8/21/2012 12:43:24 PM

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
8 years ago

I'd hardly call myself ageing at 21, but I do find myself putting less time into gaming than I did only a few years ago. Admittedly, it was refreshing back then as I'd only just gotten back into it after a VERY long hiatus but that's not really the problem. Work takes up most of my time, and I like to set aside a couple of hours to put into writing as well. That leaves me with me with bugger all time and when you add in the things you need to do to live decently (cooking, sleeping, etc.) my time for gaming is super limited. And then it gets even worse when you get a girlfriend 'cos you lose the weekends.

Life man… sometimes it's a real pain.