Greetings, my digital comrades, it’s your semi-venerable friend Benjamin clocking in for another dive into the pixelated universe. Don’t be fooled by the specks of gray in my beard or the occasional groan when I sit for too long – my love for gaming is as vibrant as the neon hues of the latest indie game title. My reaction times may have seen better days, and my bedtime is more closely aligned with prime-time TV rather than midnight marathons, but when it comes to navigating the virtual plane, I’m far from obsolete.
Remember when the thrilling world of gaming used to be 8-bits? Some of you won’t, and that’s okay. After all, I’m an elder in the realm of pixels and polygons, a veteran of console wars and MMO guild battles, one who recalls a time when ‘save points’ were a thing, and having a memory card was the height of gaming tech.
Now, for the uninitiated, let me take you back to a time when multiplayer meant sharing a couch with your buddies, huddled around a cathode ray tube TV, a pizza box teetering on the edge of the coffee table. Yes, we old-timers have been on this journey longer than most. Yet, we refuse to retire our controllers and hang up our headsets.
Oh, the kids these days with their teraflop-powered consoles, virtual reality sets, and game-streaming platforms. They’ll never know the terror of blowing into a cartridge in hopes that it’d work this time, or the agony of a scratched CD-ROM. Can they even appreciate the artistry in games without having experienced ‘Pong’ or ‘Space Invaders’?
And, then there are the in-game characters. My character no longer sprints like an Olympic champion after a long day of zombie slaying. Instead, he walks at a dignified pace, just like me. And as for crouching? Well, let’s just say we both take our sweet time getting back up.
Jokes aside, being an older gamer comes with its perks. Patience, for one. If you’ve ever waited for a game to load from a floppy disk, you can handle any server delay or long cutscene with the tranquility of a Zen monk. Strategy? Oh, you bet. A few decades in the gaming world will teach you the difference between a reckless run-and-gun approach and the slow-but-steady stealth method.
Sure, my pre-teen nephew might have quicker reflexes, and yes, the sprightly eSports champions could probably beat me with their eyes closed. But does that matter? Not really. Gaming, like any hobby, should be about having fun, about the thrill of exploring new worlds, about the camaraderie shared with friends online, and sometimes, even about the sheer joy of teaching those young whippersnappers a thing or two about respecting their gaming elders.
So, my friends, while my kids may think of me as a dad stuck in the 90s, and my optometrist might give me a lecture about ‘screen time’, I am Benjamin – a proud 40-something gamer, armed with a lifetime of digital experience, facing down the odds, one level at a time.