Gaming in Your 40s: Juggling a Job, Family & Trash-Talking Youngsters

First things first: 40s?!?! Holly freaking #*#*! That’s like… ancient, right?

But still gaming!

And if you’re in you’re 40s too, celebrate! We’re most likely going to be the first ones to say that we’re gamers when we’re 60 and older (if we have enough extra lives to get there!) But until we even start guessing what the future of gaming will look like some two decades into the future, let me tell you about the present.

Even if you’re a grown man (or woman), in your 40s, when it comes to the public’s opinion about your person, nothing has changed compared to when you were in your early teens, if you are (and were) a gamer.

Probably even more so than they did when you were 15, people will now consider you a total loser if you call yourself a gamer. I had to go through the stares and looks of pity from people – both friends and strangers – hearing that I like to play video games in my free time.

Little do they know that for most of my life, I actually played games for a living. Not as a eSports player (although I would’ve liked that), but as a journalist writing about games. I’m not getting into details with them, because it’s not my job to convince them it’s OK to be a gamer. Even if you’re 40 or older.

Even if it was nothing but a hobby, though, gaming would’ve been one important part of my life. It was, before I started to write for a living about games and I actually chose this because I was a gamer, not the other way around. even though now my retro reviews like this Dune 2 review are no longer read by many because they’re no longer relevant, I still do it because I like it.

But gaming in your 40s is completely different than gaming in your teen years. And I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below. After all, we have plenty of things to share!

What it’s like being a gamer in your 40s

retro video game party
Let the retro vibes fill the room!

4-5 cans of Coke, my headphones on so as not to disturb the other family members (and to better hear the players trying to sneak up on me), and two bags of chips. This was all I needed for a perfect gaming session starting at 5-6 PM, and ending somewhere between 3AM and passing out on my chair.

Sometimes, I could pull an all nighter without food or drinks. Time just flew by. The joy of being young.

Not anymore though!

Time is the biggest challenge when you’re a gamer in your 40s. You have a job you MUST be present for, or else those cans of Coke, those chips – and even the games you’re playing – will not be affordable.

You’re an adult. People have other expectations from you. YOU have other expectations and duties. You, most likely, have a partner and, also most likely, at least a child by now. These require time and love and care.

And, no matter how much I love gaming, I will never (OK, I’ll be honest and say that the correct word is “rarely”) choose playing a game over spending time with my family.

That ideal life we all had when our moms would take our controllers and hide them for a week as punishment? Our promise that “we’ll get older” and play all the time. Ha! Real life is worse than an upset mummy!

And you know what’s more upsetting, at least for me, than the lack of time for gaming?

Those 12-year-olds in multiplayer games who have the dirtiest mouths you’ve ever seen. You can’t tell them that you did to their mother what they claim to have done to yours (although, truth be told, there is a slim chance that you really did some freaky things with their mother – it’s a small world, after all…)

Anyway… the most annoying thing in gaming nowadays is the toxic multiplayer environment. Probably it was present when we were young (does playing Farmville and other Facebook games count as gaming?) – but with all the limitations we had then, it wasn’t possible to grow to the scale it has grown to today.

Or maybe it’s just the idea that a kid half (actually, more than half) my age is teabagging me in Fortnite after landing a lucky shot that upsets me. That and the fact that my lower back hurst so bad some days that even the idea of teabagging is painful. Ha!

But, yeah… gaming in your forties is like this: dream all day about the few hours you’ll spend playing your new (or old) favorite game when you get back from work. Make plans, feel that excitement building up inside your belly, rush back home.

Home, you will find out that you first have to help your son with a bit of math. Sure, you hate math, but your son can’t know that – he needs to be better than you.

Go through the pains of algebra for 30 minutes, then take a short break on the couch to clear your mind and calm down. Just a few minutes, which turn into a 20-minute power-nap, because you’re always tired.

Wake up, run to your computer, and launch your game. 20 seconds in, the dog needs to be walked and it’s your turn to do it. No, your wife can’t because she’s preparing dinner. Your son’s already building his new house in Minecraft, talking with his friends online, hopefully not sharing mom-curses, so you have to do it.

When this is done, you get exactly 4 minutes of gameplay, before something important pops up from work and you have to handle it. After 3 more minutes of playing, dinner’s ready. This is when you manage to steal 10 more minutes of playing before your wife gets really mad – even your son’s at the dinner table, what example are you giving him?

After dinner, you spend some moments with your family. Fun times, for sure, but you still want to play your game. You’re an adult, for God’s sake, and you deserve it, no matter if we’re talking about a newer game like Naraka Bladepoint, or one that makes you nostalgic, as it always happens to me with games in the Dune series.

So you go and play for exactly 14 minutes before something new happens: a water pipe breaks in the bathroom, a lightbulb explodes… something. Anything. It will always happen and it will interrupt you.

Then, the bliss: your son goes to bed. Your wife pours herself a glass of wine and starts watching whatever cheesy show she’s watching these days on Netflix. You’re finally alone and ready to really enjoy your game.

But your wife calls you. You see, the wine and the movie and the way the stars shine put her in the mood…

You get my point. The idea is that gaming in your 40s is always a race against time. It’s something you never seem to have time for. It’s something that never seems to happen… until it does.

And when it does… boy, it’s perfect! And I am personally starting to experience something more than perfection: gaming with my son. He’s still young, with limited screen time and lacking in skill… but being able to play with him is amazingly satisfying. Until I headshot his character in Counter Strike, proceed with the traditional teabagging and he starts crying, then tells his mother what I did. And we’re both grounded for the next 3 days.

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