May 24 2008

Ageism Is Getting Rampant

elderly gamerJust the other day I spoke about how a social network, Faceparty, had decided it was best to delete people over 36-years-old because they may be sex offenders.  Well, this made me think of another situation I have been running into a lot more lately: ageism in video games.

I have spoken before about some of the… “stimulating”… conversations I have while playing games like Call of Duty 4 online, but now it is becoming a regular occurrence for me to be slammed on for being 36.  In the past it has been insults of everyone being “gay”, or “you suck” or just general stupidity, but as gamers are trending to be older (the average age of video game players is now 34), the teens are getting more insulting about people in my age range being “losers” for still playing video games.  As I so kindly tell them, if it wasn’t for people like me having played video games since they came around in the 1980’s, they wouldn’t have their games today, so… stuff it.  (I have no patience for these kids… I’m sure you all are shocked since I’m normally Mr. Cuddly)  This is usually all followed up with I have no life… I must be on welfare (… how did I afford the game…)… aendlessly with the same insults over-and-over.

I have to wonder where this animosity is coming from.  What possible difference does it make to some kid if I’m 16 or 36, so long as I’m doing my “job” in the game, what does it really matter?  It doesn’t, but I think it speaks to a common distrust of “older” people I see creeping back into the social consciousness.  Ever heard the saying from the 1960’s of “Don’t trust anyone over 30”?  Well, from what I see, it’s happening again, but this time I think it’s for very different reasons… just plain snottiness.

At least when this saying popped up originally, we were engaged in a highly questionable war, with a country still reeling from an assassination that no one understood.  True, we are engaged in another questionable war, but somehow, I don’t think these kids are even remotely aware of it.  These are “the mellinials” and their only concern is themselves.  You thought Generation X, my generation, was bad?  We have nothing on this group.

Honestly, their actual words don’t phase me in the least, but the general attitude is disturbing.  I’m not sure where it came from, what causes it or if there is even any way to stop it.  Hopefully it will disappear with time, and for now it is just generally annoying, lets just hope it doesn’t get any worse.

Somehow I doubt this will be the last time I touch on the “old people suck” attitude I’m encountering more and more.

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