Gaming in your 40s

Vincent Vega

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
288
I've been a PC gamer my entire life for close to 3 decades. It all started for me in the early 90s when my dad brought home a DOS Pentium 75 Gateway 2000 in the legendary cow-themed box. As an only child, the PC became the center of my teenage entertainment. All throughout college, mid-to-late 20s and 30s, gaming remained a staple and cornerstone of entertainment, part of my identity.

I am in my early 40s now and perhaps since the birth of my son 3 years ago, I've been feeling this unshakable guilt whenever I would queue up a casual round of whatever online shooter. Thankfully, I am my own boss and make my own hours, which should afford me the flexibility to engage with an activity I have always loved, but instead of being able to immerse myself into the title and enjoy the escapism, I get the feeling that I should be doing something else meaningful, productive, or constructive with my time. Yes, having two toddlers at home limits the amount of free time by default, but there's something about gaming in particular that conjures up this bizarre guilt that I don't get if I was to just sit down and watch an episode of The Expanse. I also noticed that competitive, stressful titles lost their luster years ago, any gaming I did in recent years was limited to easy mode "story play" instead of nightmare modes.

Maybe I've outgrown it? The thought of it saddens me. Perhaps it's just not the right time right now and I'll return to it at a later point? Anyway, I am interested to hear from other folks in the 40+ bracket, if they felt the same way and how they've dealt with it. Cheers!

P.S. 2 weeks away from my 20-year [H]F anniversary. Fuuuuck me time flies.
 

Nobu

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
8,539
You need a new hobby. Also, don't forget the kids. ;)

I'm working on my soldering, personally.
 

applegrcoug

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
293
I am in my mid-40s and yup, that's how it works...

All the things you liked to do pre-kid kind of disappear. Either you get guilt for doing your own things or you feel guilty. Playing games is not "quality time." My son is eight and now we play some of the games he wants, but that is about it. Oh and being your own boss doesn't mean much....because whatever time you can adjust for playing a game can be time spent doing yard work or something else more important. It is why married male auto insurance rates get to be as cheap as women....they are slaves to their family and can't afford to be crazy.
 

sharknice

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
2,972
Most parents just watch TV for the majority of their free time. Don't feel guilty using what little free time you have playing games.
My only free time is when my kid is sleeping and I use it to work out and play games. And I do some AI stuff just for fun.
 

ZeqOBpf6

Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2014
Messages
833
I'm not quite 40 yet but the amount of time I spend per week GAMEING I have fully accepted that I am going to be that super old guy in CSGO on a random Tuesday morning calling out enemy spotted.

Love the shit.
 

RagingSamster

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 6, 2003
Messages
3,014
58, and one set of my grandkids (13 and 10) just hooked me solid into Fortnite. Doing dailies and getting crowns, etc. The other set (10 and 7) have me heavy into Minecraft Dungeons. Other than that I'm into MSFS in VR. Then again I'm retired, so I can spend time with family and gaming.
 

learners permit

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 15, 2005
Messages
1,083
I think when the kids are older you'll be able to get them interested and that guilt will take a back seat to the fun you'll have fraggin with the kids I know I did. 57 now and the boys are grown and living their lives but we still talk about the good times we had working pit strategies in Nascar and fraggin fools on the battlefields. Ironically they are the ones who don't have time for it now lol.
 

Slade

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
2,819
I turned 41 in Feb. My son turned 3 a week ago. Still gaming strong. I just put in 100hrs in Elden Ring and play Destiny 2 with friends (also parents, career people) on a regular basis. My childhood friends still play too even with kids. I wouldn't feel guilty about it. My son gets a ton of attention and is even has a DS but prefers using tablets (when he has permission, we limit his tech time and encourage as much play time as possible). Most of my gaming time is after my son is asleep.
 

djstarfox

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 20, 2010
Messages
482
Aside from the occasional FPS or platformer to blow off work stress, the only games I play now are couch co-op with the wife. I believe the days of playing through a long RTS/FPS by myself are gone. However, I prefer the RPG co-op games now because 1) story is more engaging; 2) it's a relationship-building fun activity for us.

The only advice I would give is just to make sure you're enjoying those precious free time hours. It's OK to find a new hobby/activity if it makes you (and the family) happier. When the kids get older, you can share your favorite classic games with them and/or use them as a teaching opportunity for sticking through a challenge.
 

kamxam

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
1,900
Remember when you were real young and you hated things like taking naps and getting spanked? Now, once you get into your 40's and 50's that seems more enjoyable now. :rolleyes:
As for family and kids, Enjoy your time with them any way you can, but take time also to do what you want to do as long as it doesn't hurt anything imho.
 
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SeymourGore

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
4,030
Going through my 39th year, so I'm not as old as you oldies here, but I can't say I feel much 'guilt' over when I game. I view gaming and PC DIYing as a hobby, and like all hobbies, they should be enjoyed but not take away from personal responsibilities. With that said, I rarely play multiplayer now, and stick to single player, big reason for that is so that I can pause the game and tend to a family need as required.

I also like to play the odd game with my youngest (6 years old), I've got a new appreciation for Nintendo titles and those 2-player family friendly co-op games (Lego, Unravel 2).
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
29,919
I'm 43. I hardly game at all anymore even though I still have all the prerequisite stuff to do it. Occasionally, I'll see a game that catches my eye (usually a sequel to something I played back in the day) and I'll play it. Far Cry 6 being the most recent. But I don't sit around and try new games that I'm not sure I'll like.

I'd rather go out and play golf rather than find new games to play.
 

Westwood

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
7,240
My kids always asking me if I'm running maps (Path of Exile).

Winter time I game a bit. Warmer weather I'm too busy choring outside or fixing something around the house.
 

NIZMOZ

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
2,122
I've been a PC gamer my entire life for close to 3 decades. It all started for me in the early 90s when my dad brought home a DOS Pentium 75 Gateway 2000 in the legendary cow-themed box. As an only child, the PC became the center of my teenage entertainment. All throughout college, mid-to-late 20s and 30s, gaming remained a staple and cornerstone of entertainment, part of my identity.

I am in my early 40s now and perhaps since the birth of my son 3 years ago, I've been feeling this unshakable guilt whenever I would queue up a casual round of whatever online shooter. Thankfully, I am my own boss and make my own hours, which should afford me the flexibility to engage with an activity I have always loved, but instead of being able to immerse myself into the title and enjoy the escapism, I get the feeling that I should be doing something else meaningful, productive, or constructive with my time. Yes, having two toddlers at home limits the amount of free time by default, but there's something about gaming in particular that conjures up this bizarre guilt that I don't get if I was to just sit down and watch an episode of The Expanse. I also noticed that competitive, stressful titles lost their luster years ago, any gaming I did in recent years was limited to easy mode "story play" instead of nightmare modes.

Maybe I've outgrown it? The thought of it saddens me. Perhaps it's just not the right time right now and I'll return to it at a later point? Anyway, I am interested to hear from other folks in the 40+ bracket, if they felt the same way and how they've dealt with it. Cheers!

P.S. 2 weeks away from my 20-year [H]F anniversary. Fuuuuck me time flies.
With my job, and family, I pretty much gave up gaming when I hit 43-44. I sold my entire gaming rig, bought a MacBook Pro 16" M1 Max, and love not wasting time any more in games. The amount of time it took away from my family was unreal and with work I barely saw them. So, it was the choice I made and I am much happier now that I did. I played games since I was 12-14 years old, and that was in the late 80s-90s. I do think about it occasion, and the way prices are today, it is easy pass on it. :)
 
Joined
May 27, 2007
Messages
608
I turn 40 next year but have had a similar history with gaming and feeling guilty (or sometimes depressed in my case). I’ve taken 1 - 2 year breaks from gaming, last one being shortly after my son was born (he’s 6 now). In each case there was something else important going on in my life and I felt I was being irresponsible if I continued to played games in my free time.

As my son got a little bit older though, games became something we bonded over and created great memories around, so that guilt eventually went away. During the last gaming break I focused a lot more on reading, exercise, learning new tech skills, and selling / trading some of my old collectibles.

Like others have suggested, I would just take a break for a bit and find other hobbies to do for a time. There’s a good chance your son will also find interest in games and he’ll help you rediscover some of the fun / happiness they’ve brought you in the past.
 

Comixbooks

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
18,979
Just turned 47 just started eating totally didnt even have a birthday cake .healthy so I can game in my 50s. I would go vegan but they your muscles shrink too much. Just had a knee aspiration last week went ok. Think I wrecked myself playing too much Elden Ring in one sitting or the new floors at Walmart did me in. So trying to loose weight weigh 240 currently down from 265.

I think Tiny Tinas Wonderland is going to be my last game purchase for a long time this year nothing up on my Radar everything is delayed.
 
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Enigma

Gawd
Joined
Oct 15, 2003
Messages
872
Knocking on 40 this year... Every weekend is a in house lan party with my kids, Q3A, Q2CTF, UT99, Ark, Neverwinter Nights, Diablo, Etc. We load up what we want to play on the local server and get into TS and have lots of fun.... That said though my kids screen time is limited and when we are not fragging each other we are out fishing or on the ATVS. Hell my wife even jumps on the server for some frags from time to time.
 

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
21,164
Been there for a while (I'm coming up on 45), and I get it. I don't even play anything competitive beyond Street Fighter online, and I have like 30 years of muscle memory there. I used to be all about competitive games when I was younger. Now I mainly just play open-world exploration games and the like. Stuff that transports you to another world without having to leave your home.
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
60,884
I'm 43 and I enjoy playing games as much as I ever have. Obviously, I have far less time for it but I still get several hours of gaming in most weeks. There are times where I don't game much for two or three weeks but I always come back to it. I have other hobbies though, so those can take up time as well when I just don't have anything new to play. I do tend to gravitate towards competitive online games less and less with my only interest in them being when I'm playing with friends for the most part. At first I thought it was a matter of not wanting to deal with the CoD kiddies, although that's certainly part of it. I don't care for the way online games are made anymore with their focus on loadout systems, changing weapon metas and unlocks. In a lot of games, you can't be competitive unless you make the game a lifestyle. I hate that shit.
 

braamer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
1,639
Just turned 49 here, and still enjoy gaming. My wife and I play WoW TBC Classic together, and I get time to play plenty of other games.

Working from home has its benefits.
 

TheToE!

[H] Brewmaster
Joined
May 17, 2005
Messages
8,500
I just turned 39. For me I find I just don't have time to really sink my teeth into most games. Forget these 100+ hour amazing games. I'm more into stuff I can pick up and put down in quick sessions. Mostly indie.
 

techie81

[H]ard for [H]ardware
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
5,913
I am in my 40s and I find myself playing games where I can get in and play quickly -- while also being able to leave the game quickly and not losing progress.

I think I will always have a love for gaming but what I have been playing slowly changes to adapt with my adult lifestyle.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
3,485
I'm still having a great time gaming. I play a lot less but I've been going through my backlog and have played (or replayed) a bunch of great stuff. I'm happy going at my own pace and I still play a MP shooter with some friends here and there.
 

jacuzz1

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 14, 2004
Messages
7,086
I've been a PC gamer my entire life for close to 3 decades. It all started for me in the early 90s when my dad brought home a DOS Pentium 75 Gateway 2000 in the legendary cow-themed box. As an only child, the PC became the center of my teenage entertainment. All throughout college, mid-to-late 20s and 30s, gaming remained a staple and cornerstone of entertainment, part of my identity.

I am in my early 40s now and perhaps since the birth of my son 3 years ago, I've been feeling this unshakable guilt whenever I would queue up a casual round of whatever online shooter. Thankfully, I am my own boss and make my own hours, which should afford me the flexibility to engage with an activity I have always loved, but instead of being able to immerse myself into the title and enjoy the escapism, I get the feeling that I should be doing something else meaningful, productive, or constructive with my time. Yes, having two toddlers at home limits the amount of free time by default, but there's something about gaming in particular that conjures up this bizarre guilt that I don't get if I was to just sit down and watch an episode of The Expanse. I also noticed that competitive, stressful titles lost their luster years ago, any gaming I did in recent years was limited to easy mode "story play" instead of nightmare modes.

Maybe I've outgrown it? The thought of it saddens me. Perhaps it's just not the right time right now and I'll return to it at a later point? Anyway, I am interested to hear from other folks in the 40+ bracket, if they felt the same way and how they've dealt with it. Cheers!

P.S. 2 weeks away from my 20-year [H]F anniversary. Fuuuuck me time flies.
I am 62 years old and while i do not game as often as i used to, I manage to get some in at least once a week. I love gaming, it was the catalyst for me to move from manufacturing to IT. So in an indirect way, Gaming is the reason that i can earn a good living well into my 70's if I wish. My handle is OLDManhasGun . Look me up the next time you are playing a little Warzone. I do not have the reflexes that I had when i was a premier Quake player but I have fun , especialy with resurgence.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
11,054
I'm "only" 37, but passed my 20 years on [H] last year. I don't see my gaming habits changing much in the next few years. Then again, I don't have kids nor do I plan to have kids. With that said, my most played game these days is World of Warcraft where I am in a casual guild and there are quite a few older players, many of which have young kids. Some players are even in their 50s. Part of our guild culture is keeping things family-friendly and taking breaks when needed for members to check on their kids, etc. It seems to work out quite well.

I think part of the issue here is that as we all get older, we remember people who we have known in our past, when they were the age that we are now. 15-20+ years ago it might have been weird to see someone in their 40's playing computer games, but those people didn't grow up playing computer games the way we did. Every generation is different and that holds true even as we all get older. The idea that someone is supposed to just drop all of their recreational habits and morph into a different person at a certain age is, quite frankly, stupid.
 
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funkydmunky

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
3,158
I've been a PC gamer my entire life for close to 3 decades. It all started for me in the early 90s when my dad brought home a DOS Pentium 75 Gateway 2000 in the legendary cow-themed box. As an only child, the PC became the center of my teenage entertainment. All throughout college, mid-to-late 20s and 30s, gaming remained a staple and cornerstone of entertainment, part of my identity.

I am in my early 40s now and perhaps since the birth of my son 3 years ago, I've been feeling this unshakable guilt whenever I would queue up a casual round of whatever online shooter. Thankfully, I am my own boss and make my own hours, which should afford me the flexibility to engage with an activity I have always loved, but instead of being able to immerse myself into the title and enjoy the escapism, I get the feeling that I should be doing something else meaningful, productive, or constructive with my time. Yes, having two toddlers at home limits the amount of free time by default, but there's something about gaming in particular that conjures up this bizarre guilt that I don't get if I was to just sit down and watch an episode of The Expanse. I also noticed that competitive, stressful titles lost their luster years ago, any gaming I did in recent years was limited to easy mode "story play" instead of nightmare modes.

Maybe I've outgrown it? The thought of it saddens me. Perhaps it's just not the right time right now and I'll return to it at a later point? Anyway, I am interested to hear from other folks in the 40+ bracket, if they felt the same way and how they've dealt with it. Cheers!

P.S. 2 weeks away from my 20-year [H]F anniversary. Fuuuuck me time flies.
It's a drop in T. The competitive nature drops and we just don't get the dopamine rewards for one more go and our minds wander. We switch slowly over to passive entertainment sip tea and eat high carb snacks or worse become vegan and continue our slide into our inevitable grave.
 

staknhalo

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
2,714
I'm "only" 37, but passed my 20 years on [H] last year. I don't see my gaming habits changing much in the next few years. Then again, I don't have kids nor do I plan to have kids. With that said, my most played game these days is World of Warcraft where I am in a casual guild and there are quite a few older players, many of which have young kids. Some players are even in their 50s. Part of our guild culture is keeping things family-friendly and taking breaks when needed for members to check on their kids, etc. It seems to work out quite well.

I think part of the issue here is that as we all get older, we remember people who we have known in our past, when they were the age that we are now. 15-20+ years ago it might have been weird to see someone in their 40's playing computer games, but those people didn't grow up playing computer games the way we did. Every generation is different and that holds true even as we all get older. The idea that someone is supposed to just drop all of their recreational habits and morph into a different person at a certain age is, quite frankly, stupid.

"stop watching TV all the time, you kids"

now, they do it as adults/the elderly

same thing, different year and technology

probably said "stop listening to that radio all the time" and "stop rolling that rock" too
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,727
Your problem is kids, without which I never anticipate being embarrassed. My wife also never wants a kid, , and shares my passion for games!

My gaming addiction took a lot of my time as a kid, but my interest in how video games work made me actually care to learn about about the PC I was gaming on.

I still do software dev, and I still keep-up with the industry, and exploits, and new OSes, but I don't ever feel bad about spending some downtime gaming!
 
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braamer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
1,639
Your problem is kids, without which I never anticipate being embarrassed.

Nah, kids aren't the problem. I've had a lot of fun playing WoW, 7 Days to Die, Forza, Terraria, Minecraft, and many, many other games with my kids (I have 5). You may need to change up what you are playing, is all.
 

Krenum

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 29, 2005
Messages
18,805
It usually happens when you realize you're running on borrowed time. When you're half dead, you start thinking about how to appropriate the time you have left.
 

BassTek

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 13, 2002
Messages
6,303
I play after my daughter is asleep, and usually only play after dark on the weekend so it’s not like I’m wasting time that would normally be spent doing something outside. No guilt here really. I did shift from team based games to primarily single player or less competitive multiplayer games on the off chance my daughter wakes up and I have to quickly stop playing.
 

TheHig

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
1,032
46 here and gaming comes and goes when I have time or something catches my interest. Anymore it’s just one of my hobbies instead of the main one. I still enjoy everything PC such as building and tinkering as well as games. As a father of 3 the kids and I play some games together too. It’s perfectly normal to have interests change over time.
 

Niner21

Gawd
Joined
Aug 26, 2018
Messages
529
I am 49 here and will be 50 soon. I still play games, but not as much as I used to for sure. Just find it hard to find a game that captures my attention for long. I mostly like racing games and FPS just as I did when I first started PC gaming. I don't play online much anymore so I look for games that have offline bots to play against. I mainly enjoy the tinkering and building aspect of PC's more than gaming anymore.
 

delita

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
1,819
I'm 36 and I have 2 kids (3 and 7). Truth be told, I took a remote job 7 years ago and NEVER looked back. I have no shame in admitting that 75% of my gaming time is during work hours. I do my job and then get to do what I really want, while also not feeling guilty or worse (GUILT TRIPPED) for not spending time with my family. My wife and kids get home at 5 and I spend 4-5 hours with them at night and then when they are all in bed if I'm still up for it I'll get an extra 1-2 hours in before turning in myself.

I put 115 hours into Elden Ring and I would say 80 of those hours were on the company dime. No regrets.
 

blade52x

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
3,154
I have no shame in admitting that 75% of my gaming time is during work hours. I do my job and then get to do what I really want, while also not feeling guilty or worse (GUILT TRIPPED) for not spending time with my family.

You are the anti of those people who brag about working 80 hours a week. What you have, is something to truly brag about.

Good for you. I also work remotely and while I don't really game much during work hours (mostly because my interest in gaming has waned over the years), it's definitely been a life changer for the better without sacrificing (and in fact even improving) my quality of work.
 

rhkcommander959

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
264
Another part of it too is that a lot of games lately just suck... Or require too much time to jump into and get re-familiarized with.

I need a game I can jump into after a week or five of not playing and not have to remember what quest I was on, or what button combos I needed to do X-thing. Shooters are obviously easier for that but I haven't had many I like to play anymore.

I had high hopes for Back 4 Blood being a perfect combo of jumping in and out as life dictates, easy controls so no relearning combos after a long hiatus, and for having loved L4D2 but sadly it feels like work/grindy, I don't know it just doesn't hook me. Most games don't anymore but I blame the games (or is it me?), I tried some older games I loved and maybe it was nostalgia or maybe they were just better games? Either way I had a lot more fun. I do like in B4B that you can quit at any safehouse and/or in-between and it will just load the last safehouse. I've been forcing myself to play through a round every now and again trying to make it enjoyable, but I already know it's a lost cause if I have to do that.

I did like cyberpunk 2077, flaws and all but I had to drop it for life and now can't get the nerve to jump back on. So many quests and crap going on that I don't remember where the hell I left off or what I was doing, same thing with Fallout, Skyrim, Middle-Earth Shadows, yadda yadda. I can find enjoyable games but some of them take time to re-situate, or with middle-earth and assassin style games you gotta know the combos for all the crazy moves, after the time spent relearning them I kick ass but just as easily forget them again with time.

VR has been a good outlet though! It's designed to be quick in and out generally, depending on the game. Only a couple buttons so no memorizing a bunch of crazy combos, the skills translate game to game generally. The CV1 has been good to me, I did take a lot of time off from it but it sat there plugged in and ever-ready to go. Outside of that when I get too busy all I play is Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes on my phone for about 10 minutes a day, I've played too long to quit and have some friends on there.
 

J3RK

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 25, 2004
Messages
10,036
I'm 45. I had to cull my game playing a little bit when the kids were younger, because I have other hobbies. Had to balance that mythical "spare time" between them. As the kids got a bit older (youngest is 11 now) they've played games WITH me. I started them on co-op Borderlands with me pretty young, and had my own little army. :D My 14 year old daughter played Hollow Knight in parallel with me, and kept pace fairly well. Nearly 100%ed the game actually. I did the path of pain, and she didn't, but still. We all play a lot of Mario and Zelda games together too, and my youngest and I have beat River City Girls about 5 times on NG+ until we had every item in the game. My wife won't play games (unless I get her a bit tipsy, and then she'll play Super Mario World with me. :D ) The family is currently dealing with my Elden Ring addiction though. I haven't been playing with the kids much for the past month. :p I find that I can make plenty of time for games, my synthesizer design/building hobby, and still manage to get out on the town with my wife, help the kids with homework sometimes, etc. My day job is strictly 40 hours a week (unless I'm on call for one week out of the month) so there are plenty of hours to get things done and still play here and there. Guilt free.
 
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