Uncharted 4, Drake gaming on the couch with a friend as an adult gamer.

The Adult Gamer Paradox and Me

As a child, you may remember hearing “I don’t have the money for another game” or “wait until your birthday for another game”. As frustrating as this was to us, we would then think, “when I’m older, I’ll be able to buy as many games as I want when I have a job and my own place”. We go through our teen years, borrowing games, playing on the weekends and getting involved in these amazing gaming communities and online sessions with college friends or university societies, and then it happens.

Sonic and Knuckles playing video games as adult gamers.

No one is quite sure why (we all know exactly why), but life happens.

Mortgages, jobs and other responsibilities can keep us away from our games that we don’t have the time that we did before to appreciate them. But here is where the paradox kicks in, we have more money to spend on games but not enough time to play them. We have disposable income that is ours to control and use to purchase those games, that long-awaited DLC or the in-game currency but only so long before we do that pile of ironing that has piled up over the week, or need to cook dinner so that we don’t starve, or maybe go to the shops so that you can eat for the rest of the month.

Life hits hard, but the lesson that this community here on Grown Gaming has taught me is that it doesn’t have to be the be-all and end-all once life gets going. Gaming also teaches us that. In Kingdom Hearts, Fire Emblem, Dark Souls and Crash Bandicoot plus many more, we are taught that giving up is not an option. Just maybe, a change in tactics or perspective.

Furlough was a silver lining for gamers once the lockdown began. Be paid to do nothing and get to play as much as you want. We now have that time to play games that have been sitting in our libraries from the last Steam sale, finally show Crash Bandicoot’s Slippery Climb level who is boss or extend that first-night dirt shack in Minecraft (that’s how behind I am – thanks, work).

Now that the world has returned to normal, gaming time has gone down and the paradox keeps your 8-bit hearts at bay for some time again, but you know that is fine. You had some time to get those platinum trophies that you’ve been striving to get for a while and you got to fall in love with your favourite heroes and villains all over again, maybe even discover some new costumes that you never knew were in the game when you first played it. The real world has now called you back. You reload the save of yourself that is an adult with real-world issues and relationships and carry that data on to keep pursuing your goals.