A Black Desert Online character standing in a medieval town with a shield on their back.

Too Old to Get Into MMORPGs as an Adult Gamer?

Should an adult gamer, with limited time, even consider playing an MMORPG??

MMORPG’s carry a stigma, not just in gaming circles but in the “real” world too.

The very thought conjures up images of 30-plus-year-old overweight men, with grizzly beards and ponytails gaming out of their mother’s basement. It’s a stereotype, and one that has been proven to be false for the majority, but worth mentioning all the same.

First of all, I’d like to apologise to 30-plus-year-old old overweight men with grizzly beards and ponytails, gaming out of their mother’s basement. You are awesome – game on!

Secondly, I’d like to stress that I’m 32 and that I refuse to confirm how long my grizzly beard and ponytail are. And also, my mum doesn’t have a basement. I’m just throwing that out there.

Okay, I’m glad that’s over.  Back to the subject at hand; MMORPG’s.

I used to play Runescape in my early teens, but that was a long time ago now. I didn’t focus on grinding or levelling up, I spent my time avoiding the PVP areas while trading items and talking to people instead. It was my escape from the real world.

Time has passed since then and in those years I have come to loathe games that make me grind. As a rule I tend to avoid any game that requires me to kill 10 monsters to level up in a tutorial mission. My time is extremely limited these days, so I prefer games that allow me to fly through the story in about 10 hours then move onto the next game. There are too many beautiful video game worlds to visit without being caught up in a dungeon grinding for a month just to wear the next level of armor that I can use to go grind some more.

I’ve often had a quick peek at World of Warcraft and similar games, secretly wishing that I could jump in and just be good without putting in the time or effort. I’ve always liked the idea of being a stupidly high level character that people would see on a server and think “wow, I want to be that level one day.”

Unfortunately, my levels of dedication do not match my high aspirations, so that will never happen. Alas, I thought, online games will never be for me, aside from the occasional sport title and mindless shooter.

Recently, however, my interest in MMO games has been piqued by The Division, which has been stealing hours from my life. I started off playing solo which was a lot of fun, but then my cousin invited me to play with him and his friends. The missions were easier, sure, but being able to chat and have a laugh while playing in a group completely changed the game for me. I now struggle to find the motivation to play it solo, because it just doesn’t feel the same.

A The Division agent looking down a New York street.

With this new interest in playing with friends and creating memories with people rather than NPCs, I’ve started researching other MMO games to get my teeth into. Sure, my friends may not be playing those games, but I’m hopeful that I’ll make a few friends along the way and create some new memories.

The two games I’ve chosen to check out are Black Desert Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Sure, both include a fair amount of grind, but I’m realistic enough to know that I will never be the top-level guy with the best armor and sword. The opportunity to make some epic memories with friends and strangers alike is too much to resist.

Wish me luck.

Written by John

I'm a 36-year-old gamer, clinging onto the gamepad despite real life responsibilities trying to pull me kicking and screaming away. You can follow me on Twitter: @johnlevelsup.

Current setup: Gaming PC with a 1080 Ti, Xbox Series X, Steam Deck, and retro consoles, on a Gigabyte M32Q monitor, sitting on a Flexispot E7 standing desk.