I would say that I am quite lucky to be someone to have a diverse group of friends online that play a variety of games. This suits me perfectly as someone who tends to jump between genres as often as one may change their socks. One minute I am in love with God of War the next I drop everything and disappear into Contra 3: The Alien Wars on my Super Nintendo only to be pulled back into the new DLC for Destiny 2, which is out now by the way, to see what new dungeons we can traverse on Mars. As you can see saying I am a bit diverse in games is quite accurate. However there is something missing, I am not mentioning any competitive PVP games.
“It feels as if the team based competitive scene has not changed much in terms of age diversity” Click To Tweet
Team based PVP games used to be enjoyable a couple console generations ago. I think from that time I may have outgrown the community or possibly just moved on from that type of gaming. It no longer appeals to me anymore given my interests in games. Being excellent at any game requires constant commitment; online or offline. However online gaming means that there is a constant struggle to be the best. There is always competition. That is usually a great thing for people that enjoy only playing one game and not so great for people, like myself, who enjoy a bit of diversity in their game schedule.
It feels as if the team based competitive scene has not changed much in terms of age diversity. As I grow older I watch those that were as young as I was become the new mantle holders of Call of Duty, Fortnite, PUBG and CSGO. It is great to see the next generation improve on what we used to play. The Esports league has reached heights we never thought were possible when I used to play online games with friends and clans. However, I don’t feel like I fit into that age demographic anymore, the game doesn’t feel targeted to someone of my age as much as it used to be. I have moved past the online competitive games and back to titles throughout the year that appeal to the single or co-op player.
These single and co-op based games are played around my schedule and is something I can keep up with on my own time. I no longer see myself after a workday coming home from a place where people are asked to do tasks for a game that tells more people that they have to do even more tasks. That is what online competitive games feel like now; communication, task management and execution. To me this no longer feels like something relaxing, it feels like work.
“I no longer see myself after a workday coming home from a place where people are asked to do tasks to a game that tells more people that they have to do even more tasks.” Click To Tweet
Yes, games like Destiny 2 and World of Warcraft, both of which I casually play, have online competitive systems. I do not play them. Both have raid based systems, I rarely play those, except with friends. My enjoyment is feeling like a face in a crowd in a world that is vast and open. I have been playing World of Warcraft for over 12 years and each time I login I like the feeling of being alone. I can pick a direction and go, explore, finish daily quests, visit some old places I have memories of, the list is endless. There is so much else to do in games like that that requiring people to play it alongside yourself is not always unnecessary. I have my personal goals, and I achieve them.
This is not to say that I am totally devoid of interest for online competitive play. Not at all. In some ways I miss it, in other ways I have found other competitive games to play. Most recently my love for the FGC (fighting game community) has grown and my interest in fighting games is increasing. We find people from multiple age demographics, gender and cultures playing fighting games. Immediately players like Diago Umehara, age 36, Justin Wong, age 32, Gamerbee and Alex Valle also in their 30’s come to mind. It is quite clear that you do not have to be between 18-25 to play competitive fighting games. The other huge pull to these games is the 1V1 style. If you win or lose it is all on you. You can play on your time, you can choose who you play with since it is just one other person, you do not need to assign tasks or commands to other team members, it is just you and you alone.
“It is quite clear that you do not have to be between 18-25 to play competitive fighting games. The other huge pull to these games is the 1V1 style. If you win or lose it is all on you.” Click To Tweet
I would say that as someone who has been playing games for over 35 years my breadth of gaming is pretty large. I have moods where I want to play something with friends, alone or just with one other person. I feel as if the games I used to play with my friends 15 years ago have not changed community wise and so makes me feel alienated. However, it is reassuring to know that I can still find enjoyment in other single or co-op games as well as the ocasional “beat down” with a friend in a game of Street Fighter.