Erosion of the Gaming Skills
Author :        Date : 29-Aug-08

Gaming has been a test of diligence this past week. I have been working through another go around of The Elder Scrolls III – Morrowind GOY edition on my XBox 360. I had spent roughly 20 minutes traveling all around the great world of Vvarendall to finally retrieve the awesome Skull Crusher war hammer. Right when I begin to enter the archaic structured home of some half-breed I am to suppose to deliver this relic to, all of my efforts are wasted due to the game freezing. Talk about frustrating! I am tired of this happening and I find that my patience is lacking when trying to re-indulge in the adventure/mission that I had previously thought I had accomplished.

This situation mirrors my real life realization that I am not the gamer that I was back in my heyday. Hence, this is a solid preface to this blog article – Erosion of the Gaming Skills.

I guess this hit me first when my younger brother Jon (he is 8 years my junior) eventually started to beat on me like a farm animal in Halo. When we first started playing this game, I routinely sniped his sorry ass from behind the hidden glacial recesses. I relied upon guile and stealth to defeat my opponent. And then self-reality punched me square in the nose – I had turned into one of those hated ‘campers’ in the Call of Duty (and like) online series. As my brother improved (by playing), I stagnated and only had time to play every now and again. Now I was the one being abused at his will like a rent-a-car. Anyone who has a younger brother can attest to this – beating on them is pure satisfaction. Now that the tables had turned, one of my sincere joys in life had been extinguished.

As I grow wiser (older), I find myself gravitating to slower paced games where I can utilize my best asset – the brain. No, I have not crossed over to the dark side and become a fan of edutainment titles. However, RPGs are right up my alley (as they have always been) and golf games (thank goodness for the return of the three-button method employed in Tigers Woods 2008 – old school!). I was a HUGE Tekken fan at one point in my gaming career, but being beat on like a red-headed step child is just not appealing to me anymore. I will admit, to the probable disgust of most gamers (and deservedly so), that I do employ cheat codes liberally. I do not do this to beat on my chest to say I conquered X game, but simply to be able to enjoy the great games that are being released in today’s age. At this point in life, my time, patience and thumb motor ability are resources that I do not have in great abundance.

This realization is not something new to me. As I entered into the working world and my career began to escalate, priorities obviously had to change. No more could I devote the necessary hours to master the key button combination required to decapitate a foe in Mortal Kombat or the timing of a certain jump to avoid a villain in Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Sometimes I just don’t have the time to master, or even become remotely proficient, in a game; other times I find that I simply lack the patience to perform the necessary trial-and-error functions to get better. Either way, this is a sad reality that gamers of all ages will eventually face – gaming skills do erode.

One word of the advice to the young pups out there that enjoy looking to take down ‘oldman111′ in your latest online game of Call of Duty – be respectful. One day that will be you. Give ‘creds’ to us old-timers that are still out there on the playing field trying to enjoy the passion we both share – video games.


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