30-somethings: Are you still interested in competitive games?


#1

I’m turning 32 this year, and in a lot of ways, it feels like modern competitive games are for younger people. The genre doesn’t particularly matter; this seems true for many games, but it seems particularly true of MOBAs.

I started playing MOBAs around when LOL was in beta. I never touched Dota Allstars when it was a WC3 custom game, but I quickly came to love the genre because to me, attempting to master a game is just fun on its own. But as time has gone on, I’ve started to feel weird, and I couldn’t figure out why. It wasn’t until recently that I realized what it was: playing MOBAs makes me feel like the oldest one in the room.

Don’t get me wrong: I still love playing MOBAs, but I’m gravitating more towards Heroes of the Storm lately; Blizzard’s streamlined take on the genre. The skill ceiling isn’t the same as DOTA 2’s insane learning cliff, but it’s definitely a lot more manageable. Even so, something about the way people act makes me feel like the playerbase of all MOBA games skews younger.

It feels like a weird generational shift to me. Even in MMOs, I remember all the guild leaders in the games I haunted being in their 30s and 40s, and now it just seems like multiplayer games just have way younger playerbases. Am I just crazy, or is this a thing some of you have noticed as well?


#2

Honestly I think this is more about people feeling like they can behave like immature jackasses online regardless of their age.


#3

I’m sure that’s some of it, but after playing a DOTA2 game a month or two ago, I got a friend request from what is almost definitely a teenage girl, all but confirmed through the game’s voice chat in the match we played. I know this is just one example, but maybe people are more likely to be immature because they are literally immature?


#4

Definitely in the same boat. Though I think it may be more of a function of competitive matchmaking, rather than the games themselves. Used to be able to select our communities by server, interact with admins, and have some ownership over the community – the competitive world definitely, imho, inspires you to collect 4-5 people and never trust the internet for any reason. Getting a group of 30-somethings together for gaming? Often very, very complicated, heh.


#5

I had a similat feeling with CounterStrike. I’ve tried getting back into it over the years but if I fire up CS:GO I feel like a old man.


#6

Less and less, though I still find them fun to watch.

I got sucked into Overwatch for a while, but bounced right off competitive mode from that, I just enjoyed the action in that game. Similarly Titanfall 2.

I have increasingly difficulty enjoying much of anything multiplayer without friends. I really enjoy a good local multiplayer game still, where it’s more about hangin’ out and having laughs with some friends.


#7

Aye, maybe. I don’t play MOBAs to be fair.

Yeah, matchmaking really inspires an Us Versus Them mentality that doesn’t really bring out the best in people. On a server where you’re always playing with/against the same people things tend to be a bit calmer.


#8

Yeah? Kinda? It’s interesting, I grew up playing SC1 and Brood War, then original CS, but these days, unless friends are playing, I rarely touch games that don’t have rather large PvE elements. (Big exceptions being PUBG, and Overwatch?)

It isn’t even like… hitting that “old person motor skills” age where I can’t compete, I’m just not as interested. I don’t get the same blood-pumping excitement that I used to. Calmed down too much. Now that games are just about as much about relaxing as they are entertainment, being in a situation where you’re stressed/working as hard as you can for extended periods of time just doesn’t appeal as much.

I think the first to go was RTS games, unfortunately, right around the time SC2 hit. Played through all the campaigns on Brutal at my own pace, but just couldn’t be bothered with joining the ladder. I’d be curious to see a study done on player populations, but I guess I always just assume it’s

I think you just notice the younger people playing these games more because they tend to be a lot louder, a lot more abrasive, a lot less life experience/interpersonal comfort? In the most recent WoW guild I was in, as an example, we had 3 college kids (well, adults) who did probably 80% of the talking. The married couples with kids would talk from time to time, but appreciate and don’t feel the need to fill silence with words?

I dunno. I’ll be very curious to read this thread I think.


#9

Not 30 but 25 here. But I feel myself and my friends as well too get less and less into competitive gaming or at least to the point where we don’t take competitive multiplayer games as serious(?) As we once did. This kills me inside because I would really like to try to play Gow4 competitively but never really get any of them together. My group of friends are all around the same age as me.


#10

For me the biggest issue is time commitment and being unable to pause. I may still play games for hours at a time, but I will often need to pause to do something and I don’t want to let either my wife or my teammates down so it causes anxiety. Pretty much the only online multi I play these days is Rocket League, because 5 minute matches are freaking great.


#11

I have definitely noticed this in my gaming choices. I think the lack of having free time to improve and keep my skills sharp has contributed to this. A 40 hour work week, family, and other hobbies are not really conducive to competitive gaming, unless you only play that one single game. Even then it’s still difficult.


#12

Not quite 30, but as I get older it gets harder and harder for me to ignore/tolerate the dota community’s more heinous tendencies (slurs in every match, etc.). I also saw a post on the subreddit about how people in the US servers act like they’re all rockstars and don’t play well as a team compared to other servers, which is a bummer. I haven’t really played since they made all those changes to matchmaking (you have to register a phone number to play ranked now, and they did some other stuff with the servers I think), but honestly it just isn’t fun for me to solo queue anymore and try to get my mmr up. I was never that high, but the grind and the constant unhelpful put downs and meaningless criticism (why the fuck didn’t you do x you *** lol kill urself and the like) just isn’t good. I still try to keep up with the pro scene, but even a lot of that is really cringey and hard to do.

I guess what I’m getting at is, the detachment that’s required from me for the behavior of a lot of people in the communities surrounding those games makes it difficult for me to enjoy playing, and get better the way I would like to.


#13

I’m 31 and I love playing Overwatch. I don’t get angry if I lose, though.

Other competitive games I play are Rocket League and various online TCGs.


#14

I was never particularly good at any competitive games. I was okay at Team Fortress Classic, and had a layman’s knowledge of Street Fighter IV.

These days I only watch competitive games. I’m 33, on my days off I only have 2-3 hours for gaming of any sort, so it’s not really possible for me to put in time with anything that’s super deep and competitive.


#15

This is a damn good question.

I havn’t lost my competitive tooth, but it’s clearly not at sharp as it used to be. Likewise, most multiplayer games lately have change to be not just competitive but also highly permanent.

Like LoL and Ranked OW, the culture revolves around quietly brooding and lambasting weakest link. This isn’t just by other players, but it’s also recorded as “you are this terrible”. Add to that the idea of a ever changing Metas means that you need to play so much of the game outside of the game.

It’s really tiring and makes me lose interest quickly, especially when you’re stuck in a playstyle and suddenly it’s not just not valid but also detrimental to the team. ><


#16

Also, in MOBAs, emotions tend to run high if someone on the team is making mistakes. Which is dumb, but I guess can make some sort of sense to people with a certain mindset.


#17

I totally feel this. I’ve been around 1k MMR what feels like forever, and it’s not for lack of trying. It actually used to mean a lot to me that I improve my MMR, but now that HotS has meaningful progression and better rewards, I don’t see the point of playing the DOTA2, a game where I routinely mute my entire team when they inevitably devolve into gibbering monkeys yelling hate speech over voice comms.


#18

I’m 32, will be 33 in a couple of months. And I’ve certain lost a lot of my drive to play competitive games, at least for very long. I still enjoy the mechanics of a lot of these games, but I just don’t have the desire to pit myself against people who are dedicating a lot more time and effort to getting good at them. For this reason, I’ve come to really enjoy “comp-stomping” in MOBAs and the like. The only competitive game I really play much of any more is Overwatch. And there it’s really just the quickplay and arcade modes. I doubt I’d ever really step into the full on competitive mode.

In the same vein, I find myself not being able to get into fighting games anymore. When I was younger, I used to spend hours with fighting games trying to get good enough to throw down for hours with friends. Nowadays, I’ll play a new fighting game for like and hour. Lose a few rounds to be people and then be satisfied to never touch the game again.


#19

I feel like I stopped caring about competitive games when they started doing progression systems with perks and stuff. Basically CoD4 lit the competitive world on fire and everybody copied it and I hate it. I find it rewards play time over skill, which definitely skews younger. I basically haven’t played anything competitively since Uncharted 2, until Overwatch came along.


#20

I’m 31 and I love playing Overwatch, but I hate competitive mode. I don’t understand how it’s enjoyable to worry about metas and yell at people and get yelled at. I really enjoyed the Uprising PvE and if they made a permanent PvE mode I’d be all over it.