I seem to be really bad at games these days. Is there enough of us to start a club, with badges?


I didn’t used to be bad, I really didn’t. Decades ago I would complete the likes of Tomb Raider without batting an eyelid. The early Final Fantasy games sent you back to the start of a dungeon if you died, but that wasn’t an issue as I was wiping the floor with bosses. I even did all the levels on Stunt Car Racer. I think.

Now I am almost 40 and I seem to be rubbish. My reactions in FPS games have gone. I can’t remember the best equipment to use for situations on rogue games. I can’t plan three moves ahead in Tactics games. I can no longer score with 50% of my shots in NHL.

I am a shell of my former self.

Granted, a baby in the house means I have much less game-time now, so I “practice” less in FPS. I am 90% a Switch only player now. And I would imagine that, generally, the reactions of a near 40 year old are not those of an 18 year old amped up on Red Bull (or whatever you kids drink these days to stay awake playing games until 4am).

But still, I have just wiped on level 2-8 of Mario Rabbids and all I have seen about this game is “it doesn’t get hard until the end of world 3”. I can’t get past the Flying Fortress on Sonic Mania. I am only 30% in on Arcade difficult level on Neurovoider and if I eat one more thing in Minecraft rather than digging I am going to scream.

Tell me I am not alone. Please. It is dark here.

Hard Games? I think I'll pass

Reaction time naturally lengthens as you grow older, doesn’t it? I’ve certainly heard competitive FPS players talk about ageing out of the scene or having to take on different kinds of roles (less twitchy) in order to stay on top. And by “ageing out” I mean literally like… they’re just in their 30s or late 20s.


I love FPS games but have never been particularly great at them. I think in recent years we’ve been seeing a lot of them make themselves more accessible and enjoyable for people who aren’t exactly pros. Titanfall rewards everyone with a Titan not as a kill streak but a timed drop, and you can speed up the process a bit if you perform better. Overwatch features tons of characters you don’t need super precise aim to use (Winston, Mercy, Junkrat, etc.), and (this may have always been the case with the series, I’ve really only played Battlefield 1) Battlefield very much rewards players for focusing on capturing objectives and not being killing machines; very often I see people at the top of the leaderboard with very few kills and a lot of deaths. Design choices like these are super helpful for me and make these experiences way less intimidating.


One possibility might be that as a child growing up in a middle or lower-class family, you probably weren’t likely to get more than a very small handful of games per year, and naturally you’d gravitate towards genres that were comfortable to you (e.g. mostly platformers or TF2 in my case). Since you had very few games all centralized around mostly the same gameplay types, it stands to reason that you would get really good at them.

The combination of being an adult with more disposable income, and this current generation where cheap games are absurdly plentiful, means that you’ll be playing a much wider range of genres than you were probably used to as a kid. So while I’m still a pro at most platformers (and TF2), if I decide to dabble in another genre like fighting or tactics games, whoops I have no ingrained experience and am absolutely terrible.

On top of that, when you’re an adult with very limited amounts of free time, it’s not likely you’ll spend that time overcoming the initial hurdles of genres you’re not good at. That’s largely been my experience, anyway.


Yep that is likely true. Certainly whilst at Uni I had many more games than growing up. When I hit 16 I had my Amiga as well, which was pretty rife piracy wise, so lots of games there as well. It just seems to be a huge drop off. I don’t think I have ever been stuck on different games like I am now.

Maybe I’m just too old for this shit now. If they bring a point and click game out on the Switch then I’ll invest in that. Maybe.


At a competitive level, the slowing of reflexes as a result of aging can be noticeably impactful, but I think it’s a mistake to apply that same logic to casual play in public matches. In FPS games, for example, it’s much more important to keep basic strategies in mind such as “don’t sprint around corners, aim down sight first” and “in surprise gunfights, shoot first and then begin aiming down sights so you have a better chance of getting the first shot.” It’s also similarly important to understand the most useful lines of sight, the common spawn locations for the enemy team, common choke points and camping locations, etc." You should remember to stick to the perimiter of the map whenever possible so you are less vulnerable to being shot in the back. All of these strategies are much more important than ones ability to react in the present moment, and if you develop these strategies you are also less likely to find yourself caught off guard in the first place.


Sure, gamesense is a thing, but OP specifically mentioned their FPS reaction time.


Absolutely, I was more so responding to your anecdote about competitive players dropping out in their late-20’s/30s, because I’ve heard this fact cited so often by regular players as to why they’re doing bad in public online matches, and I wanted to dispel that link. The average skill level between competitive play and an online quick play environment are so drastically different that there’s not much comparison to be drawn. If you maintain basic strategies, it really shouldn’t matter how slow your reaction times are or how skilled you are at aiming. I even remember years ago watching a physically disabled CoD player on YouTube who had very limited use of both hands, but was still able to do well consistently by playing smart.


Update: I got a SNES Classic for Christmas and boy, have I forgotten how to play those games. Christmas morning was spent mostly dying on the first levels of a lot of different games.


I find that I can still hold my own in modern games, but going back and playing games from my childhood is a nightmare. I look at lots of classics that I absolutely adored and devoured, and I wonder how in the name of god I ever pulled it off. I remember beating Castlevania 2 as a kid, and now going back to that seems like a fever dream of bad decisions. I don’t know if I just don’t have the patience anymore to poke at something until it reveals its secrets or if that particular part of my brain for problem solving has atrophied, but man.


I’ve always been kind of bad at video games. I missed the FPS revolution so I’ve never been good, and a lot of “gaming logic” just doesn’t make sense to me. Usually I just crank things down to easy if I need to since I’m trying to enjoy the story and atmosphere. Or, like in the case of Overwatch, I just play for fun and get marginally better through that.


Nobody has talked about the badges in this thread.

I would like the badges.


I’m personally voting for jackets. Sweet, sweet jackets.


What kind of jackets should they be? I’m leaning toward…



I approve of this style.


About it for sure


I’ve always been bad at games and I think it was because when I grew up, with NES games, I never really saw finishing games as something that other people did. Probably GENIUSES. So I would never try that hard, and because the ability to save games was basically a password screen if you were lucky, I was often content just to start the game from the beginning if I wanted to play it.

It was only later I started finishing games, and even then it was mostly graphic adventures I was playing so it wasn’t really heavily skill based. So I never really became super confident. Also I’ve never really been very aggressive or competitive in multiplayer, so despite becoming half-decent at Quake back in the day, it’s not a skill I really spent time developing.

So nowadays I accept I am just not going to be fantastic at games. I am a normal-as-heck player. I usually play on normal, do averagely well with that, and I’m okay with that.

With games like PUBG making me want to play multiplayer again I do wish I’d get better at things like aiming and reacting fast, but I think it’s long past the time that I would get REALLY good at something like that.


As I enter the back half of my 30s maybe I’m getting worse at games? I’ve never taken stock of my abilities really and generally viewed myself as someone who appreciates games rather than masters them.
But I like jackets and badges, what are you picturing for a design?


My vote is for embroidered patches.