Is it me, or are video games getting old?

By on August 23, 2011

Survey says neither!

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First Impressions
My reaction is
Last week a friend, @derrickpereira, tweeted a link to a CNN article titled “Why most people don’t finish video games.” The article, written by Blake Snow pointed out that 90% of players who start a game will never see the end of it unless they watch a clip on YouTube. Wondering how much reality to that absurdly high number was, I looked at the games I purchased of late.

Me after 30 years still catching up on Xbox 360 games.

Starting with my Steam account, I have Braid, Dirt 3, Half Life 2, Portal 2, Civilization 5, Torchlight and The Witcher 2. On the same PC, I also have WoW, Starcraft II, Dragon Age 2 and Rift installed. On my PS3, I remember buying L.A. Noire and Mass Effect 2 in the last few months. Here comes the shocking part- I haven’t finished a single game of all of them.

These aren’t titles that you randomly pick but games that are considered genre leaders or AAA titles that gamers swear by. In fact, two games from the list are ones whose prequels I’ve played, enjoyed thoroughly and completed without any cheats or codes. So what does that mean? Are games getting too long or am I getting too old. Interestingly, the article I’ve linked to says both are true and I couldn’t agree more. Jeremy Airey, head of U.S. production at Konami nails it by saying:

“The average age of the most frequent game buyer is 41. They’re raising kids. In the middle of a career. Worried about retirement.” Not only that but “the amount of digital distractions now is far greater than it’s ever been before. People need time to check their Facebook, send a Twitter (tweet), be witty on their blog, play with their phone”

The reason why I was late for my first date with my wife.

I have continuously been stating that I probably end up gaming more on my iPhone than I do on any other device because of the short bursts of fun that I am in total control of- be it while waiting for a meeting or going to bed. The massive titles that I’ve bought for my PC or PS3 just don’t have what it takes to sit me down for hour after hour and come back to it.

Having said that, I know that I will end up buying Deus Ex: HR, Skyrim and Uncharted 3- and I doubt I’ll ever finish either of them. My only hope is Diablo 3. And if I never end up completing this sequel to the game that could have something to do in me being late for my first date with my wife, then my faith in games will surely be shaken.


Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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  • Anon

    You are not alone buddy, you are not alone..

  • karar

    100% agree.. in my group we call ourselves “gaming uncles”. we have so many games.. but very few we ever get to finish.
    there was an excellent piece on Rock paper shotgun pr Joystiq i think.. saying that games should be shorter.. so that i can finish them. haha! i honestly felt the same way :P

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