GW: Game Age

I love graphs, seriously, I’m a sucker for a lovely curve and integer. Pie charts are even better. TSA member (and old-skool forum legend) GamerRiley knows this and, I believe, secretly shares my love for graphs. He also shows perfectly that he understands that if he had used a pie chart in this great article it would have just led to me daydreaming about pie rather than publishing his work. So no pie charts (maybe next time GR?) but plenty of humour and a couple of graphs to keep you going!


You see the problem is, as each day goes by we’re getting older. And with this I’m sure that my game playing credentials are crumbling faster than the sales of the Atari Jaguar back in 1994. Well, this has got me thinking, at what age is your games playing ability at its peak. I’ve done a bit of reading on this subject and as I thought it’s when you’re in your early twenties your brain is believed to be at its peak performance and ready to take the online world on at Warhawk.

I’ve produced a simple graph to show what I believe to be my own mental rise and decline through the years of gaming and the consoles I was using at that time. The red line indicates my gaming ability, See below.

graph 1

Looking at the graph we can see that from the beginning, video games have played a big part in my life and my games playing ability improved steadily from an early age up until I purchased my PlayStation. I have considered my  games playing credentials to be pretty good at this point, but from then on declined with the purchase of my PlayStation 2 and has fallen faster than a whore’s drawers since purchasing my PlayStation 3.

My gaming ability is now only slightly better than when I was playing Horace goes skiing on the C64. I was bloody good at that game though.

Even so it looks like I’m on the long slippery slope to old age and the gaming ability of a 7 year old. What can I do to stop this decline, and more importantly the onset of Alzheimer’s, bed wetting and trying to change the TV channel with my mobile phone? The answer: more gaming. Yes that’s right folks it appears that video games can lower your ‘brain age’ especially the brain challenging games we can get on our hand-held machines and phones. With regular practice it is believed that you can lower your ‘brain age’ to twenty, this is believed to be the age at which your brain is at its peak. Okay that seems reasonable, I’m in my thirties and a few minutes a night doing metal arithmetic on my Android phone and I’ll be twenty in no time.

But what if I were 86? I say this because, God bless her, this is my Gran. I went to visit her the other day in the home, where bed wetting is common, the stench of urine as you walk down the corridor is enough to put the best care worker off. To my shock and amazement though, the ladies have been introduced to the delights of gaming. More precisely, the Nintendo DS and Wii. Knitting needles were down, nun-chucks at the ready and even Gladys had woken from what I thought was a coma. Well I hadn’t laughed so much in ages, just imagine the scene. Five elderly ladies, all in their eighties and nineties, playing Wii sports. It took them all morning to get through one game of bowling, well it does take them twenty minutes to get up out of their chair. Plus the fact that Maureen has to be careful she doesn’t drop her bag (and I don’t mean handbag). Although when it came to tennis to see it swinging around her waist like a hula hoop was very amusing. I took cover behind the settee in case of any leakage.

Before I knew it my Gran had a headband on, Ala John McEnroe while playing tennis, and she was even moving like a butterfly stinging like a bee when boxing. No longer has she got the speed of a fat slug on ice but that of a lion chasing a gazelle for her dinner, RRROOOAAARRR!!!

Even Alice with her plastic hip and zimmer frame is finding the temptation of virtual sport too irresistible. You never see a golfer with one hand on the zimmer as they smack one 250 yards down the fairway, but Alice is made of sterner stuff. ‘If only I had my other hip done’ she protests, ‘I’d get an hole in one.’

Old people, you can’t beat ’em…..Pity.

After a few hours at Wii sports though the action and excitement is taking it’s toll on these five grave dodgers. Normally this would mean all of them collapsing in their chairs and falling asleep, leaving me to shit myself as I keep telling myself they’ve stopped breathing. Not anymore though, oh no. It’s now time for Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training. Word search and crosswords are so last year. For the elderly lady who needs to keep the old brain ticking Nintendo have come to the rescue. This game of course is well known for telling you how old your brain is and tells you that in order to lower the age of your brain a daily brain workout is needed. My dear Gran now thinks that she can miraculously transform her 86 year old brain into that of a twenty year old.  Well unbelievably I think she’s gone and done it, with the help of Dr. Kawashima of course. (he’s a real doctor, I know because Gran told me). In fact I think she’s done even better than twenty, I’d say she’s down to Seven. How do I know?, well when I asked her if I could have a go she looked at me as if I’d just shit on her lap and beaten her highest score at bowling. ‘No’ She said, ‘get your own’. And it was with those words that I thought Nintendo have turned my Gran into a spoilt brat, the bastards.

So it seems that Nintendo have time warped my Grans brain and revitalized her aging body. I’ve done a graph to illustrate:

graph 2

So when you’re feeling low, in need of some exercise and your gaming ability has reached the level of a seven year old, it’s time to visit Gran for some brain and physically intensive gaming. Just don’t under estimate her. RRROOOAAARRR!!!