“Only Children Play Video Games”

Rise and shine from nap time so we can dissect this silly quote.

Believe it or not, some people agree with this quote. I’ve met one person who once uttered a similar sentiment. Their words suggest that adults who play games have some growing up to do.

Why would anyone agree with this quote? Perhaps parents assume that only children played games because that is what they have witnessed. Maybe parents have heard the chatter on Xbox Live and assumed teenagers dominated it.

These parents are partly correct: developers create some games for children. That is obvious to anyone who reads an ESRB rating that says “Early Childhood,” or “Everyone”. Parents could also point to some gamers’ childlike behaviour to support the quote in this post’s title.

To some extent, immature gamers can blame themselves; they give credence to this quote. These are your stereotypical Xbox live denizens who shout slurs online. While the Xbox Live stereotype is not a fair assessment of all gamers, it’s true that young people sometimes say stupid things online.

Some gamers make things worse when they insult their own hobby. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard someone say that colorful platformers are for children. This comment manages to both insult gamers who like platformers and testifies to the speaker’s immaturity because it uses childish reasoning. Why couldn’t an adult play a colorful platformer, and what is it about the genre that makes it inherently childish? It’s unclear. But to the uninitiated observer who hears such comments, gamers may seem young or childish.

I now have to point out some obvious facts. Bear with me because there will be some who are still in doubt. Yes, the average game player is 31 years old. So the quote that began this article is wrong, even if some adult gamers have immature personalities. Here is another fact: the ratings on game boxes also tells us that they are–sometimes–for adults.

Video games have mature themes, and that is one reason adults might play them. Now mature themes could have two meanings. It might signify blood spatters and loose virtual characters or other themes that some children might not understand. Those themes might, for example, include sacrifice, honor and death. An adult with an education and life experience might be able to appreciate and interpret these themes while they play.

Adults can play any game that they want and that includes children’s games. What harm could come if an adult plays “Early childhood” games with their kids? Or what happens if a an adult plays a game rated for “Everyone?” These are silly questions because there is noting wrong here. These questions, and the fact that the average gamer is an adult, reveal the silliness of the quote in this post’s title.

Perhaps the worst aspect of this quote is that it overlooks how video games have a positive impact on people of all ages. Games help business people melt stress away like an ice cube on a warm summer’s day. Educators can also use games to teach concepts to children. Games might even help some women improve their spatial reasoning skills.

In sum, the quote in this post’s article is false and silly. The average gamer is 30 years old, adults can appreciate “mature themes,” and video games can benefit people of all ages. Commit this quote to the fire for it does not deserve our attention any longer.


Filed under Non Gamers

16 responses to ““Only Children Play Video Games”

  1. Its just a form of entertainment. Some grown men still build Legos and watch old GI Joe cartoons. While I personally disagree with it, its all entertainment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I almost feel like sometimes, video games know their audience age but then throw at us a poorly written, child-like story.

    For example, the new 3DS game called STEAM. Gameplay is very interesting, tons of strategy and great characters. However, the demo I played had one liners and a story that was made for children in mind it seem. I wanted something crude, with more passion and emotion. It’s about war! But they treat it like any old thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Prof.mcstevie

    Only children get so uppity about kicking a ball into a goal, only children invest in fictional characters. Calling it childish is the de-facto insult that stupid people like to use to attack things, while the rest of us just sigh with haughty derision at their small assumptive minds.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to hear adults throw this around a lot, especially in my teenage years. My dad once made fun of me for playing Kingdom Hearts lol. I don’t get upset about it, but I do find it funny, for how little knowledge some people have about video games.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Otaku Judge

    I’m in my thirties and everyone in my age group plays games (be it hardcore ones of casual mobile titles.) I think the only people who believe this quote are my parent’s generation or older.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been there so many times. Even if those aren’t the exact words, the idea is the same.

    I echo the general theme of the other replies in that we’re probably the last generation that will have to fight this stereotype, or at least fight it consistently.

    Stay strong my friend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve got a theory that people who make statements about video games being for children were bad gamers as children and never looked back. 🙂

    Just a theory. They also seem to people the type of person who denounces something purely because they don’t enjoy it.

    Thanks for the follow! Following you as well. Would love to collab sometime!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I personally think that the dogged pursuit of maturity at the expense of dismissing things perceived as childish or overly idealistic is, paradoxically, an immature concept. Little by little, video games are rightly gaining a reputation as a legitimate art form and I know that they’ll be respected as such in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

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