The Daily Grind: Does your age impact your MMO gameplay preferences?

    
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We’ve been following gaming research firm Quantic Foundry the past few months as it’s been hammering out its Gamer Motivation Model. This week, it released an article calling all of you old.

Just kidding. Actually, the blog post by Dr. Nick Yee says that the first generation of gamers who really truly grew up on games isn’t stopping, which has pushed the average gamer age up to 35 over the last 15 or so years, and it’s a demographic he says is worth exploring.

“Among the 12 motivations we measure in our model, the interest in Competition changes the most with age,” he argues. “In our framework, Competition is the appeal of competing with other players in duels, matches, or team-vs-team scenarios. The gender difference in Competition is large at first among younger gamers, but then disappears with age. As gamers get older, the appeal of Competition declines, but this happens more rapidly for men than for women. Thus, by the time we’re past 45, the difference between men and women largely disappears.”

Yee posits that strategy gameplay is the most stable motivation for gamers across ages but that overall, motivations decline with age. Why? Gamers might be less likely to “rate any particular gaming activity as ‘extremely important/enjoyable'” as they age, he writes.

So today’s Daily Grind is two-fold: Do you think your age has changed how and what you game? And do you find that your preference for strategic and/or competitive gameplay has decreased or increased as you grow up and the years roll on?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Tobbi73
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Tobbi73

I don’t get the same wauw-factor when playing games anymore, but games can still stir up some emotions… 

Sometimes i wish the game creators would take more chances and make different games. Yeah i liked Diablo 3, CS-go, Starcraft II and so on, but I’ve already played it before.

I think i will always keep playing games with great stories or interesting group play. Maybe i’m a bit more laid back today i don’t care too much about playing the game “the right way”, i just play on my own pace and enjoy discovering game mechanics.

I don’t know if it’s just me getting older (42) but the gaming community can be very toxic today, and i often just ignore it completely when playing online games :)

schmidtcapela
Guest
schmidtcapela

I was never very competitive to start with, but I’ve got downright non-competitive later. I basically don’t care if I win or lose against other players, and if a game tries too hard to make me care I’m more likely to just find a friendlier game instead.
This doesn’t mean that I avoid PvP games, mind. I like some friendly sparring, as long as there are no negative consequences for the loser.

As far as strategical gameplay goes, I don’t quite think I changed much. I still like strategic gameplay about as much as I did (which is a lot, but mainly for non-heavy-duty strategy). What changed is that I nowadays prefer the action to be about timing and positioning rather than about reflexes and how fast I can mash a button (though I have rapid fire macros on both my keyboard and my mouse to take care of games that expect me to mash a key).

Craywulf
Guest
Craywulf

Yes, because when I was 18 years old I played a lot button-smashing action games that required the Dew and petrified snacks as fuel for what amounted to be a 16 hour epileptic marathon. Today  at the age of 45 I want something more strategic and tactically manageable without resulting into carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches. I just don’t have the energy to go a full day of gaming. I need breaks and I need to feel rewarded for using my intellect. I find strategy games more relaxing because I can think about the moves I want to make beyond the initial action. 

Don’t get me wrong I love action, but I need it to be slowed down, I have yet to play an action game where the combat is more tactical than about speed of the execution. I understand the necessity of being timely, but not at cost of need 1,700 MGs of caffeine in my bloodstream. 

Developers seem to think the best way to improve combat is to speed it up so it’s more responsive. I feel action games are far too responsive and have severely diminished action animations. I can run full speed in one direction and without any notice I can do a 180 and run the other direction without a stumble, slide or a loss of breath. Absolutely zero repercussions for that action. There’s no action animations between the actual actions. All we get is static animations that barely exist between the actions. Running on ice feels no different than running up a hill of riffraff. Swinging a oversized axe cause no fatigue or loss of breath. Getting stabbed doesn’t hurt because your character doesn’t lurch over holding the stab wound. 

For me the bottom line is that combat needs to be slowed down and animations between the actions have to be more significant and relevant to your tactics. I want more than just babysitting my skillbar for cooldowns.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

This plays into my belief that there needs to be more suits and fewer gamers making MMOs.  A suit would look at the market, see how many people are outside of the stereotypical player.  Besides, MMO have real issues competing with a LoL/WoT/Starcraft/Destiny.  Small team shooters can do shooting better and certainly cheaper than MMOs. So why not focus on the other three Bartle Quadrants where MMOs have an advantage? Whereas teams of “twenty-something” males with two consoles, have a tendency to ignore market research and produce games that appeal to “twenty-something” males with two consoles.

Synchronicity: From a dev in WoWarships today: 3. Not all accounts that show poor skill, or low win rate despite a high number of battles are bots. We studied quite a lot of cases. The following examples don’t happen often but they sometimes do: a kid is wandering around the map and looking at ship models, an old man comes home from work and plays lazily, because he likes to play that way and it suits him. These kinds of people also exist, they are among us, and nothing is wrong with the way they play, naturally.

digi_owl
Guest
digi_owl

Then again, it seems that youth is the age of extremes. Listening to teen talk and you get nothing but LOVE this and HATE that. There is no moderation or nuance in the terminology used…

Budukahn
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Budukahn

korsobar A truth I have been painfully trying not to accept.

korsobar
Guest
korsobar

With infants and toddlers around, anything that can’t be paused or easily logged out of is just not workable anymore.

AGx
Guest
AGx

I’m still young but I do have a legitimately long career of gaming behind me (20+ years) so I suppose this applies to my experience at least a little bit. Overall I want to say NO. I’ll still play any game that I think even looks good. I do tend to look for more challenging games but I always have. I like a challenge. The only difference I can see in my gaming habits now verses how they were 10 or 15 years ago is that back then I would play anything. ANYTHING. I didn’t even have to like it. I would walk into a GameStop, pick up something with a cool title or cool looking characters, and play through it to the end. Sometimes it paid off because I ended up playing a lot of games I’d never even heard of before and really liking them (Fatal Frame 2 comes to mind). More often than not I picked up turds. These days, I’m very picky about what I play (even if I can return it). Developers/Publishers now have reputations with me, franchises have reputations, engines have reputations, specific types of games have reputations (its hard to sell me on an FPS). Maybe it’s my “age”. I prefer to think it’s my experience. Kind of like how a young and naive kid might buy a lemon but the older more experienced guy is more likely to see the flaws. Age has nothing to do with that really. That young kid will never make that mistake again, doesn’t matter how long it takes for him to buy that next car.

zyrusticae
Guest
zyrusticae

So I’m relatively young still (at 27 years as of this post), so I suppose this doesn’t really apply to me yet. 
Still, one thing has changed – shooters have largely lost their appeal to me. I don’t know if it’s because the games have changed or because I’m simply no longer into that sort of thing or what, but I just get bored with shooters pretty quick nowadays. Most of my play time is now in RPGs (both single-player and MMO varieties), action games like Metal Gear Rising, and strategy games. I also used to play a LOT of fighting games (particularly Soul Calibur, which totally captured my imagination), but not so much anymore. 
That being said, I’m still as competitive as ever. I LOVE the feeling of being on top of my game – of knowing that I’m still above and beyond the level of most other players. Yes, it feeds my ego, and I very much enjoy it for that. That being said, it’s still tempered with the knowledge that any victories are ultimately fleeting and that these are still video games at the end of the day. That being said, for sheer entertainment value, this stuff just clicks with me.

crackfox
Guest
crackfox

No real change. I’ve only ever enjoyed competitive gaming when it’s been face-to-face (split screen consoles, arcade cabs etc). I’ve never had any interest in strategy games of any kind. I still enjoy racing games, non-action RPGs, FPS games and anything with a strong exploration angle. I still meander about MMO worlds in aimless contentment, enjoying the scenery, the camaraderie and hilarious indignation of the perpetually offended in global chat.