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Dragon Age: Granny

My gran isn’t like most old age pensioners. Sure, she’s had a hip replacement and she weighs about the same as a sack of potatoes, but there’s still a fire in her eyes. Firstly, her language is fouler than mine, and I like to scream profanities into the night, just in the hope that someone, somewhere, is offended.

My nan has always been a bit different. I mean, she was still in the nightclubs when she was in her fifties -  that was until some spotted youth told her that she looked like Dot Cotton (if any non-UK folk are reading, imagine a meaty, cadaverous prune) and she vowed never to raise her hands to the lasers again.

She needed another hobby, it seemed, and she always had a keen interest in games - I remember playing Star Wars on her Commodore 64, whizzing through the woods on a Speeder, whilst she force-fed me cake and I threw up. No wonder I was fat as a teen. Thanks nan.

Years later, she came to our house for Christmas and happened to see me playing Final Fantasy VII. Dazzled by the - at the time - amazing visuals, it wasn’t long after, that she had a PlayStation of her own. She started to develop a fascination with JRPGs: Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Suikoden... she played them all.

After a few years with her trusty console, she started to linger near my Dreamcast - her skeletal fingers pointing towards it, longingly.

Eventually, I moved up the food chain and purchased a PlayStation 2, and she proceeded to kick ass on Shenmue, fall in love with the brilliant Skies of Arcadia and get hooked by the gripping narrative of Grandia 2. I used to pop round, on my way home from school, and kick a boss’s ass for her every now and then.

This pattern has slowly repeated itself every generation - that is until the current one. I think this is mostly because this generation has been an extremely drawn-out one indeed. She got sick of waiting for me to upgrade to a new system, I mean she has less time than I do, for sure, and she recently caved, buying a fat, 40gig PlayStation 3.

“Will you fetch me some games, Kirk?” she asked. So off I went to the local GAME to purchase some second-hand titles for her. Four games for twenty pound? Don’t mind if I do. So I got her: The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Heavy Rain, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and Dragon Age: Origins.

She got stuck into Dragon Age first.

In the coming months I picked up some more games for her: Final Fantasy XIII, Journey, Ni No Kuni and The Walking Dead. She still kept playing Dragon Age. In fact, she’s still playing it, six months later. Even I’m impressed with her prowess and steely determination to succeed.

I’ve only helped her twice - once to show her how to work the inventory system, and once to find a werewolf pelt she needed, because she had killed all the werewolves in the game and sold all the pelts. Hunter nan.

She has put well over 40 hours into the game now, and she still has plenty to go. She seems to have fell in love with gaming all over again.

This example of a gaming nan shows that games can break down barriers. It also proves that lazy generalisations don’t help anybody - I mean, should she not enjoy interactive media simply because she’s old? Or because she’s female? And if she is keeping her brain and reflexes active, instead of watching cookery programmes - for recipes she’ll never cook, because she lives alone - then should she be playing games that are aimed at females, or children? No, she shouldn’t.

We should be actively breaking down barriers like this, as a collective. I mean, I once bought The Sims for my girlfriend, but she never got to play it because I was too busy making virtual versions of us - with her avatar stuck in a perpetual state of undress just to wind her up. I spent a bit longer than intended with the game, and I handed in my ‘man card’ - disclaimer: this isn’t a thing.

 

Categories don’t help anyone, and we should all be free to enjoy what we want without fear of ridicule. I mean, I still get it from certain people, “you playing them kiddie games again?” to which I reply, “yep. Are you still sat on your arse, blankly watching other people’s lives whilst slowly decaying?” If you enjoy something, do it. Don’t care about what others think. We are all the same. Yet, we are all different.

kirkules | 14th May, 2013
Kaostic's picture
Epic nan is epic.

To give you some perspective, my nan thought her record player was broken when my brother put on an eminem song.
Emseypenguin's picture
And mine won't eat cheese if it's from France... because it's French. Le sigh.
haha love our nan. I love my games as well more of a cod fan than any other game though lol x

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