My mother is 64 and has enjoyed playing games since I installed Tomb-Raider on her purple iMac in the late nineties. A few years later, when I got a GameCube, I gave her my old N64, and on a recent visit, I gave her the GameCube.
She has an unusual relationship to her games that I thought I’d share here, which is best illustrated by some quotes:
Resident Evil 4:
- He saved a dog. But then those men tried to kill him, and he shot them. See those are their dead bodies.
- Oh, I didn’t know they were supposed to be zombies, I just thought they wanted to kill him.
- This is silly, why can’t he walk up that incline? It’s not that steep.
Tomb Raider – Legend:
- Oh, I’m so excited to have Lara back in my life!
- She was on the edge of a cliff, and she couldn’t reach the rope to swing across, so she kept falling and dieing.
Zelda Ocarina of Time:
- The little boy went in the whale’s mouth, but then he kept getting shocked by those damn jellyfish.
- He has to throw the bomb in the monsters mouth, but it’s too hard. You do it for me!
As you can see, she doesn’t relate to the game characters as herself, the way most gamers do. I asked her why, and she said, “Well, it’s not me. I don’t look like that.”
She also was just talking about games recently and said, “I think I know why I like those games so much. They put me in another world, like an alternate universe to escape to, and it’s a lot more fun than my boring life.”