79-year-old LPer Shirley Curry shows us gaming's not just for the young

Shirley Curry is no "fake gamer grandma."

Normally, a new Let’s Play channel wouldn’t make the news, but Shirley Curry isn’t just any LPer. She’s a 79-year-old grandmother whose many interests seem to include video games.

It almost seems like “Grandma Shirley” actually knows what she’s doing. After all, she's a competent Skyrim player. Her gaming videos, too, show vast improvement over her slideshow upload from three years ago. But aside from that, what makes her channel worth watching?

  1. Her videos are no longer than 15 minutes, the standard for most channels.
  2. She makes a point of starting her Skyrim videos past the tutorial area so as not to bore the viewers.
  3. She chooses a Khajiit for in-universe lore reasons. Specifically, she says she likes that they are merchants and wants to roleplay that.
  4. She talks through her thought process and gets excited about small victories. There's no hesitation or dead air.
  5. She makes criticisms and suggestions to improve the games she plays, like in her The Lost Valley video.

Curry even has a nickname for her viewers: her “grandchildren.” This LPer has done her research.

It may seem like I’m putting Grandma Shirley on a pedestal—and I am—but how many grandmothers do you see creating Let’s Play channels? Maybe Shirley Curry’s channel will encourage other senior gamers to try their hand at it. And, if the trend continues, maybe developers will start to tailor some games toward an older audience.

We young gamers tend to forget that when we’re all 79, many of us will still want to be considered part of the gaming community. It’s a good thing Grandma Shirley is pioneering the way for us.

Published Oct. 15th 2015
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