If You're Over 30 And You Still Love Nintendo, You're Weird

It's widely accepted that Nintendo is just good clean fun for all ages, but not everyone sees it that way.

I've often lamented the fact that despite its hard-earned mainstream status, the gaming industry gets no respect from mainstream journalists and consumers.

And you know, it seems that no matter what we do, it's lose-lose.

Take, for example, a recent conversation I had with an ex-colleague. We used to work together at a local newspaper; we've since moved on, as neither of us wanted to starve to death. However, as he was willing to move to the big city, he's doing a good deal better than me, a fact he never shies away from whenever we chat.

At any rate, we were talking about E3, which turned into a discussion about the increasingly violent nature of video games. They just seem to be getting darker and grittier and edgier and gorier (as is all entertainment, unfortunately). That's when I brought up Nintendo.

Nintendo is THE ammunition gamers should use to battle the anti-game activists

Believe it or not, there are plenty of game haters out there, and every last one ardently believes that video games can and do have a negative impact on people (children and adults). It doesn't help that they can point to any number of awfully visceral productions that certainly push the violence envelope. However, there's always Nintendo, right?

Watching Nintendo's E3 presentation, I was struck at the obvious contrast: It wasn't a fraction as dark as Sony or Microsoft's conference and furthermore, it felt like video games of old, when they were cheerful, bright and just plain fun. Granted, we had Mortal Kombat in the arcades back in the day, too, but that wasn't Nintendo, now was it? And while Nintendo has published plenty of violent games on their platforms in the past, their focus has never really wavered.

So, that's perfect, right? I told my friend that we should use Nintendo as ammunition against those who believe games are demonic in nature...after all, how "demonic" are the Nintendo mascots? And what about simple, good-natured themes and fantastic creativity? No, I haven't owned a Nintendo console since the SNES because the games don't necessarily appeal to me anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't acknowledge the quality.

"Yes, but if you're over 30 and you confess to loving Nintendo, that won't help your case much"

This was his rebuttal, which made me feel fenced in, mostly because he was right. While we could certainly point to numerous Nintendo games as examples of non-violent, extremely imaginative forms of family-friendly entertainment, we run into the other problem: "Kid" entertainment, as labeled by the mainstream, shouldn't be embraced by mature individuals.

I agree that people are maturing later than they ever have before in human history. I still recall The Atlantic's "The End of Men" article that pointed out the lagging of males behind females in terms of educational and career-oriented progress. While many men in theirs 20s and 30s appear content to be laid-back, women are charging. Psychologists and sociologists have since theorized that such a phenomenon is due to young men remaining obsessed with certain forms of entertainment.

For instance, the superhero trend: It comes from comic books, which of course were originally produced for children. But young men in their 20s and 30s are still all about superheroes; going to conventions, dressing up, playing games with superheroes, watching movies with superheroes, etc. "Grow up," say some adults in response to this, rolling their eyes.

Damnit, we just can't win

So, basically, if we choose to play violent games, we'll actually frighten people. With all the craziness going on, from all the school shootings to the recent Slender Man real-life horror, many have become skeptical of younger people, especially those who play violent video games. On the flip side, if we opt to play Nintendo games, which aren't even remotely violent or offensive, we're branded as "children in adult bodies" and either way, we're looked down upon.

As I replied to my friend-

"So, what you're really saying is that if we play non-violent games over a certain age, we're weird, and if we play violent games over a certain age, we're potentially dangerous individuals who should be treated with caution."

He reluctantly agreed. He's a gamer himself, so he's not happy with the situation, but this is the way things are shaping up. 'sigh' What to do?

Featured Columnist

A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.

Published Jun. 16th 2014
  • Anon_Matrix
    Wow really? Although I've got a long way to go before I'm thirty, this article is rather aggrevating. For all I know you could be someone who loves stereotyping everything.

    You say 30 year olds are weird for still liking Nintendo. They say you never had a childhood.

    I'm sorry that I'm overreacting to this but to be honest if you like something that you have had liked for many years like Nintendo and someone says you're weird for still liking Nintendo, the best thing to do is just ignore him/her. I still like Nintendo and will continue to play Nintendo games even after I reach 30.
  • muyiwa
    I apologize for my earlier comment out of my knee-jerk reaction due to not reading the entire article and i feel your pain. Part of the problem is that we humans always need to stereotype everything about life. It's like saying because someone is a muslim it means they're automatically a terrorist which i personally know is bullshit and completely untrue.
  • Thanatar_1780
    Admittedly not over 30. That being said anyone who doesn't still love Nintendo, but can claim they once did is dead inside....

    Maturity isn't trying to fit some kind of image you feel others expect of you, it's doing what needs to be done, and acknowledging what you love unashamedly...

    Succumbing to peer pressure if anything is stereotypically the opposite of maturity, and yet so many people believe that and yet these kinds of contradictions...
  • Gabriel Lowery
    How about telling other people to shut the fuck up. Gaming stereotypes are a big problem. They only other thing, is to give up gaming and become a boring guy who I will never hang out with. Otherwise, STFU.
  • hepcat_6814
    nintendo ftw
  • Joashwa
    I say. Smoke my pole and get a life. I can do what I like. Proudly play Nintendo games because they are the last of the classic style of video game.
  • danny_9784
    I must be weird then but i love my nintendo's i still have my snes and my n64! but then again i'm not quite 30 yet so i'm good right? right?
  • lolnope_2705
    Oh ffs.
  • Chris123456_3688
    Wow, what sad trite.

    Well, if you are too worried about what other people might stereotype you, you should just give up playing games or any other fun activities and become a boring salary man that only works and watches the news and stock market.
  • Joesatmoes
    If you 'Can't win Either Way', then you might as well choose the side that is more fun imo- I mean, I know a lot of adults love Disney and Pixar and Dreamworks movies, to this day, and that's accepted. So should Nintendo. There is nothing immature about liking something whose lowest age demographic is for kids. And I don't even mean for nostalgia or just feeling like a kid. I mean, I would say that a game like, say Mario, is probably better than Call of Duty, and it's fun for everyone- adults and kids. Just like with Toy Story compared to Transformers, or Avatar compared to Jersey Shore. These quote-on-quote "kids'" shows, movies, games, whatever are probably more entertaining, have better quality, story or gameplay. Yes there are games and movies and shows like Bioshock, Les Mes, and Game of Thrones that are truly for adults, but the innocent, 'kiddy' things are also fine to experience, no matter what age you are.
  • BugoTheCat
    Hardcore games being blamed for violence? Nintendo games being blamed being too immature? Then let the small children play mostly Nintendo and the big adults can play hardcore games (and also Nintendo, why not?).

    I think several years ago, if you had just a compuer/console, you were a big nerd, even your friend would think it's weird. Even being a gamer was nerdy. But today gaming is mainstream, it's in our culture, not a big deal, maybe some people argue, but it is and it will stay and even if one thinks you are immature, the majority of your friends will think you are just fine because they also play games. It did matter when you were alone several years ago, with a weird hobby, and your peers and family criticized you and then also the media spread these weird rumours about gaming making you depressive and all that, and there wasn't anyone saying this is bullshit. But now the gaming has won the culture, we even have wannabe geeky shows like big bang theory, and it's trendy to be geek or gamer or both, which is weird for the old people who were bashed for this by their peers.
  • Ankford
    If you attempt to live up to some self-imposed idea of what an adult should enjoy, then you're nothing more than a teenager in a grown persons body. I'm an adult way past the age of choosing for myself, I get to enjoy whatever the heck I want.
  • Jill_2452
    This is why I hate when people rant on the internet. I think these posts and bad youtube vids and comments should be blocked from the net. I am 33 and I play my Nintendo 3DS. Whoever said they they should be banned from posting stupid things. Heck guys, I still play Pokemon DS games. I have been playing Pokemon for 20 years and I still love it. 
  • R-man_7973
    If you are a "TRUE" gamer and don't like Nintendo and write an article about it, you're a plain social-cock sucking fool.
  • james sigle
    my neighbor's step-sister brought home $20864 a week ago. she has been making cash on the internet and bought a $519900 home. All she did was get lucky and apply the advice exposed on this link.www.jobspeg.com
  • tabxt
    Fathom's opinions, and this article = discrimination hate & garbage.
  • Grimgrom_3960
    And you first picture shows two men playing Xbox 360, why?
  • Main_street_saint
    It is an interesting article that, unfortunately, highlights the problems that most of society seems to have about video-gaming in general; the damned it you do, damned if you don't viewing of the gaming hobby. I've played video games for most of my life and I'm a married 38 year-old man. I enjoy Nintendo games but I know what the limits are, that was part of my Childhood and will be part of my son's life too.
  • kO_6479
    You are insulting every true 30+ year old gamer which are mature and don't need gore and sex in their games.
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