Ten Signs You're an Aging Gamer

Yesterday was my birthday. That means another year in my life has come and gone, and I'm another year closer to the inevitable grave.

Although my life has taken many twists and turns within the span of a single year, one thing remains constant--I still play A LOT of video games.

Since I'm a few years away from reaching the big three-o, there are several characteristics about myself as an aging gamer that I'm beginning to notice. These habits, it seems, are specific to older gamers and probably don't make a whole lot of sense to the younger, more HALO-y crowd. If you're old enough to remember Nintendo Cereal, take a look for yourself. Do any of these apply to you? The following are 10 signs you're an aging gamer.

1. You Have Sprite Artwork Posted Somewhere
A decal of Ness from Earthbound
Whether it's a decal on your laptop or a computer wallpaper, there's something about pixelated artwork that brings back fond memories of your gaming youth. Your fondest memories of Super Mario are the ones in which he's a blocky plumber with red overalls, not the modern cartoon-like one with blue overalls.

2. You Press the "A" or "X" Button Rapidly During Loading Screens

Tap A XBOX 360 Controller.JPG
You probably don't realize this, but you tap the "A" or "X" button on your controller  (XBOX360 and PS3, respectively) whenever you're impatiently waiting during a loading screen. Why is this? This habit must have been developed during the days of the NES, when we would rapidly tap the "A" button on the NES controller to bypass text as quickly as possible.

3. You Interchange the Term "1-Up," "Extra Life" and "Extra Man"
Mario 1 up.jpg
The term "lives" aren't as important in modern gaming as it used to be, since players get an infinite number of respawns in the most popular single-player campaigns. However, in older games, players had a finite number of retries called "lives," and once you're out of them, it's game over. You'd have to have to start all over. As an aging gamer, you've probably interchanged the words "1-up", "extra life" and "extra man" on numerous occasions.

4. You Know What the "Nintendo Smell" is
New Nintendo Smell.JPG
Take a whiff of this!
Whenever I bought a new NES or SNES game as a kid, the first thing I'd do after I opened the box was take a big whiff of everything inside. There's nothing quite like that "new Nintendo-game smell," and it hasn't been the same since the company began using optical media. I've always thought I was crazy, but apparently, former EGM writer Mark McDonald feels the same way I do about the "new Nintendo-game smell."

5. You Probably Don't Play Games Online With Strangers
Angry Gamer.jpg
Not only because everyone online is an asshole, but also because your competitive skills ain't what they used to be. Your job, bills and nagging in-laws have all taken a toll on your precious ability to play competitive games such as Street Fighter as well as you used to.

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