Gamers Over 30 - How's Your Gaming Life?

edited September 2014 in Play Advice

I'm curious how often you game?
When you do, is it mostly in person, video-chat, or a mixture of the two?



  • I have 2 bi-weekly groups, so I am fortunately able to play once a week. There is usually a rotation of at least one person who cannot make it to every session, but otherwise its a good amount of people being consistent. I only do in-person gaming - we have never done video-chat in either of these groups, although I have offered to try to run a game via video when I have been out of town.
  • As for me it varies wildly. Based upon availability of friends, their state of mental health ( I have several gamer friends who are cynically depressed or dealing with other RL issues that can render them unavailable) and my work schedule. Which frequently pulls me out of town for 2-3 weeks at a time pretty much every 3rd week of late. And the fact that many of my gamer friends are now in serious long term relationships which have pulled them out of the loop as far as impromptu gaming goes.

    However, on average (even before things got as hectic as they are currently) we'd try to get together at least two times a month. If the stars align (and they did sometimes) we'd meet every week and on rare occasion 2 consecutive (usually Friday and Saturday) days a week. Though, I now consider it a good gaming month if we do our Apocalypse World game 1-2 times and the PbP Monsterhearts game I'm in gets a single response from two of the 4 people involved in it once every 5 days. Not an ideal frequency for me but, unless I want to run every game and wrangle cats to get people all on the same page scheduling wise it's what I gotta live with.

    I will note that among many of my circle of friends that the idea of running more PbP games has been a frequent topic of discussion of late. As it alleviates the problems of travel, scheduling and not everyone being "in the mood" at the same time. But it's something I've only recently become involved in and only dabbled a bit as far as the fundamentals of ruining a game goes. And I prefer face to face RP for it's instant gratification and feedback/social interaction.

    Also, in the past when I was working out of town for months at a time we did do a game or two via Skype. Which worked out fine. As the rest of the group got together in person and I was tele-present off in the corner at the computer desk. The biggest hurdle there was access to a stable internet connection and a venue where we could RP without outside interruptions.
  • Weekly, with 30-somethings and I am 52
  • We try to adapt our gaming to fit the needs of parenting and job schedules, but growing older hasn't hurt our gaming at all. My gaming life has been really excellent recently.

    We run a weekly indie game night, wherein I GM a different one-shot of whatever I feel like running that week. (This is about 50% published games, about 50% games I wrote for the occasion.) For this game, kids are explicitly welcome. My kids play with one or two other children from the other parents in the group. They mostly keep each other entertained, so that we can get on with the roleplaying. (Occasionally, we're interrupted or have to ask the kids to cut out the noise, but it works out.) We tend to chat and eat pizza for a bit, get started late, run for about two hours and then wrap up. We can't start much earlier (because people work day jobs) or end much later (because children have bed times), so we stick to simple, light, quick games. This game winds up cancelled or just playing board games on one or two nights a month, but we try to have as much roleplaying as possible.

    I'm playing in a Saturday night Fate game, with a different group. None of that group has kids, but my wife is happy to watch the kids one night a week. (I watch the kids full time the rest of the week.) Being on a weekend, we can go a bit longer and later than we can on weeknight gaming nights. This game was really reliable in scheduling and stuff, up until recently. We've been on hiatus for a few weeks, but we're planning to resume shortly.

    Then we also have an irregularly scheduled campaign of 13th Age. Our one friend from out of town visits every week or two, and when he is around we try to find a time to play. This game is ad hoc whenever we have some time and a quorum of players. The children each have PCs in this game, and roleplay as much as they feel like. (Sometimes they wander away and do other stuff.)

  • I'm 42. My gaming changes regularly, but I always have at least 2 weekly sessions going, and a number of occasionals. I still game with many of the same people from high school in fact. I only game in person. I've tried the online thing and it just doesn't feel right.

    A couple years ago I was running games at 2 local game stores (2 sessions at one store, 1 at another), in addition to 3 sessions with friends each week. Was a LOT of fun, but just not enough hours in the week to prep all that.

    I'd like to get to the point where I was doing 3-4 sessions a week...enough to cover multiple games (not to mention playing as well as running), but not too much for the # of hours in the week.
  • Me: 32; married, no children; two jobs, part-time student. I attend 2-3 sessions per month.

    Our group: OH Nerd (Columbus, Ohio) tries to maintain a consistent Thursday indie RPG night for as many people as can attend. An ongoing mini-campaign is considered the default, but is frequently ditched, adjusted, or supplemented if there are too few or too many people.

    We have perhaps 10-15 members that potentially could show up, but most often it's 4-8. Almost all of us are over 30, and more than half have family commitments to consider.

    Our infrequent game days have seen 25-35 people show up for about twelve hours of gaming.
  • I'm 30, married with a six-month old. I have three ongoing in-person campaigns, one of which I GM and two of which my partner also plays in. Every couple months I'll run a one-shot if something interesting. On average I play RPGs once every two to three weeks, and it's become one of our primary modes of post-baby socializing.

    Playing tabletop games is actually great with a baby. Unlike a boardgame, it's doesn't hold up the whole game for one parent to step away for a moment to attend to the little one, although of course it's a bit more complicated in the game I GM.
  • I'm currently in three "weekly" games - more like we meet three weeks out of four. Two I'm running: a Vampire game and a Star Wars game. The third is a rotating game run by a friend.

    I'm webcam-impaired and have a hard time scheduling stuff with people I can't talk to, so online gaming isn't a thing for me.
  • edited September 2014
    44. I meet in person almost every other Sunday for a face to face game. I schedule other short-term games on the side (right now I'm playing maybe three sessions of AW:DA each Monday after work). I play in play-by-post type games as time and cycle permits. (Sometimes I'm playing in three and sometimes I go a year without being in even one.) I also play an asynchronous mapping game on G+. I occasionally play with my kid(s). I also play synchronous IRC games when that's an option (last fall and winter was a rich time as was several years ago).

    In my 20s, I regularly played 12-hour games on the weekend. I sort of miss that but it isn't possible now.

  • In my 20s, I regularly played 12-hour games on the weekend. I sort of miss that but it isn't possible now.
    That really was the best. Summers in high school spending 2-4 days in a row playing 12-14 hours a day. Definitely how gaming was meant to be. 8-)
  • edited September 2014
    I'm 40, and haven't been involved in a regular game for well over three years. I run events at conventions whenever I can and play a bit there as well. I attend a BXD&D game run by New York Red Box on the rare evenings I'm both in town and available, which highlights my main issue: most of the gamers I know live in Manhattan or the outer boroughs, while I'm a bit out of the way in NJ. I could put more effort into finding local games, but previous attempts led to clashes of aesthetics, so I'm disnclined to explore that dialog again.

    I've poked at online play, but don't yet find the process convenient enough to make it less than a hassle. I don't particularly view my gaming dry-spell as an age-related issue, but I admit it was a lot easier to get dice on the table back on college days when I and a dozen other gamers all lived in walking distance of each other.
  • 52, gaming every week with the Sunday Skypers additionally I sometimes do gaming with the Porcelain Llama Theater as well mixing it with the Gutterskypes or Monkeys Took My Jetpack crew for one shots. Additionally, I like to catch virtual conventions like Contessa, VirtuaCon, MonkeyCon, and the random Indie+ game over on Google Hangouts. [Need to add JackerCon to the hit list.] Toss in a number play by post (forum) and solo games as well.

    I love our modern technological age of gaming. :-D
  • I'm 33, and while this varies somewhat season to season, the general trend is towards weekly gaming. A sustainable maximum is two weekly games plus nomad sessions (making for about 2.5 games per week - this can go on indefinitely); the minimal holding pattern I've been sticking to lately is one weekly game plus boardgames, one-shots and such on occasion. This week our regular old school D&D game on Wednesday got canceled, so I set up a boardgaming session instead.

    Practically all of my gaming is in person. At times I do some IRC play, and there's talk about trying out video, but that's more of a seasonal trend that comes and goes.
  • edited September 2014
    [Removing my post. Problems with the "gamer community" is a topic for another thread.]
  • I'm 44, the average age of our group is 40. We're all married, most of us with children. We meet about 6 times a year. Two weeks ago, we decided to play more one-shots, indie rpgs and boardgames, reducing preparation time drastically. We hope this will give us more chances to meet.

    I never play in any video chat. To me, it just doesn't feel right. I need to be with real persons, I guess.
  • edited September 2014
    I'm in 2 weekly tabletop games, with the caveat that scheduling issues usually mean we play only 3 out of 4 weeks. Weirdly, it got easier to do a regular game after we all passed 30; everyone got better at planning out their weeks, maybe, or maybe we all got more willing to make a regular game a priority. (At least, that's the case with the single/childless over-30 crowd; our friends with very young kids have had to focus their time on their families and drop out of regular gaming, understandably.)

    I don't do any online gaming, both because I don't have a webcam or a decent microphone, and because I don't really get into socializing that way online. It's strange: I love going over to my friend's house on Saturday night every week to play a game, but for some reason the thought of committing to sitting down in front of my computer at the same time on a Tuesday night every week to play a game just leaves me cold.
  • 51 and my gaming of late has been purely play by post. In the next couple months, I may start up every other week evenings for 3ish hour sessions.

    Other factors that might be worth noting:

    Married (wife does not game)
    New baby this year

  • Yeah, those babies are always getting in the way of gaming. Good thing for them that they're so rewarding. ;-)
  • A lot like my sex life: sporadic; sloppy; hard to gain commitment; frequently ending too soon, in disappointment.
  • A mere 39, married.

    One weekly game (or two biweekly games with mostly-but-not-precisely the same people.)
    Also an irregularly scheduled weekend game (theoretically biweekly, in practice more like monthly).
    Also an irregularly scheduled online game.
  • At 49, I game every week, except when our host is on holiday. He's our host because he's the only one of us with kids. So we have three in their 40s, one 50 something, one 30 something and one 20 something. I also get to three or four conventions each year (Continuum, IndieCon and Dragonmeet this year), as well as an annual AD&D game for a weekend. I've been doing a bit of online gaming, and I think that will grow.
  • 31, married, no kids, all in-person gaming.

    I'm in an every-other-week campaign (ORE, using elements of Reign and Grim War), that's been going for 3+ years, following on a similarly-periodic Planescape campaign that lasted around 4. Our regular host is a mom, and gaming is her "off" night, so the dad watches the kids while we nerd it up in the basement.

    I have a few groups of folks that do short (1-5 session) playtests, for either con games they'll be running, personal projects, or games we're interested in that are asking for playtesters. When I'd like to put a game I'm tinkering on in front of real humans, I can usually arrange a group within a few weeks, so I'm lucky that way. Every-week campaigns are near-impossible, but persistent worlds that afford 1-3 session mini-arcs work well, so that's what I'm working on now. Small (2-3) player groups make things a lot easier.

    All told, I probably play or run d6+2 sessions a month.

  • All told, I probably play or run d6+2 sessions a month.
    LOL :thumbsup::beer:
  • edited September 2014
    Strictly PbP for me. Maybe after the boy goes off to college I'll try to do some face to face gaming again, but not before.

    EDIT: I was recently doing a Skype chat to do chargen for a new PbP game and it felt weird to be doing synchronous game-related activity, like I was chained to the laptop.
  • edited September 2014
    I'm in two theoretically biweekly games with frequent cancellations, averaging out to 3 total sessions per month. Both groups are a mix of late 20s and mid 30s. No one has kids.

    I have less motivation to game over Hangouts, but every time I've actually done it, it's been great. Most times I've scheduled it, though, someone vital has bailed without bothering to tell the group. I've had roughly 6 successful sessions over the last year.

    Up through age 33 I lived in NYC and gamed a lot more. Weekly, plus frequent one-shots.
  • I'm 38. Two fortnightly groups, one face to face (AD&D) and one over G+ hangouts(various AW type games). Sometimes there'll be a great run when games are running every week, sometimes the scheduling thing will come crashing down for a month or so until we can reorganise ourselves.
  • I'm the baby here at a mere 33 years old. I have a regular Monday night group, a different biweekly group, and an excellent monthly indie game night at my local games store. So along with other random oneshots or sporadic games I'd say I play 7-8 games a month, all of them around a table and none online.

    I have a wife who plays board games but not RPGs, and no kids yet.
  • Until recently I had a weekly game that in practice led to 20 sessions or so a year, when vacations, illness and other cancellations had been deducted.

    Then I spent a couple of months out of town for work and lost touch with the group, so since then I have no scheduled game. But I have been pulled into sporadic sessions a couple of times.

    I have an online play-by-post game with the expectation of 5-15 minutes of play on a daily basis. Unfortunately some of the other players are committed at a different level so the game progresses at half or one third of that pace.


    On the other hand I can play video games online for an hour every day after work. So it is just my tabletop gaming that is a shambling corpse, gaming in a wider scope is still good. But I'd trade those video gaming hours for a regular Pen and Paper game if I could.
  • I don't play anymore, but I talk a big game about how I coulda been something back in the day.
  • Things are solid.

    I'm DMing one weekly D&D game and playing in another (that isn't quite weekly but is regular).

    I'm GMing a Burning Wheel game that is weekly via Google Hangouts.

    There are a few GM and a Player games that I'm running that catch-as-catch-can.

    Sometimes gaming fades for a while and when it does, I wait until I miss it and get back into the groove.
  • edited September 2014
    Honestly, a lot more of you folks are in weekly games than I expected. Not just because that kind of frequency was a lamentedly rare commodity just a few years ago, but also I'm surprised that's still perceived as the standard to shoot for. Lots of recent story-games were designed specifically for the assumed preponderance of non-regular play schedules.
  • Play-by-post constantly, multiple games.
    Weekly Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon games over Hangouts. Biweekly Monday night game over Hangouts. I've been invited to a Wednesday night Hangout game, and I'm tempted, sorely tempted.

    Monthly game with Indie+, also over Hangouts. Occasional face-to-face game with wife and 8 yr old son.

    Lots of games.
  • edited September 2014
    Honestly, a lot more of you folks are in weekly games than I expected. Not just because that kind of frequency was a lamentedly rare commodity just a few years ago, but also I'm surprised that's still perceived as the standard to shoot for. Lots of recent story-games were designed specifically for the assumed preponderance of non-regular play schedules.
    That's been one of our major issues with modern games...even mainstream traditionals like D&D. So many are now crafted for 2 hour drop-in sessions, or for campaigns designed to go 1-max in 10-20 sessions. If we can't play 4+ hours, at least every other week, we generally don't bother (except as a random party game). What's more we prefer campaigns to stretch 1-4 years.

    Not that I object to having the option for condensed play, or shorter no-prep games...but designers also have to allow for the rest of us that like it old school (mostly).
  • edited September 2014
    Honestly, a lot more of you folks are in weekly games than I expected. Not just because that kind of frequency was a lamentedly rare commodity just a few years ago, but also I'm surprised that's still perceived as the standard to shoot for. Lots of recent story-games were designed specifically for the assumed preponderance of non-regular play schedules.
    How true!

    Although there may also be a bit of an observer bias thing going on here, with more active posters/gamers being more likely to even notice this thread and say something. (Not to mention that the first handful of posts certainly set the tone, as we were discussing over in the "brainstorming" thread!)

  • I have 2 game nights a week, 1 happens near 100% of the time, 1 about 50%.
    I game most days with my kids (11&9) - they are my gaming nirvana!

  • edited September 2014
    Honestly, a lot more of you folks are in weekly games than I expected. Not just because that kind of frequency was a lamentedly rare commodity just a few years ago, but also I'm surprised that's still perceived as the standard to shoot for. Lots of recent story-games were designed specifically for the assumed preponderance of non-regular play schedules.
    Nobody plays those games anymore, we're all doing 5-year long campaigns now, keep up man
  • (There's quite a bit of truth to that!)
  • I'm engaged in a 3-year campaign to get my gamer friends to try more indie one-shots...
  • 34 here, married, no kids (and no kids among our other players yet, but that's quite likely to change soon). I play or run about 3-5 sessions a month, typically once a week. I tend to play in D&D 4E adventure arcs (as part of a couple longer-running campaigns) on 1-2 weeknights a month, and then I run 2 or more one-shots or short arcs of whatever game I feel like trying out. (Lately that's been Numenera, The Strange, and various short runs of Fate- and Apocalypse-Engine-based games, with occasional experiments like using Cthulhu Dark to run _The Demolished Ones_.)

    I feel like this is a good amount of gaming for me, but some in my group play much more than others. Our gaming group is something like 15 people, so any given session is 4-7 people depending on how schedules line up.
  • I'm in the perfect city to game in, and I'm not playing at all. It seems my ability to schedule a game is dwindling. This is not because of my age (40), but because of the PhD and ever-growing number of jobs. Sometimes my life is so busy, I just want it to stop for a week. As if that's going to happen anytime soon....
  • Interesting timing for this thread--I just turned 30 on Thursday. Right now I'm not playing anything regularly, other than one-shots at a Story Games meetup, which is once per month. In the last year, though, I've probably played in one 4-session TSOY game and run another that went about 8 sessions. I've also run World of Dungeons a couple of times for my daughter. Right now, I'm trying (so far unsuccessfully) to round up a group for D&D 5th.

  • I'm running a pbem.
    I'm theoretically running a Storium game or two, but that's highly theoretical.
    I'm running Trail of Cthulhu (Eternal Lies) roughly biweekly, 3-4 hours in the evening, face to face. We have occasionally had one player use google hangout to play, but we do prefer all in person.
    I'm running Call of Cthulhu (Masks of Nyarlathotep) roughly monthly, though sometimes every other month, face to face, though we did do character generation via google hangout. 7 people, 4 computers. Sucky -- but possible, which was amazing. Sessions are on weekends, 5-6 hours.
    I've been running playtests irregularly. Over the last year or so, I did a 3-4 session playtest of Dreamhounds of Paris, a 3-4 session playtest of Bubblegumshoe, a one off playtest of Feng Shui 2nd edition, and, currently, I'm running roughly a weekly playtest of Dresden Accelerated, 3rd session scheduled for Monday. These have all been in the evening, so 2-4 hours, depending.

    This does not include gaming conventions. We skipped GenCon on account of it conflicted with LonCon3, but did play in a friend's weekly Laundry RPG. We've done Dreamation, Maelstrom, and DexCon this year. We're planning on Metatopia and need to figure out whether we're doing AnonyCon, as if we are, I should offer to run something.

    Whoops, forgot larps. We've been to Intercon, the all larping convention. I was in a larp at Dreamation and one at DexCon. We were in two privately run 4-hour larps, Dreams of Ice and Ash, and Masks, both of which are variants of the Dance and the Dawn larp. In theory, we're tweaking Preque Vue for next year's Intercon.
  • Doing great! 40 here, unmarried, no kids (pets only).

    Bi-weekly Google hangout game. Weekly lunch hour game. The only big difference is that I won't bother with any RPG book that has a lot of text for me to read.
  • edited September 2014
    I didn't game regularly from roughly 1994 to 2010. Since then, I've gradually got to the point where I almost have too much :-)

    I'm in what breaks down to three regular groups, with a current fourth group for a mini-campaign.

    I just finished a ~15 month run of Masks of Nyarlathotep. Prior to that I ran a Pathfinder game for roughly the same amount of time, and also played in a run of Carrion Crown.

    Those three were with my regular group, which maintains the core three people while adding and losing others. We try to play roughly every three weeks (when I'm GMing, that's how I schedule it, with a quorum of 3 players.) Currently that group is doing a 13th Age "longshot" (the GM, who played Charleston in my Masks game, didn't want to call it a campaign but after the third "oneshot" session we compromised on that title.)

    I'm in Lisa's EL campaign and was in her Bubblegumshoe playtest; I ran the Dreamhounds playtest as well (& she dropped by for a few sessions.) I also was in one of the Dance & Dawn LARPS (I not only danced with Lisa, but fought a duel with her as well.) With two of the players from that group, I'm in a Dresden Files FAE playtest currently. That's group #2.

    Group #3 is the Tuesday night RPG meetup the New York SF/Fantasy meetup runs; I've helped turn it into a hippiesh group of * World and Fate players :-) I ran a Dungeon World game there, Star Wars FAE, a bunch of Risus one-shots, Lady Blackbird, the Dreamhounds playtest...and stuff. It's an interesting GMing environment--sessions are pretty short, so you have to learn a "speed chess" approach which does wonders for your pacing ability.

    Group #4 I assembled for a Cortex Plus Drama project set in Whitechapel during the Autumn of Terror; if it works out well, I'll probably run it again with a different group.

    It helps that I don't live with anyone, work from home, and have only cats as my dependents, of course :-)

  • Speaking from my personal experience, I'm really appreciating the trend towards few-shot or short campaign games. I mean seriously. Just because I play "every week" doesn't mean campaigns are a good idea. Seriously, we had a campaign that sputtered out recently because the GM reproduced; It had probably been going for 18 months real time, and had... I dunno. 24 sessions? And that's GOOD for us. And certainly not one of these epic "Four years in the same game" setups.
  • I'm 41, no kids, no regular work schedule (freelancer).

    I have 3 weekly games (though one is on hiatus right now). All face to face.

    One is playtesting my current designs, another is usually long-form campaign games (Warhammer 2nd, Burning Wheel, Pendragon, AW: Dark Age), and the third is "game night" with people from my old workplace (sometimes board games, sometimes World of Dungeons or similar).

    They're all pretty good about regularity, except for the holiday season. We probably manage about 35 sessions a year, per group. Jeez, that means I play 105 sessions a year? Huh. I've never actually counted.

    Anyway, as a game designer, I consider it my job to play games, so I try to keep a pretty full schedule.
  • 37, married 14 years, 3 kids ages 10, 20 (at college) and 22 (in the army). (And for those doing the math, the older two are technically step kids :).

    I've got an irregular biweekly in-person group in which I'm the youngest. Sometimes we only manage one game a month or so. Other than special events and cons and occasional phases of playing 1-on-1 with either my wife (usually freeform; sometimes she plays with our regular group) or my 10yo (we did some Anima Prime and are doing DnD 5e Phandelver right now), that's the extent of my roleplaying these days. Mostly due to a busy job, valuing family time, and other commitments (like improv theater).
  • 37, two lovely daughters aged almost four years and almost four months, I run two campaigns, one Monsterhearts whenever we can get together, about 4 times a year (one of my two players went and moved to the other end of the country) and a weekly/bi-weekly Monster of the Week campaign.
    On top of that I go to Fastaval every easter. My wife would rather I go and leave her alone with the children than I be home and mope the entire week.
  • My wife would rather I go and leave her alone with the children than I be home and mope the entire week.
    Ah! So, that's what I've been doing wrong. Unfortunately, I think my wife is immune to that tactic. :-)
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