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November 5th, 2014
02:17 PM ET

I think I'm too old for Call of Duty

I am 33 years old. But I think I am too old to play the latest Call of Duty game.

To be clear, this isn't to say I'm too old for video games in general. I love them! I play games all the time, whether it's Grand Theft Auto V or Pokemon X/Y.

Nor am I saying I'm too old for Call of Duty's brand of action, where the U.S. is constantly getting invaded, a double-cross is only ever minutes away, and everything explodes. That's all fine by me.

I feel too old to play Call of Duty because I don't think I have the reflexes to compete online in multiplayer anymore.

Call of Duty's multiplayer mode is incredible. 2007's Modern Warfare redefined what multiplayer shooters could be. It was innovative, it was deep, and it was fast. Multiplayer is the reason people are hooked on Call of Duty after the traditionally short singleplayer story ends.

I used to be decent. I wasn't great, but I'd hold my own. But with each passing version, with each passing year, I seem to get worse. I don't quite pull the trigger in time. I can't aim fast enough. I die. I die again. And again, and again, and again.

The game seems to get faster. I seem to get slower. And I wonder if my aging reflexes are to blame.

It might sound ridiculous to think that at 33. But it's not. Studies have shown that your reaction times start to decline from the age of 24. It's not just theory, either - professional gamers tend to retire before they hit 30.

Of course, I don't play at a professional level. Deep down, I'm know most of my struggles online could easily be because of other reasons, like having less time to play (and practice) than I used to. Or the brutal truth might be even simpler than that: I might be really bad at this game. No excuse, no physical limitation. I might just be terrible, period.

But it is undoubtedly something that sticks in the back of my mind every time I play a fast-paced shooter like Call of Duty... and every time I see my 21-year-old brother above me on the leaderboard.

I suppose I should let him enjoy it. After all, he's only got a few years left.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Johan Krüger Haglert

    I've read about making decisions how yes, elder people take more time to make their decision, but they also use more knowledge to reach it and likely make a better one.

    Maybe COD isn't one where that pay of (such as more clever hiding or retreat plans or commands to others and so on) but I assume there may be some games where it do pay of (maybe more so if you've spend those last 20 years playing that kind of game rather than if you just get into it because your daily work or knowing how to drive a car or lifting weights or whatever may not necessarily help you out with the game of course ..)

    November 6, 2014 at 3:45 am | Reply
  2. Angel V. Ortiz Cruz

    I'm 57 and still enjoy playing the game Call of Duty but noticed that is not the lack of speed, is the impossible competition level hackers bring to the game. Noticed that in Ghost and hope it doesn't happen in Advance Warefare. I will keep playing until it isn't fun to compete .

    November 6, 2014 at 4:13 am | Reply
  3. Angel V. Ortiz Cruz

    I'm 57 and still enjoy playing the game Call of Duty but noticed that is not the lack of speed, is the impossible competition level hackers bring to the game. Noticed that in Ghost and hope it doesn't happen in Advanced Warfare. I will keep playing until it isn't fun to compete .

    November 6, 2014 at 4:19 am | Reply
  4. Gamer71

    Call of Duty is also based on your internet connection – as well as – reflexes / it is a pier to pier hosting meaning who ever has the best connection is host.Then it will be based on their skill ( they automatically have the upper hand ).

    I played them all and a regular First person shooter player. Average player has a Kill death ratio of 1 ... I have a 2.04 currently and continues to go higher. I am 43 – so I don't think your age has anything to do with it – You might just not be that good.

    November 6, 2014 at 5:44 am | Reply
  5. ozcan

    I am 51 and can play without problem, you should probably to see an Alzheimer doctor

    November 6, 2014 at 8:13 am | Reply
  6. Mohammed Anwar

    Thanks ... you put me in ease with the above article i am 35 and last night i lost 3 back to back FIFA 15 matches to my 17 years old nephew.. Now i have an excuse..

    November 6, 2014 at 9:24 am | Reply
  7. UserZero

    As an older gamer myself I still enjoy the multiplayer action offered by game such as Call of Duty, Battlefield Team Fortress, etc., but I have definately adapted my game play from the "run and gun" style of play and make use of the flexibility offered by the game design (vehicles, explosives, etc.) to make up for my loss of reflex.

    Of course, with a lot of servers punishing the use of snipers, explosive, "camping" tactics and a lot of other options that detract from the "run and gun" mode of playing it does get harder and harder to find a good place to play.

    Maybe it's one of the reasons why the turn base combat games seem to be making a big come back?

    November 6, 2014 at 9:33 am | Reply
  8. NP-complete

    Don't worry, Ravi, your taste will eventually shift to other kinds of videogames, as it always happens with books, films, or TV series when you get older. I'm also in my thirties, and now "only action"-based games get me bored very quickly, I only like games with emotional stories and/or smart game mechanics (e.g. The Last of Us, Heavy Rain, Journey, Portal 2, Shadow of the Colossus, L.A. Noire, The Walking Dead, etc). The good news is that now game developers know that we, "old gamers", exist! And they have a good reason: Although we play less, we have more money to buy games.

    November 6, 2014 at 9:40 am | Reply
  9. Neff

    I feel your pain, bro. I used to be so good at Modern Warfare 1 to 3, Black ops etc. I tried playing COD Ghosts and I couldn't believe how bad I was. Even though I had been playing less and less of these games, I didn't expect to be so bad. My reflexes are so poor now. I get shot between the .5 seconds it takes me to spot an enemy and hit the right trigger. I've given up on COD.

    November 6, 2014 at 10:09 am | Reply
  10. Thor Jonsson

    I am now 41, casual gamer and I felt this for a while now, it is simply just too hard to play multiplayer now, I cannot imagine this latest version as I gave up about 4 years ago on any regular multiplayer action.

    November 6, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
  11. Tim

    Whouldn't this be great is there were multiplayer zones for different age groups? If you are 40 year old ,then you may chose to compete online in 40+ zone and you only get players of the same age to compete with

    November 6, 2014 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • Thor Jonsson

      Haha that would be a dream. Sadly be impossible to do.

      November 13, 2014 at 8:55 am | Reply

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