Home Forums General General How Has Ageing Affected Your Gaming?

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    How has ageing – or age-related illness and disability – affected your gaming?  I’m thinking of all forms of gaming (miniature, board game, role-play, video/PC) and all related activities (painting, modelling, rules etc.)


    Guy Farrish

    I don’t think it has really.

    I suppose my vision is not as good as it was – I notice close up photos reveal flaws I didn’t realise were there sometimes! But then I didn’t have good(ish) quality close up photos of my stuff to show my errors up before, and I have never been overly bothered with painting technique, for a long time being of the block painting slap it on persuasion – gaming vice modelling has been my interest.

    Beyond that – well it’s not a physically demanding hobby and so far my mental acuity is as good/bad as it has ever been (apart from trying to spell acuity with two Cs for some reason) so not at all.


    Wearing glasses is the major change, relearning skills when using a magnifying glass to paint.  As I am older I have more time to do my hobby than when I was working full time in the armed forces.  With age accepting that the dice will rarely roll in my favour.


    Not Connard Sage

    I have less patience with idiots…

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    John D Salt

    Getting up and down from kneeling and lying is considerably harder than it was, so the “wargame in the open air”, last time I tried it, required the presence of young helpers to do the actual moving of the troops. Last time I tried Fletcher Pratt’s naval rules, at a CALF plenary game many years ago, it was remarkably hard on the knees (and harder still on the temper, when one of the umpires was yelling at me to finish my firing plot, blithely ignoring my protestations that he was fouling the range and he would get his plot after he got out of the way). Given how much I have always disliked Fletcher Pratt’s naval rules as a set to actually play (and also for their malign influence on naval wargaming ever since), the excuse of weak knees is an excellent one to avoid ever having to play them again.

    All the best,



    I’ll echo the knees and need for reading glasses.


    There have been no significant physical changes, although reading the information on Advanced Squad Leader counters is harder than it used to be. The main difference is that I seem to have less time for gaming-related activities, and I have less patience with learning new rules sets.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.



    Growing older has severely impacted the hobby for me. Presumed Optical Histoplasmosis has robbed me of sight in one eye and left me with a lot of permanent floaters in the other. So having no depth perception and feeling like I’m constantly surrounded by a cloud of gnats (the floaters) has made painting difficult. There’s also some minor cataract growth in my good eye–as well as some astigmatism–but it’s not a major factor. However, I’m also now quite night blind (and the cataract adds to this) and have given up driving. Getting to games is really challenging. Add to this that I’ve lost about 30% of my hearing and developed moderate tinnitus (apparently all age related). So… while I can hear normal conversation (though higher frequency voices are more difficult), I cannot differentiate a conversation from background noises. Most people can isolate what they want to hear. I can’t do that any more. Gaming at stores or conventions is practically impossible for me because I spend almost the entire game going “What did you say? What did he say? How many hits?” I gave up the hobby entirely for about 7 years because of these challenges.

    These days I compensate by using a lighted magnifying visor (usually using 2x, sometimes 3x lenses) for painting. I can paint 54s and 28s OK with this. 10mm is tough but for ACW detail’s not that critical to me. In my youth I was a pretty decent painter and modeler. I’ve just had to accept that that is not my reality any more. I’m more of an impressionist rather than a realist these days. My other compensation is that I’m lucky enough to have a room dedicated to my hobbies, including a 4×8 gaming table. While I haven’t really found local gamers with similar interests, If I do I have have some place to host games where I can control the background noise.


    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/


    Now that I have a wife and child with extra needs, I have both less spare time and less spare cash.
    As such I have less ability to buy gaming stuff, which is not a problem as I have less time to game with it.

    I have found however that my acceptance and tolerance of others’ gaming wants/wishes has increased.
    But then as I have aged I have learnt more and more, that life is 52 shades of grey and so is the hobby.

    Physically no real effect though I don’t think, and as alluded the only real changes in opinion have for the most part been positive.


    Age has impaired my hobbies in the following ways: I have less time as I have a wife, 2 children and a demanding career. I have less spare money. I have less space to spread all my crap out.

    This helped me move into 6mm, which is pretty much all I do and see myself doing for the foreseeable future.

    ian pillay

    A Wife, 4 children and a job that keeps me travelling all over the world has impacted my gaming somewhat.

    mainly a lack of time to play but I also think my choice of gaming genre had developed over time. Once I wouldn’t play anything other than 40k and WHFB, these days I am really drawn to historical genres, WWII, ACW and recently Zulus, thanks to TMWWBK rules.

    still enjoy my sci-fi and fantasy but prefer “rampant” rules over GW offerings. My go to WWII rules are Crossfire and my travel rules are OHW and the portable wargame. They give me quick games on the small tables in the hotel rooms that I stay in. I have also moved towards 10mm, 6mm and even ACW in 3mm to help manage the above constraints.




    When I was a limber, young gamer, after a loss, I would, like a pro-tennis player, leap over the table to congratulate my opponent.

    Now, being in my twilight years, I’ve found a standing jump is difficult & I need a run up.



    Henh. Busy middle-aged working fatherhood is so far behind me that I remember it now as my youth.

    Thanks to the miracle of retirement, I now have nearly as much time as I want to spend on my hobbies. But I fall asleep around 10 PM, so that cuts playtime short.

    Other than that, I can’t read fine print any more. So I’m selling off the boardgames that I can no longer read the counters. I only feel a little bad about the ones that I never actually played.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!


    Oh yes, the miracle of retirement indeed.  I now have loads of time for the hobby and doubt I’ve ever enjoyed it more. Not suprising really, I used to only manage a few games a year and painting maybe once a week.  Health is holding up so far too.  I’d say I’m more tolerant as well.  I’m at the enjoy it while you can stage.  I can no longer paint under artificial light to my satisfaction but it gets me out of bed in the morning.



    When my eyesight got a bit more challenged I moved to an Optivisor but otherwise, the biggest change has been more time to paint in retirement. A move to a new locale has not really impacted the number of games but I do have to drive further.

    Game wise I have noticed less of a tendency towards the “Ooh Shiny” new thing and a more focused approach to what I paint and game.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.


    My eyesight has dimmed so I need help seeing stuff clearly (lights, glasses), and I have a bad back so prefer to sit to play rather than bending over large tables. The house is a crammed with almost 50 years of accumulated wargaming stuff, so I have manage space carefully. I am also exhausted by work, so we only play short games at the club.

    However, my kids are grown up, and I still find the modelling aspects good for my mental health. Living in the now and bringing some order in a world gone mad. The social aspects are also invaluable, the club attracts people from all walks of life and it helps keep uou out of the echo chamber. I am still energised by simulation and history, and trying to design short, enjoyable and yet passably “realistic” games is a fascinating challenge. Thoughts are also turning to retirement, and I’m hoping to start winding down work a bit in the next year or two.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by MartinR.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke


    The only noticeable effect of the slow creep of ruin is I’m unable to sit and paint for long periods of time without seizing up. This, coupled with an long term knee injury tends to limit my painting to short bursts and not the all day paintathons of youth.

    Katie L

    I get paid more now and hence can afford more toys!!!


    Victoria Dickson

    My back gets sore quicker than it used to, so I prefer shorter games or ones I can leave set up and return to with breaks in between. I also spend less time painting for the same reason, used to be I could stick some music on and paint for hours.  I suppose I also like simpler rules, which might be a sign of my brain slowing down. 

    Ivan Sorensen

    I gamed more at 20something but my games are a lot more satisfying as a 30something.

    Nordic Weasel Games

    Norm S

    On the upside – Age has brought wisdom and cunning, so now I win my solo games!

    On the downside – eyesight is less focussed (Glasses ARE NOT  a replacement for 20/20 vision) and back-ache is a constant companion.

    On the upside –  my figures now look better painted to my forgiving eyes.

    On the downside – if I leave a system alone, even for a few weeks, I need to re-read the rules to pick everything up again!

    On the upside – Life is a bit calmer, I don’t need to tear around doing 1000 things at once

    On the downside – I can’t tear around anymore, doing 1000 things at once!



    Effect of ageing:

    — I must put on glasses to paint miniatures; and to read the charts when playing.

    Other effects:

    When I notice that someone is taking pictures of the gaming table and of the players, I must hastily:

    — Remove and hide glasses.
    — Pass my hand over remaining hair.
    — Stop breathing, and hold in belly.

    No other noticeable effects.



    Knee problems curtail length of painting sessions.  Arthritis in hands will see the end of it, no more painting but still lots of dropping bases onto tables (with luck).

    'The time has come" The walrus said. "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."


    Mostly my eyes, my vision has gotten a little worse over the years, and various processes associated with gaming involve the glasses on, glasses off, glasses on, etc , exercise to see what I’m doing


    involve the glasses on, glasses off, glasses on, etc , exercise to see what I’m doing


    ha ha, me also…   😐

    Darkest Star Games

    Yup, vision going down hill here too, lots of family time, longish work hours, and running a miniatures company all contribute to less miniature painting and game playing.  I’m working on shuffling some things around that will hopefully result in more time for hobbies.  Surprisingly, my back hasn’t been giving me too much trouble lately, hopefully it stays that way!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."


    None of the problems mentioned in this thread so far. I have, however, reached that thirtysomething stage where threads like this leave me paralysed with angst 


    PSSSSTT, Anyone wanna buy some.




    Mr. Average

    Good God, one time on this ride is enough for me. Why would I want to screw things up for more than one lifetime?

    To go back to the OP, though, oddly as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more interested in smaller things, like my 3mm projects and just letting my imaginary whims play out. Gaming has become less of an activity and more of a nonspecific daydreaming exercise for me. I’m less bothered by things like rule systems or complexity or whatnot, and just generally more easygoing on myself.

    Disabilitywise, I’m okay so far, though my hearing has suffered since I had a nerve infection about a year ago. But I could stand to go deaf and still enjoy gaming I think.

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