Let’s face it — there’s a gamer stereotype that extends from teenage boys to a decade or two older, but not beyond. Like all stereotypes, it’s likely completely unfair and it definitely creates an inaccurate notion of the kind of person who enjoys playing video games. There really isn’t just one type of gamer, and sometimes it takes a major disruption to demonstrate that basic truth.
Most recently, that disruption is the impending end of the popular massively multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG) title Asheron’s Call. While Turbine, the game’s publisher, had kept the servers running, that’s coming to an end on January 31, 2017. That’s particularly bad news for a 74-year-old grandfather who’s been playing the game since 1999, as Techspot reports.
The story is told in a YouTube video that was published on January 9, and already has almost a million views. “Grandpa,” as he’s referred to in the video, has made friends all over the world playing the game and has been through all of the typical ups and downs of such long-running titles.
One character that Grandpa has been playing was started in 2003 and amassed over three months of playing time. Another character has existed since 1999, representing a major commitment in the nearly two decades since Grandpa started playing Asheron’s Call. So far, he hasn’t found another MMORPG to take the place of the game that he’s been playing so faithfully all this time.
It’s a heartwarming story to be sure, and bittersweet. It also highlights how important such communities can become, with the game taking on a secondary role to the relationships that are built up along the way. While Grandpa might very well find another game to play, one can’t overestimate the impact that shutting down such a system can have on people of all ages.