Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Grandma To 20th Century Fox: "Say What Now?"

The last time Adam Sandler made a movie, he flew to Hawaii with a bunch of his friends, filmed occasionally, and called it "50 First Dates." This time he played video games with a bunch of his friends, filmed once and a while, threw in a few token feisty old women and called it "Grandma's Boy." I think you know where this is going already.

I read about this first over at Datathoughts and then watched the trailer, just to be sure.

The movie is about a games-tester who ends up rooming one way or another with three old women. It's not about elderly gaming specifically, but if the Sandler Movie Methodology is used, you bet your sweet ass there is going to be some white haired gals hitting the consoles hard and long.

First, let me be clear that Grandma and I both dig Adam Sandler; one of Grandma's favorite movies is Happy Gilmore. The fact that he's directing this one doesn't make it any less "his movie," so don't get too mad at us. Second, Grandma in no way alone in the world of elderly gaming; and as any flea market shopper can attest, she doesn't hold a monopoly over geriatric vulgarity.

Here's my problem: after reading some of your e-mails about this, reading through the film's website, watching the trailer, etc.,... I realized that when I began the site to share her stories with a few friends, I was using exactly the same sort of mindset that Sandler and his producers use- that old women playing video games is unique, funny, and entertaining to watch. Then everything changed. As I kept writing, I realized it wasn't her age that made her interesting, it was her veteran status as a true gamer. She could be just as cool if she were in her 40's or 50's for she has played since the dawn of the arcades, as have many; and the war stories and evolution of that generation, those who have kept gaming and watched it grow not with skepticism and disdain for new systems but rather an excitement over fresh games and new challenges, are fascinating.

I had what is known as a "Blogger Existential Moment," and I had to question if what I was writing and the audience for whom I was writing held the same perception of Barbara St. Hilaire, and those she has come to represent.

When MTV and G4 show interest in Grandma and her obsession, it is not the Adam Sandler exploitation of the contrast and irony of an older gamer within a sea of those who pass the electronic section of retail stores with anxiety and fear, it is a tip of the hat towards all those who force the population that follow the ridged behavioral projections of their demographic to reexamine that which is "unacceptable," and give it a try.

I hope that I too have presented Grandma in this way, rather than to try for a quick laugh on some daily updates. Grandma can be funny because, shit- we all can relate to her frustrations within games; we can all empathize with her buying decisions, her first impressions, her addictions, her loyalties- and I hope we provide something worth reading for you guys.

I'm not changing anything about the site, we should just keep trucking along the way we've been; I just want to acknowledge you guys for the way you have helped to shape the site. Thousands of e-mails, hundreds of comments, linkbacks, blogrolls, chainletters (don't do that one again, okay? I need to sleep at night) mentions in podcasts, conversations, college classrooms, forums of just about every size and topic, site submissions, pay-pal donations, etc.,. have all helped us make OGHC in to something more than a joke. It's just a series of stories about Grandma and what she does.

So we offer 20th Century Fox something human; the ability to say with sincerity that there are people like this; it isn't abnormal or strange for someone to game for 30 years, and it isn't inappropriate for the elderly to get their kicks like everyone else. If this movie is entertaining it is because of the characters, and not because different types of folks act beyond what is expected; something to be laughed at. Tell us if it's anything different!


  • At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Look- yes there is some element of "coolness" that your grandma plays games, because most of our grandparents wouldn't even think about TOUCHING a game system let alone play one. They don't even know how to hook it up! But you're right, it isn't the fact that she's old, it's because she's awesome! I started on the Genesis, not the NES, but that still goes back a ways, and I'm only in college. So don't beat yourself up about being too "Sandleresque," just chill and know what we know- your grandma is fucking cool as shit; and that's all that matters.

    You two are doing fine, don't sweat this other shit!

  • At 2:33 PM, Blogger HandOverFist said…

    Yea I really don't like Adam Sandler lately but I have to be honest, I'm kinda excited about this movie.

  • At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Ko said…

    I dig grandma because, well... It's part everything you listed. I admire her as a gamer, no matter her age. But at the same time, yes, it is funny that she's an old woman who plays videogames and cusses like a sailor. None of these would be funny or astonishing in any way separately, but combined it's pretty unique. There may be many other grandma gamers , but how many have their own websites? How many cuss like there's no tomorrow? How many would be as interactive, or be as into being an internet star? Your grandma IS unique, no matter how you cut it.

    From the perspective of one whose grandma doesn't even understand how to use her TV remote, your grandma is especially interesting, and to be honest I envy you and everyone else with an awesome grandma. I can barely even speak to mine, even though she's only 75 and acts (and looks) like she's 55. With a grandma who only speaks about old movies, yours is a breath of fresh air.

    I only hope I can be half as cool to my grandkids.

  • At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have to admit that when I found your site I gave a shout of joy! Grandma is my idol and rolemodel. I'm a female gamer, over 50, who's been gaming for about 10 years. I don't have Grandma's colorful vocabulary or her skillz on all the gaming platforms but she totally commands my admiration. I only wish my kids were as appreciative of me as you are of her. I've requested a OMHC (Old Mom Hardcore) t-shirt for Christmas. LOL

  • At 6:12 PM, Anonymous zelda18 said…

    .....like i said before, i`m 62+ and i love the games, the challenge etc and the fact that you are doing a blog on grandma! maybe people will realize that even if you`re over 60 you can still have your shit together! Go grandma! And you to for taking the interest and time! you are also a special person!

  • At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Blue said…

    I love this site, I love Grandma & Tim, and this blog honestly gives me hope (as a female gamer, as a game creator, and just as a person) for the industry, even when (and at times especially when) things seem to be going all to hell. Even if you guys never make another post, I'd still keep coming back here and reading, reminding myself that I, as a woman gamer, am not alone, and I don't have to look like a Fragdoll to have value, and tear some shit UP.


    Be good, you guys. And, of course - as always - GAME ON!


  • At 9:14 AM, Anonymous brett alters said…

    i definitely agree. I dont look as OGHC as an elderly gamer, just as a sort of guru.

  • At 3:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There might be Buy Diablo 3 golda number of other nanny players , but how numerous have their individual websites? What number of cuss just like there's no next week? How many would be seeing that involved, or perhaps as straight into just as one internet celebrity? Ones
    Billig Gw2 Gold grandmother Is exclusive, it doesn't matter how you cut it.


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