What is the peak age for gamers and how does aging affect the gaming skils?

United NationsBrainless

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Dec 22, 2011
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#26
i am now (proudly) 48 and as such entitled to give my experienced opinion on the matter. I read somewhere in the posts above that when aging, brain power decreases. That is off course bullshit, it just works differently. But i agree, yes the changes are profound and they hurt playing AOC. I still play AOC several times a week, however not vs humans, because i am no longer interested in competition aspect. Main changes i experience are:

- inconsistency: i have bad days, or bad games, when i just cant see much ahead, lacking plan and just go on auto-pilot. Other days i can still be sharp and eager.

- tension curve: the timespan i can work at 100% focus is getting shorter on average. I use to be a quick starter, playing very solid and opportunistic in dark and feudal, bit i burn my energy faster. After i kicked the first punches in early imp my allies have to follow up.

- sloppyness. Misclicks, timing errors, forgetting about little thing like monk going on relic hunt, boar lurers etc. Sometimes even deleting a tc in dark age bcause i hit del instead of enter to chat.

- multitasking: this usually goes quite well, maybe because it is routine, or it is because brain power does not diminish. It just gets channeled down differently, through learned pathways.

- when a plan fails, my game gets ruined it is hard to make a switch. What to do... while i used to use my own disadvantages in favour of myself, now i often dont have the appetite to turn my game around.

- learning new strategies / unlearning wrong ones: this is a hard one. Especially some hotkey uses i cant bother myself to use.

- being less interested, less eager, just playing for fun. Yes, maybe the most important thing why you dont see many players of my ages. Life takes you somewhere else. The sole reason that you play stops to exist: you are no longer interested into competing with someone you never meet in something that does not really matter anyway. With the interest, the fire within leaves the field.

- the whole experience changes. The way i play now is purposing me in a different way then it did 20 years ago.
My peek periods were when i was 31-32 playing DM in AOE1 and when i was 40-43 playing AOC. If i would meet my former self in a game, i would might even win some games, because of the skills i learned. Still, i can not talk like the most players here. I was 30 when i first started playing AOE1 and 37 when i start AOE2. I never really had a good shot at being competative. Still, most players i ever met looked up to me, not only because of my age. In the end, just having some friends games is a good way to spend my time.

EDIT: in addition to all this, i feel that i still could be and sometimes will be on my top level, it just would cost me more: daily gaming, keeping myself in best condition etc. It just not worth it for me to continue to try. I guess every AOC player will reach that moment sometime.
 
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Nov 26, 2012
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#28
Its been 1.5 years since I came back to this game after a 2.5 years break, and today that I'm 35 years old, I feel that I can't focus as I did in the past, even though my APM is almost the same. I also feel that my micro is substantially worse. In addition, when I play games in weekdays, after work, my performance is horrible, compared to weekends, but that didnt happen in the past.

I'm much more irregular than in the past. I mean, sometimes I can play arabia or arena games close to 2k levels, and sometimes I lose easy to 18++ guys in both maps. I can't be consistent. In the past I was a very competitive arena clown, and now I think I'm very far from that :frown:

So yes, Im getting old.

Nevertheless, I think that my post imp skills have not changed at all (I even think that I've improved in some aspects). Also my macro and decision making remains the same.

That said, I have some questions I'd like to discuss:

1.- What's the peak period for gamers? (In my case it was around 24-26 years old)
2.- How does aging affect gaming skills and what skills do you lose first?
3.- Is there any way to get back old skills? Specially micro, which I think I lost the most.
4.- Do u know about good old pro gamers in aoc or in other games?

I'd like to know about the experience of other 30+ years old AOC players too.
Well I am the man to talk to. BACKGROUND: I started playing this game 6 months after it came out and I am 59 years old now which means that I started in my lated 30's. At the time I worked 65 hours or more a week so unlike a kid I could not play all the time. On the Zone I was around the top 16,000 players. Can't remember my ladder ranking. At the time there were 100,000's of thousands of players. ANSWER: I don
t think age has much to do with it as long as the player has good health. My health issues is what slowed down my game. It started in my middle 40's and has gotten worse but I still play often just not so much on line; with my best friend. So two rules. 1). Stay healthy 2). Play the game and do nothing else in life.
 
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#29
Losing skills and some speed depends on the person i guess.

There are some 28-30 yo players in CS GO scene. For example Taz and f0rest. They have been playing both cs 1.6 and go for a long time. Taz is 32 years old and he is still in the scene leading a top20 team. And f0rest is 30 years old. But he is fragging like a god every damn game. He is one of the goats in cs go.
 
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#30
Thanks everybody for the feedback, pretty interesting ideas and experiences.
 

Unknown_Andrew

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#31
Not saying it has zero effect, but for a game like AoC which doesn't require much speed/precision compared to other games, I think the impact is probably overstated.

Main factor is the time available to someone and their motivation level. Naturally, as people get older their free time and motivation drop... and the skill level follows. I really think that's the key factor here.
 

United NationsBrainless

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#32
i may have been triggered by this discussion into replying about the influence of "above average" age.
But the topic actually is "what is the peak age". I think it is obvious that it will not be 40+.

Lets take a look at the junior side: how much experience and learning do you need to be a serious contender on top level? At least 5 years of serious commitment i think. Maybe less if you are young or talented, or have good mentors.
And once you get there, how long will you still keep improving and how do you improve if you are already top? Then the final question: how can you maintain this level.

I have scribbled down my thoughts on this.
I think typically ages to corresponding timeline are:
A 14-15
B 18-20
C 25-30
D 28-35
E who knows...
skilldevelopment.jpg
 
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United NationsBrainless

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#33
Not saying it has zero effect, but for a game like AoC which doesn't require much speed/precision compared to other games, I think the impact is probably overstated.

Main factor is the time available to someone and their motivation level. Naturally, as people get older their free time and motivation drop... and the skill level follows. I really think that's the key factor here.
last time i checked speed in response and multitasking, while keeping accuracy in micro was of crucial. Its make the difference between winning or losing.
 
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#34
Well I am the man to talk to. BACKGROUND: I started playing this game 6 months after it came out and I am 59 years old now which means that I started in my lated 30's. At the time I worked 65 hours or more a week so unlike a kid I could not play all the time. On the Zone I was around the top 16,000 players. Can't remember my ladder ranking. At the time there were 100,000's of thousands of players. ANSWER: I don
t think age has much to do with it as long as the player has good health. My health issues is what slowed down my game. It started in my middle 40's and has gotten worse but I still play often just not so much on line; with my best friend. So two rules. 1). Stay healthy 2). Play the game and do nothing else in life.
Similar story but not the same... I will use your format to share my experience:

I started playing this game the month / minute it came out and I am 54 years old now which means that I started in my mid 30's. At the time I worked zero hours because I was suffering from an injury so like many kids I could play all the time. On the Zone I was an intermediate player. Didn't care about ladder rankings at all.

For me the game is mostly about socializing, having fun and laughing. I love to win, but competing is secondary to making friends around the world and making the planet smaller. I think this is the best RTS community if not the best online gaming community ever.

I was the leader of a gaming group that had all levels, noobs to pros in it. At one point we had over 120 members from at least 20 different countries. We held a LAN party event in 2003 in NJ and NYC that had around 25 - 30 participants all playing in the same rooms over 3 days. It was great fun and I am still friends with many members of the team nearly 20 years running now.

BEST ANSWER I Have: I don't think age has much to do with it as long as the player has good health. My health issues (hand cramps, and more recently diminished eyesight) have slowed down my game. It started in my late 40's and has gotten worse but I still play occasionally just not as much as I watch the youngsters online with my new and old friends.

So three rules.
1). Stay healthy
2). Play the game for fun and if you get really good so much the better.
3). Think of the this community as a global family and world peace is that much closer to being a reality!
 

UnknownRayne

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Jul 6, 2010
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#36
Interesting answers about health from the two of you. Piqued my interest in this topic again.

I can't see health affecting play much unless its an intense issue. Then I get it but even then, not too sure.

Not many know this about me, but I currently have multiple health issues, two of which I generally deal with on a second to second basis. My first one I'd rather not talk about (and have had this for 20 years), but second one is just like an ongoing headache, varying from a 3-7/10.

Since I just got back to aoc about a week ago, I have played against Spring, two rateds against some unknown 2100, and around 8 or so unrated against AngelinaJolie. My health didn't really affect me a whole lot, and had some good wins against all (will be doing some more rated soon, but can't see health affecting me too much). And on top of it, not trying to brag anywhere either, I injured my right arm badly back in July (had it in a sling for a week and couldn't use it) and its still recovering (hurts if I move it the wrong way), and injured left side of my torso. My eyes aren't as good as before as well, I could add. Can understand that one a bit.

Being redundant, all that said, I can't see health really affecting play unless its intense (for all those with health issues like me).
 

Finlandbuhanisson

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May 29, 2015
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#37
Health might or might not matter in a game or two, but those 8-24 hour sessions that some pros like to do on a regular basis definitely make you improve faster than if you have to quit every time after 1-2 hours because of cramps or eye pain.
 
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Health might or might not matter in a game or two, but those 8-24 hour sessions that some pros like to do on a regular basis definitely make you improve faster than if you have to quit every time after 1-2 hours because of cramps or eye pain.
That is true, but can't say or see where it generally applies here (pardon if I seem thick-headed). I can't aoc for 8 hours or have some 24 hour aoc craze (even if I could, would rather not), my sessions were 2-3 hours in aoc.

In chess for instance, this is a different story where I am much more active than aoc. I started playing a lot of it in 2016 with my headache. Sometimes I had 5 to 6 hour sessions. It made no difference there with my longer times playing.

I don't know if you have ever played 3 min chess with a headache, but it requires a ton out of you, especially for a few hours to several. And so far in past two years, I have managed to gain 800 points to my online blitz rating. Still going up as well. Sometimes I did have really bad episodes and couldn't play for 2-3 days.

Bad health means you just have to be more aware of your limits than a healthy person. I can't see it severely restricting you unless its intense. You can still improve at things not much differently. At least thats my experience speaking here.
 

Czech RepublicCZ_Mango

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#40
I am 29 in 3 months and I first played this game when I was 14/15 years old. Played couple of months but at that time I chose counter-strike, which I have been playing as well, over aoe. I've spent couple of years playing counter strike 1.5 and later 1.6 at very high level but then I kinda got bored of it because it felt monotonous and I could not see much more challenges infront of me also our team disbanded and I did not want to switch to other team so I returned to aoe in late 2009 and have been playing with some pauses till now.
What I can say from my experience is that aoe has enormously long learning curve which can be frustrating for many young players just like it was frustrating for me when I was 14/15 years old, on the other hand it can be challenging and making you to stick with the game for a long time. When I was a kid I gave up on aoe because I could relatively easy get on the top in other games in a much shorter time. But since aoe was so unique and challenging it always made me come back unlike other games. Also with getting older I started to speak english more fluent and it helps a lot in an international game such as aoe.
Now regarding the age affecting your performance. Yes and no, in my case last few years it affects my stamina a lot. I have a hard time to maintain my A-game for several games in a row. Especially in 1v1s I get tired after 2-3 games in a row and need to take a break otherwise I lose focus and my performence gets worse. When I was young I could easily play 10+ games in a row without any fluctuance at all. Regarding general skill and understanding of the game on the other hand I feel that I am improving and I am getting stronger than ever. I reached 2k several years ago in tgs since I was always mainly tg player but this year I reached repeatedly on several accounts 2k in 1v1s as well and it was first time for me (when I was 28 years old) that I reached it. I also reached it by beating better players 2000-2200 not just by beating couple of 18/19+ guys over and over. I also feel that my game knowledge is better than ever and I can use it for my advantage and to win versus younger and faster players.
Another thing is that you can speed up the learning curve a lot by investing huge amounts of time into long sessions of gaming and into playing frequently. Also your dedication is another factor, if you have the persistence and you really wanna improve, then you will. If you wanna just wanna hang around and play for fun then you won't. Some of my friends played this game for many many years often teaming up very high skilled players but they never improved others which invested a lot of time and dedication improved rapidly over short amount of time. If you play frequently for some time or if you play few games here and there the difference in skill can be 200-500 points for some guys and your age is not a big factor here I believe.
To sum it up for me with increasing age my game knowledge and general skill increased but my stamina and focus decreased a lot.
 
Oct 25, 2016
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#41
I think that people can improve so long as they remain open to changing the way they play in order to get better at the game. I've talked about it before, but I believe that being good at the game requires the right play-style paradigms that align with actual reality, and spending time to practice these things. There are a lot of people (including myself) that have spent a lot of time "trying" to improve, but have been unable to because we haven't changed the way we think about the game. I'm sure that when top players try to train lower rated players they run into this issue a lot. The lower rated players think that they're mentally 2k5 but they can't execute properly which is why they're 16xx (reality is that they're really 16xx). Anyways, I think in general as people get older they become more "set on their ways" which becomes a big hurtle to overcome in itself. When you're younger you don't really have those set habits, and if you're able to adopt the habits the align with reality early then you're able to reach the higher skill levels at a much younger age (some of developing the right habits comes down to intelligence, but I think some of it can be luck too). So when is the best age for aoe2 player? I guess it's the time that aligns with when they're most active, and when they're most willing to adopt new ways of playing the game to improve.
 

BrazilBruZi

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#42
I think in general as people get older they become more "set on their ways" which becomes a big hurtle to overcome in itself. When you're younger you don't really have those set habits
Yeah, some older guys just play the same style and are more reluctant to leave their comfort zone.
 

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