As I was driving home from lunch today, I was thinking about (brace yourself) last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy. You may wonder how I'm going to steer this toward World of Warcraft, but bear with me for a second. I was really excited when I heard that Edward Hermann was going to be making an appearance this season, and thought maybe he would be filling the role of the replacement for Isaiah Washington's departed Preston Burke character. (No, you haven't browsed to TV Squad by accident. Hang on. I'm getting to a point.) As fans of the show recently found out though, this was not the case. Mr. Hermann's character Dr. Norman Shales was not to be an experienced, wise cardiac surgeon He was to be an intern learning to be a doctor after spending thirty years of his life as a pharmacist.
Last night as I watched Dr. Shales attempt to "relate" to the other interns and residents and attending physicians (who were all half his age) I suddenly realized that the reason I was enjoying this character so much (other than the fact I love Mr. Hermann's work) is that his role as Dr. Shales is really a metaphor of the experience of so many middle-aged and older players (including myself) in World of Warcraft.
I am fortunate to be in a fantastic mature guild where the median age is probably ten years higher than most, but I think I still rank among the top five oldest. Guild events aren't a big deal. The discomfort comes in interaction with folks -- who may be perfectly fine players -- who either can't believe somebody in their late thirties (or older) is playing World of Warcraft, or can't understand the way somebody in that age bracket thinks.
Even though I know I'm not the oldest World of Warcraft player in the world, I was encouraged (and amazed) to read this interview reposted on incgamers.com of an interview with an 80-year-old World of Warcraft player. (Be warned. The English is very, very rough because the interview is translated. I think "mad" is meant in a good way in it's frequent uses in the interview.) What's the oldest player you've seen in your guild or server? How do they contribute to your guild? How do you handle them differently?