The support shared between readers in the our comments section is one of the things we love most about the Engadget community. Over the years, we've known you to offer sage advice on everything from Chromecasts and cameras to drones and smartphones. In fact, our community's knowledge and insights are a reason why many of you participate in the comments.
We truly value the time and detail you all spend in responding to questions from your fellow tech-obsessed commenters, which is why we've decided to bring back the much-missed "Ask Engadget" column. We're kicking things off with a question from an adult looking to dip their toes into a game intended for a younger audience. Weigh in with your advice in the comments -- and feel free to send your own questions along to firstname.lastname@example.org!
"I am an adult who wants to start playing Overwatch. How should I get into it without being an immediate burden on my team/getting berated by 12-year-olds?"
Hello, fellow adult. Why don't we discuss this matter in my sitting room, over a nice glass of chardonnay? We can also talk about politics, our gluten sensitivities and how much we hate Mondays. Just like real grown-ups.
OK, that was a bit harsh -- but I hope you see my point. Luckily for you, me and a ton of my friends, there's no rule barring adults from playing Overwatch, so I hope age alone doesn't prevent you from diving into what is truly a great game. However, there's also no rule stopping 12-year-olds (or 56-year-olds) from calling you names when you switch from Mercy to Hanzo mid-round.
Your best bet is to just start playing! Seriously. Set aside whatever anxiety is holding you back and play. You'll only be able to join casual matches at first, until you've leveled up enough to unlock the competitive mode. Plus, you can always practice against bots. By the time competitive mode unlocks, you should feel fairly comfortable with a handful of characters and eager to show off your mad skills. But, if you're not ready for prime time, it's perfectly fine to stick to Quick Play matches, where the stakes aren't as high. As for the trolls, there's an option to mute in-game chat. Done and done.
You'll have good games and you'll have bad games, just like everyone else. Even the obnoxious, 12-year-old Junkrat main on your team. Don't let the fear of ridicule keep you from having a great time.