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Video Games Are For Kids

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Only children and manchildren play video games

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Pichu-kun on Dec 5th 2018 at 4:52:07 AM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Mar 19th 2019 at 3:11:46 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

"Now I've grown up— 'given up my video games".
"Penelope", Zak Waters

If an adult likes video games, then this signifies a certain childish quality about the character. This can range from being "in touch with your inner child" or being a little immature to being an outright manchild. The older a character is, the more negatively their gaming will be portrayed as. It's fine to be an energetic Gamer Chick in your early twenties, but it gets pathetic when you're still gaming into your forties.

As a result, there's a lot of overlap with a lot of similar "nerdy medias". Comic and cartoon fans are similarly associated with being childish due to the Animation Age Ghetto.

This trope is largely due to video games being a mainly child's medium until the mid-1990s. Early games like Pong and Pac-Man were popular (or even aimed at) general audiences, but by the mid-1980s video games had become "for kids". Kids have more free-time to focus on games and (aside from sports due to their competive nature) it's seen as a sign of maturity when kids stop playing games, video or otherwise. With their bright graphics, video games were mainly marketed at children and, later, teenagers. Adult gamers existed but it was a niche thing.

The introduction of the ESRB and other similar ratings put a dent in this train of thought by clearly showcasing that not all games were intended for ten year olds. Since then, gaming has become a mainstream part of society. Thanks in heavy part due to the Wii and mobile Casual Games, gaming has grown acceptable amongst all age demographics, even including seniors.

As a result, this is becoming a Discredited Trope. However, this is an Evolving Trope as there's still a stigma against frequent gaming as an adult. Depending on how many hours per week the character spends gaming, it can turn from just "normal" behavior into being childish nerdiness.



  • In "Penelope" by Zak Waters, the protagonist pines after his childhood crush and babysitter. He wishes to see her again now that he's eighteen. One sign of his maturity is that he no longer plays video games.

Western Animation

Feedback: 12 replies

Dec 5th 2018 at 4:54:05 AM

A few "Video Game Age Ghetto" TLP (such as this one) have existed in past, but they seemed too meta.

Dec 6th 2018 at 8:07:34 AM

This seems to be Michael Atkinson's belief...

Dec 6th 2018 at 10:29:59 AM

The apostrophe in the title is unnecessary. "Kids" is a plural, not a possessive word.

Dec 6th 2018 at 10:31:09 AM

^ Was coming here to say that same thing.

Dec 6th 2018 at 11:14:00 AM

^^ I'm aware of the typo. I was looking for examples on other pages before I fix it, but I can't find any examples.

Dec 6th 2018 at 2:19:31 PM

Another reasoning is that, as you get older, you're viewed as having more responsibility and thus should take less time playing games.

Dec 7th 2018 at 8:00:24 PM

Feb 15th 2019 at 7:02:01 PM

What's the point of launching a Discredited Trope? Also Video Games utilize animation, so this would be a pointless extension of the Animation Age Ghetto.

Feb 16th 2019 at 8:10:32 AM

^^ Tropes are tropes, even if they're not used in modern works.

Mar 19th 2019 at 2:12:06 PM

Will this allow out-of-universe examples?