This 74-year-old Grandpa is losing the game he has played since 1999 (and it'll touch your heart)

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

News broke less than a month ago that two MMORPGs originally developed by Turbine, The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online, were getting a new lease on life as development moving forward would be handled by Standing Stone Games.

Unfortunately, Turbine’s first game, Asheron’s Call, wasn’t picked up.

Asheron’s Call, which arrived in 1999, has been running non-stop ever since. As Polygon notes, Turbine stopped adding new content in 2014 but still kept the servers running. It has since been revealed that Asher’s Call is getting the axe on January 31, 2017 and that’s bad news for one loyal fan.

A recently posted YouTube video from the channel We Sleep Talk chronicles a 74-year-old “Grandpa” who has been playing the game since 1999. Although less than four minutes long, it’s clear that the senior-aged gamer really enjoys playing the MMORPG. When asked what he’ll miss the most, he says, “a time that I can call my own” and adds that it was a great time when he had it.

The clip, which has racked up nearly a million views in less than a week, really speaks to the importance that video games can have in a person’s life – regardless of age.

Here’s to hoping that Grandpa finds a suitable replacement that doesn’t look like “crap.” Perhaps Shirley Curry, the 80-year-old grandmother that has amassed more than six million followers on YouTube thanks to her streaming antics, could recommend a title or two?

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"The clip, which has racked up nearly a million views in less than a week, really speaks to the importance that video games can have in a person’s life – regardless of age."

Just because someone misses something doesn't necessarily mean that they should have it. Im not saying games arent fun, or should be outlawed, but to go as far as to say "important". Oxygen, food, water, a job, self worth, love, these are important. Video games are addictive, and this idea in sociey that you should have what you want when you want just breeds self centered lazy people that cant work or do a thing of value. Dont get me wrong, I feel for this elderly man, he probably contributed alot to society, and found how he wanted to spend retirement. Its a shame that his game is being taken from him. I just dont see a videogame as important, they are fun.

Ask a heroine addict that wants a fix how important heroine is to them, they would probably be willing to give an arm and a leg for it. The heroine isnt important, true friends, intervention and love are.

But I digress
 
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veLa

TS Evangelist
"The clip, which has racked up nearly a million views in less than a week, really speaks to the importance that video games can have in a person’s life – regardless of age."

Just because someone misses something doesn't necessarily mean that they should have it. Im not saying games arent fun, or should be outlawed, but to go as far as to say "important". Oxygen, food, water, a job, self worth, love, these are important. Video games are addictive, and this idea in sociey that you should have what you want when you want just breeds self centered lazy people that cant work or do a thing of value. Dont get me wrong, I feel for this elderly man, he probably contributed alot to society, and found how he wanted to spend retirement. Its a shame that his game is being taken from him. I just dont see a videogame as important, they are fun.

Ask a heroine addict that wants a fix how important heroine is to them, they would probably be willing to give an arm and a leg for it. The heroine isnt important, true friends, intervention and love are.

But I digress
I guess I would say that unlike a heroine addict, this guy doesn't have a problem.
 

TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
"The clip, which has racked up nearly a million views in less than a week, really speaks to the importance that video games can have in a person’s life – regardless of age."

Just because someone misses something doesn't necessarily mean that they should have it. Im not saying games arent fun, or should be outlawed, but to go as far as to say "important". Oxygen, food, water, a job, self worth, love, these are important. Video games are addictive, and this idea in sociey that you should have what you want when you want just breeds self centered lazy people that cant work or do a thing of value. Dont get me wrong, I feel for this elderly man, he probably contributed alot to society, and found how he wanted to spend retirement. Its a shame that his game is being taken from him. I just dont see a videogame as important, they are fun.

Ask a heroine addict that wants a fix how important heroine is to them, they would probably be willing to give an arm and a leg for it. The heroine isnt important, true friends, intervention and love are.

But I digress
Nothing like a holier than thou attitude - sounds to me like a Millennial speaking. It's a game, as an older gamer he's enjoyed it and he's going to miss it - that's all. Some day there will be something like that for you and I hope people around you show a little more understanding than a crass "there are more important things - get over it" type comment.

I was a beta tester for Asheron's Call and played it religiously for two years until the devs openly encouraged macroing and the game turned into a world of bots. Bummer, because it was a helluva good game.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
"The clip, which has racked up nearly a million views in less than a week, really speaks to the importance that video games can have in a person’s life – regardless of age."

Just because someone misses something doesn't necessarily mean that they should have it. Im not saying games arent fun, or should be outlawed, but to go as far as to say "important". Oxygen, food, water, a job, self worth, love, these are important. Video games are addictive, and this idea in sociey that you should have what you want when you want just breeds self centered lazy people that cant work or do a thing of value. Dont get me wrong, I feel for this elderly man, he probably contributed alot to society, and found how he wanted to spend retirement. Its a shame that his game is being taken from him. I just dont see a videogame as important, they are fun.

Ask a heroine addict that wants a fix how important heroine is to them, they would probably be willing to give an arm and a leg for it. The heroine isnt important, true friends, intervention and love are.

But I digress
Nothing like a holier than thou attitude - sounds to me like a Millennial speaking. It's a game, as an older gamer he's enjoyed it and he's going to miss it - that's all. Some day there will be something like that for you and I hope people around you show a little more understanding than a crass "there are more important things - get over it" type comment.

I was a beta tester for Asheron's Call and played it religiously for two years until the devs openly encouraged macroing and the game turned into a world of bots. Bummer, because it was a helluva good game.
Agreed on the 'holier than thou', but I affiliate such attitudes with the Baby Boomers, not Millennials. Between their debt and lack of career opportunities, Millenials have nothing to be 'holier than thou' about and they know it.

More back on point: comparing video games to heroine downplays the impact that heroine has on its users and their families. Yes, some kids can become a little too fixated on video games if parents let them, but if you take video game away, the vast majority don't go through withdrawal - they go find something else to keep them entertained.
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
If you can play a game for more than 5 years straight (without getting bored and looking for something else), that game means something to you. And until you have had a game like that yourself, you will never understand what it is like to loose it. Anyone that is not sympathetic to this man's loss, tell us which game you have played for 15 years and lost.
 
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"The clip, which has racked up nearly a million views in less than a week, really speaks to the importance that video games can have in a person’s life – regardless of age."

Just because someone misses something doesn't necessarily mean that they should have it. Im not saying games arent fun, or should be outlawed, but to go as far as to say "important". Oxygen, food, water, a job, self worth, love, these are important. Video games are addictive, and this idea in sociey that you should have what you want when you want just breeds self centered lazy people that cant work or do a thing of value. Dont get me wrong, I feel for this elderly man, he probably contributed alot to society, and found how he wanted to spend retirement. Its a shame that his game is being taken from him. I just dont see a videogame as important, they are fun.

Ask a heroine addict that wants a fix how important heroine is to them, they would probably be willing to give an arm and a leg for it. The heroine isnt important, true friends, intervention and love are.

But I digress
Nothing like a holier than thou attitude - sounds to me like a Millennial speaking. It's a game, as an older gamer he's enjoyed it and he's going to miss it - that's all. Some day there will be something like that for you and I hope people around you show a little more understanding than a crass "there are more important things - get over it" type comment.

I was a beta tester for Asheron's Call and played it religiously for two years until the devs openly encouraged macroing and the game turned into a world of bots. Bummer, because it was a helluva good game.
My post wasnt against the elderly man and the game. If you had read it I said " I feel for him ". My whole issue was with Shawns " importance" on video games. Nothing is wrong with games, I play them myself, but they are not necessary for life.

I would hope someone starts something similar to project 1999 for this game, and it would be cool if the people that would do it would give him all his stuff he had.
 

TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
"The clip, which has racked up nearly a million views in less than a week, really speaks to the importance that video games can have in a person’s life – regardless of age."

Just because someone misses something doesn't necessarily mean that they should have it. Im not saying games arent fun, or should be outlawed, but to go as far as to say "important". Oxygen, food, water, a job, self worth, love, these are important. Video games are addictive, and this idea in sociey that you should have what you want when you want just breeds self centered lazy people that cant work or do a thing of value. Dont get me wrong, I feel for this elderly man, he probably contributed alot to society, and found how he wanted to spend retirement. Its a shame that his game is being taken from him. I just dont see a videogame as important, they are fun.

Ask a heroine addict that wants a fix how important heroine is to them, they would probably be willing to give an arm and a leg for it. The heroine isnt important, true friends, intervention and love are.

But I digress
Nothing like a holier than thou attitude - sounds to me like a Millennial speaking. It's a game, as an older gamer he's enjoyed it and he's going to miss it - that's all. Some day there will be something like that for you and I hope people around you show a little more understanding than a crass "there are more important things - get over it" type comment.

I was a beta tester for Asheron's Call and played it religiously for two years until the devs openly encouraged macroing and the game turned into a world of bots. Bummer, because it was a helluva good game.
My post wasnt against the elderly man and the game. If you had read it I said " I feel for him ". My whole issue was with Shawns " importance" on video games. Nothing is wrong with games, I play them myself, but they are not necessary for life.

I would hope someone starts something similar to project 1999 for this game, and it would be cool if the people that would do it would give him all his stuff he had.
The computer gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, making more money than movies showing just how ingrained it is in our society. Many gamers have invested hundreds if not thousands of hours in individual games developing an attachment to their characters and the friends they play with. It's their primary form of recreation and entertainment. IT'S IMPORTANT TO THEM.

Downplaying one person's passion because it's not yours is not cool.
 
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"The clip, which has racked up nearly a million views in less than a week, really speaks to the importance that video games can have in a person’s life – regardless of age."

Just because someone misses something doesn't necessarily mean that they should have it. Im not saying games arent fun, or should be outlawed, but to go as far as to say "important". Oxygen, food, water, a job, self worth, love, these are important. Video games are addictive, and this idea in sociey that you should have what you want when you want just breeds self centered lazy people that cant work or do a thing of value. Dont get me wrong, I feel for this elderly man, he probably contributed alot to society, and found how he wanted to spend retirement. Its a shame that his game is being taken from him. I just dont see a videogame as important, they are fun.

Ask a heroine addict that wants a fix how important heroine is to them, they would probably be willing to give an arm and a leg for it. The heroine isnt important, true friends, intervention and love are.

But I digress
I guess I would say that unlike a heroine addict, this guy doesn't have a problem.
I didnt say he did.
 

bnjohanson

TS Enthusiast
"The clip, which has racked up nearly a million views in less than a week, really speaks to the importance that video games can have in a person’s life – regardless of age."

Just because someone misses something doesn't necessarily mean that they should have it. Im not saying games arent fun, or should be outlawed, but to go as far as to say "important". Oxygen, food, water, a job, self worth, love, these are important. Video games are addictive, and this idea in sociey that you should have what you want when you want just breeds self centered lazy people that cant work or do a thing of value. Dont get me wrong, I feel for this elderly man, he probably contributed alot to society, and found how he wanted to spend retirement. Its a shame that his game is being taken from him. I just dont see a videogame as important, they are fun.

Ask a heroine addict that wants a fix how important heroine is to them, they would probably be willing to give an arm and a leg for it. The heroine isnt important, true friends, intervention and love are.

But I digress
A self-centered narcissist would understand the depth and effects of something like this as would an invalid would understand the challenges of completing the 26th-mile of a marathon...

...but I digress.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
The term "Importance" can only be subjective, unless you're talking about something quantifiable such as "my heart or brain are important"...

For some, video games are simply light recreation and little to no importance can be ascribed to them.

For others, however, video games are far more important. For someone housebound, perhaps due to illness or age, online gaming might be their only link to the outside world. For someone with OCD, a video game might be the only way s/he is able to continue to function normally... for someone with ADHD, perhaps a simple puzzle game is necessary to keep their mind focused...

My point is, people are unique, and society adapts... gaming has become an integral part of many lives - to the point perhaps of being almost as important to some as their hearts or brains...
 

Jonny5

TS Rookie
Total Annihilation..resurrected in the spring rts engine, been playing since 1997 and I will play until the great beyond
 
The term "Importance" can only be subjective, unless you're talking about something quantifiable such as "my heart or brain are important"...

For some, video games are simply light recreation and little to no importance can be ascribed to them.

For others, however, video games are far more important. For someone housebound, perhaps due to illness or age, online gaming might be their only link to the outside world. For someone with OCD, a video game might be the only way s/he is able to continue to function normally... for someone with ADHD, perhaps a simple puzzle game is necessary to keep their mind focused...

My point is, people are unique, and society adapts... gaming has become an integral part of many lives - to the point perhaps of being almost as important to some as their hearts or brains...
I agree for the most part, and I AGREE this is a sad case. Your example of someone with ADHD is a very good example of where videogames can be important and productive.

There are also situations where videogames destroy lives and families.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
I agree for the most part, and I AGREE this is a sad case. Your example of someone with ADHD is a very good example of where videogames can be important and productive.

There are also situations where videogames destroy lives and families.
Importance can also, as a couple of posters have already stated, be a bad thing... A heroin addict actually NEEDS heroin - they will go into withdrawal without it... Curing a heroin addiction isn't always as simple as forcing the person not to have it - if the addcition is severe enough, withdrawal might actually kill them...The heroin, therefore, is actually important... but it doesn't mean that it's a good thing...

Same with a video game addict... if you are actually addicted to something, when deprived of it, you WILL go through withdrawal.... a chemical dependency CAN actually occur - the most common form of withdrawal is when a relationship ends... after you break up with a long-term boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse, your brain actually goes through PHYSICAL withdrawal... causing depression, etc...

This CAN happen with some people from video games... obviously it's not the same as a drug addiction - the cure is simply time without the addictive thing.... but nonetheless, important - just not good important...
 

Axle Grease

TS Addict
"The clip, which has racked up nearly a million views in less than a week, really speaks to the importance that video games can have in a person’s life – regardless of age."

Just because someone misses something doesn't necessarily mean that they should have it.
That is neither implied in what you quoted nor in the rest of the article.

Im not saying games arent fun, or should be outlawed, but to go as far as to say "important".
Is there a likelihood that you'd want games outlawed or that someone would even make that conclusion? Why mention it?

Oxygen, food, water, a job, self worth, love, these are important.
So is leisure.

Video games are addictive, and this idea in sociey that you should have what you want when you want just breeds self centered lazy people that cant work or do a thing of value.
Video games *can* become an addiction for *some* people, like porno, football, and bodybuilding. The rest of your statement is a non sequitur.

Dont get me wrong, I feel for this elderly man, he probably contributed alot to society, and found how he wanted to spend retirement. Its a shame that his game is being taken from him. I just dont see a videogame as important, they are fun.
Fun *is* important, and psychologically so; else we'd be born with a permanent pout and talk like Coronation Street characters.

Ask a heroine addict that wants a fix how important heroine is to them, they would probably be willing to give an arm and a leg for it. The heroine isnt important, true friends, intervention and love are.

But I digress
lol. You need to first establish that video games are similarly addictive. Then, tell that old guy how he's damaged his life through his addiction.
 

Hexic

TS Evangelist
TechSpot Elite
"The clip, which has racked up nearly a million views in less than a week, really speaks to the importance that video games can have in a person’s life – regardless of age."

Just because someone misses something doesn't necessarily mean that they should have it. Im not saying games arent fun, or should be outlawed, but to go as far as to say "important". Oxygen, food, water, a job, self worth, love, these are important. Video games are addictive, and this idea in sociey that you should have what you want when you want just breeds self centered lazy people that cant work or do a thing of value. Dont get me wrong, I feel for this elderly man, he probably contributed alot to society, and found how he wanted to spend retirement. Its a shame that his game is being taken from him. I just dont see a videogame as important, they are fun.

Ask a heroine addict that wants a fix how important heroine is to them, they would probably be willing to give an arm and a leg for it. The heroine isnt important, true friends, intervention and love are.

But I digress
Nothing like a holier than thou attitude - sounds to me like a Millennial speaking. It's a game, as an older gamer he's enjoyed it and he's going to miss it - that's all. Some day there will be something like that for you and I hope people around you show a little more understanding than a crass "there are more important things - get over it" type comment.

I was a beta tester for Asheron's Call and played it religiously for two years until the devs openly encouraged macroing and the game turned into a world of bots. Bummer, because it was a helluva good game.
Agreed - I played AC starting right before Dark Majesty came out. '98 I believe? And I still believe that it's the best MMO that's been launched to date. It was difficult competing with the incumbent of EQ, and slightly later the behemoth that was WoW.

The mechanics were stellar, the world map itself was absolutely massive (still considered large for an MMO), the graphics weren't bad, and the actual gameplay was different than that of any other. Lots of nostalgia here... I played that game for many years. I'd buy another game like it in a heartbeat.

It was a very sad day when they didn't moderate all of the UCMing happening around the world.. I remember droves of players leaving because they were just too lazy to combat it before it was too late. They should have pulled a blizzard and began suing the developers of the macros & banning the accounts of the abusers.

If they had PKing (PvPing) in a game with similiar mechanics these days, I'd be in serious trouble.
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
I feel sorry for the people here who think that games aren't important or even necessary.
 

mcborge

TS Guru
I also feel bad for this old chap, what is just a game to some is a big loss for him.
I also agree that games can be important as a safe form of escapism and even therapy. Nineteen years ago I was attacked and suffered a very bad facial injury which smashed my left orbit (eye socket) resulting in needing emergency eye surgery and maxillofacial reconstruction. Bear in mind my left eye was my good eye as I already had limited vision in my right eye since birth so I would have been in real trouble if I lost the injured eye. For two years after the reconstruction my injured eye was drooped and rotated enough to impact my life but I finally got to have the eye realigned and as therapy I had to do focusing exercises. The surgeon who did the last surgery was a professor and was surprised at how quickly my sight realigned and I told her it was due to looking at the cross hairs in quake on the n64. The professor was doing research at the time concerning regaining visual acuity after eye surgery. I took part as a test subject and the prof started looking into using video games in her research. Know one can tell me games aren't useful as therapy. Good old quake.
 

Kunming

TS Maniac
Those useless companies need to get better at handing over old games to modding communities, so that fans can keep them alive. It pays off.
 
If you can play a game for more than 5 years straight (without getting bored and looking for something else), that game means something to you. And until you have had a game like that yourself, you will never understand what it is like to loose it. Anyone that is not sympathetic to this man's loss, tell us which game you have played for 15 years and lost.
Everquest, spent countless hours playing it. I know eq servers are still up, and I could technically start where I left off. I know my situation and this elderly mans are different. ( I was young and figuring out what to do with the rest of my life, he is old enjoying retirement. ). I get that, and I get how hard a videogame addiction is to overcome ( everquest ).
 

m3tavision

TS Evangelist
I am glad this elder gent is getting recognition for speaking out about the passing, of a once-great society & online community.

The News here, is because of the bipolar nature of online game & old age player. But one does not have to be 74 years of age, to appreciate the oldschool aspect of adventure, character roles and camaraderie. With no focus on the "win".

Bilbo Baggins wasn't playing for a score, he was on an adventure. This young-timer is going to miss those playgrounds. And so are the rest of us. The neat thing is, this "Gaming Gent" is bringing discussion about Ashron's Call and the oldschool games which are bipolar and contrast to instant gratification style of current gameplay. (It's Smith Barney stuff... "eern it..")


Happy times ahead though and the oldguard are not dead, there are some true visionaries out there right now, creating the next new Story Worlds to adventure in. Anticipation of these new worlds is part of the adventure, in creating your Role & Persona. And these new playgrounds will provide depth of role, seen like no other. There will be heroes once again and I hope this elder Gent doesn't despair too long.

UO, Ashron's, EQ & DAOC all have had their iterations, but most mmorpgs afterwards became a Game. Not an adventure in a true story world. I expect newer playgrounds such as Saga of Lucimia & Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen to plant the old school players for the next 10 years. Because they are driven by visionaries of adventure role playing, not a boardroom.

MMORPGs keep your mind sharp & your social skills high. Grats to the 74 year young player.