If you want an example of how great and diverse gaming culture can be, look no further than “Grandma Gamer” Shirley Curry.
In a world where many have the misconception that gamers are nothing but basement-dwelling teenage boys, Curry is proof that gaming is for all and that the community will accept anyone.
Curry is an 82-year-old widowed grandmother of nine who likes to play and stream video games. She gained popularity in 2015 after uploading a video of herself playing “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.” The video now has 1.6 million views, and more than 367,000 fans are subscribed to Curry’s YouTube channel.
In the video, Curry explains she’s playing as a Khajiit--a cat-like race--because they’re merchants, and that’s what she wants to be in the game.
“What I really enjoy most in the game is traveling across the country, looking in all the caves, discovering places, fighting, killing things and looting,” Curry says.
It doesn’t get more wholesome than that, right?
Curry spends the video narrating what she does, from taking gold off of bodies to walking up steps. After using a greatsword to kill two bandits, Curry lets out a little giggle. Even grandmothers can enjoy the fun violent video games provide.
Grandma Gamer is slow and methodical, stopping every few feet to gain her bearings and only occasionally getting lost. She struggles to pick easy chest locks, spends minutes solving a simple puzzle and has trouble killing speedy rat enemies.
In other words, she’s not very good at “Skyrim,” but that doesn’t matter. The point is she’s having fun, and her viewers support her because of that.
“What a sweet old lady,” a top-voted comment from a random fan reads. “May your quests come with good luck and prosperity, and may you die with a sword in your hands, you furious warrior.”
Another comment compares Curry to the recognized television artist Bob Ross—a compliment of the highest order. The video is filled with wholesome messages from viewers who love Curry’s content.
Curry gained popularity overnight when an Internet user found her first “Skyrim” video and posted it to the content-sharing website Reddit. Curry was inundated with more than 11,000 emails and comments from supportive fans. To this day she still uploads gaming videos that net her thousands of views, and I couldn’t be happier for her.
Gaming often gets a bad rap. Some people think it’s a hobby that turns kids into mindless drones and adults into socially maladjusted losers. While there are certainly some bad apples in the bunch, as there are with any hobby as popular as gaming, I’m glad people such as Curry exist and shamelessly share their love for the hobby to show the world gaming is for all.