October Kitchen - March 2019

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Age Is Only a Level Number

The rise in popularity of game-streaming platforms like Twitch — a service seemingly only used by snarky teens playing under quirky aliases — has paved the way for a whole new generation of video game enthusiasts. They just might not be the type you had in mind. Clips and articles are popping up online showcasing how older generations of tech aficionados have taken to gaming en masse. Long gone are the days of grandparents calling grandsons in frustration to ask how to send an email. The current generation of seniors bucks the stereotypical ignorance of technology, embracing hand- held controllers and battle cries as they take on their decades-younger counterparts in the digital arena. One team in particular has stolen the spotlight of late: The Silver Snipers, bringers of destruction in “Counter- Strike” leagues around the world. The team from Stockholm, Sweden, took their talents to the stage of Dreamhack 2017, an esports tournament, where they battled it out against some of the world’s most skilled esports players. Their mission was simple: to show the GAME-FULLY EMPLOYED Turning to Video Games After Retirement

world that gaming is for people of all ages. Each member picked up the game for different reasons; some played as a way to connect to their grandkids, while others did it to pass the time. One thing’s for certain: This alliance has turned into a hellscape for their opponents. With every team member being over the age of 60, the combination of BirDie, Windy, Knitting Knight, Teen Slayer, and Berra Bang — all gaming aliases — has proved to be a first-of-its-kind powerhouse in the growing circle of older gamers. As one member explained, the game is not just for having fun. Gaming has given the team a chance to connect and be a part of a massive worldwide community. The gameplay also allows for mental exercise. It offers teamwork challenges and improves cognitive function, multitasking skills, and reflexes.

If The Silver Snipers are

passing along one message, it’s that you’re never too young for an old- fashioned digital beat down.

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