This is hardly a scientific find (although there have been studies done) but I have noticed that as the men I know grow older, they grow more emotional. I think the better thing to say would be that men grow more nostalgic, more apt to shed a tear over old stories and songs. Women, on the other hand, become more aloof, less emotional or more practical.
Again, this is not scientific...just based on personal observation and a few little finds here and there.
Perhaps men hold back more emotion, or used to, than women and as they grow older they are less likely to hold back the emotion due to failing bodies and minds? Women, on the other hand, do away with so much sentimentality and go for a more practical approach to life, and being that women generally live longer than men, maybe women find themselves going at it more alone than earlier in their lives? (Of course, I am not talking about same-sex couples...or am I? Ugh...who knows. )
This brings me to why I decided to write this blog: Star Trek, the Next Generation. I just watched one of my favorite episodes in which Spocks father Sarek is showing signs of suffering with the Vulcan equivalent of Alzheimer's disease. To balance out the effects of the disease, Captain Picard must be all mind-melded on so that Sarek can "borrow" the captain's more steady nature. It works, and the Vulcan performs his duty negotiating with an alien species.
There is a great scene of emotional outpouring from Picard, and in the end of the show the best lines are given:
Sarek: I will take my leave of you, captain. I do not think we shall meet again.
Captain: I hope you're wrong, Ambassador.
Sarek: We shall always retain the best part of the other...inside.
Captain: I believe I have the better part of that bargain, Ambassador. Peace, and long life.
Sarek: Live long and prosper.
The whole thing about that is the line: "I do not think we shall meet again." That means forever, for all time. That is the part of life that we all fear: the final and lasting end. Perhaps as we grow older we grow more conscious about that, and we either grow more accustomed to it, become more fearful of it or just ignore it. I am, on one hand, obsessed with that final end, and I think about it to the point that I am literally aware of every day, nothing really slips by me (that's why I am such the airhead that I am.) On the other hand, I believe that I won't notice the end, anyway, so why bother about it?
That's what draws me to games that have a very visible element of finality to them, of death. I don't mean the kind of death as in Darkfall, if anything in a FPS shooter death is but a pause and then you are right back into the action. I mean death as in what survivors of tragedies see, of what refugees witness. It's the kind of death or tragedy that masses of people survive together, and it brings them together and creates a feeling of camaraderie.
It's fun to play-act in a world filled with tragedy, one like Ryzom's Atys or Vanguard's Telon. It's fun, in a way, to think about our characters hard times and to think of them as people that have been through a lot, and long for a brighter future. Personally, it helps me to forget the finality of real life to play in a world where death is everywhere, but of no danger to the real me.
So even though I am already an emotional person, I think I will be a total wreck by the time I'm elderly. Maybe then we will have virtual reality games like the Holo-deck on Star Trek, and I can act out my fantasies then, too. Until then, I will be happy as a lark, only to pause at the commercials for the ASPCA to cry like a little girl.
Game long and prosper.