Being an adult is a drag. You have to work. You have to pay bills. You don’t get the whole summer off. Sometimes parts of your body hurt. It’s all pretty lame.
Listen, at least you’ve got one thing going for you: there’s never been a better time to be an adult. Fifty years ago, you’d be wearing a full suit and a hat and doing nothing but working and complaining about hippies – and that’s if you were lucky enough to be a man. A hundred years ago, you’d have been fighting a world war. Not too long before that, you’d be driving a covered wagon or farming the land or dying of dysentery or something. I don’t know about you, but none of that sounds like much fun to me.
Compare that to today, and you’ll see that there truly has never been such a good time to be an immature adult. Just look at what we have: toys designed for adults, video games for adults, legal drugs! It’s a paradise for man- and woman-babies, so let’s all celebrate just how little we actually have to grow up when we grow up.
Fun and games
If you want a sure sign of just how childish adults get to be these days, just look at games and gaming. It wasn’t so long ago that games served two audiences: 1) kids, and 2) adults when they were playing with their kids. That was it. There was family game night, and there were kids playing by themselves. You got chess, and that was it. Maybe checkers, if you were feeling saucy.
Now? Forget about it. Half the board games made today are too complicated for anybody younger than a teenager to understand. Collectible card games are charging prices that you’ll have to mortgage your home to afford. These are games directed at adults – directed at you, baby! Push those kids out of the way at the Toys ‘R’ Us and grab yourself a copy of Settlers of Catan, because it’s game night at the grown-ups’ house.
That’s to say nothing of video games, which are now totally acceptable for grown men and women to play. In fact, grown-ups represent a massive chunk of the market for video games these days. Nintendo is still focused on younger gamers (though plenty of adults play Nintendo, too), but Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox One have both bet heavily on older gamers in the form of a slew of grisly shooters, complex strategy games, and massive open-world adventures. Kids play some of these, too, but it’s hard to miss how much of videogame culture is designed for adults these days. From retro nostalgia to sexy sprites, it’s clear that videogames have reached the age of majority.
The same is true for fun and games outside, by the way. Traditional outdoor recreation has never been more popular – hiking trails are crowded and climbing routes are backed up all over the country. You can go out and buy a trampoline for adults; you can go out and buy a zipline. It’s all for you, man!
While it may not be the healthiest thing in the world, food and drink are making adulthood better, too. It’s more okay than ever before for adults to become obsessed with their food or their beers, and we have a wider and more delicious selection of both than we have at any prior point in history.
Just look at the craft beer revolution, which has given more than a few adults an excuse to drink a beer or two every night (please don’t drink more than that). Listen, we’re not frat boys and sorority girls – we’re connoisseurs, okay?
You know what else is legal in some states? Weed! Yes, what was once the province of burnout teenagers is now something that you can legally buy as an adult (in fact, only as an adult). Marijuana is an industry now, a place for careers and entrepreneurs. And there are all different strands, so just as with your food and drink, you’re a connoisseur, not a bum.
Yes, this is truly the golden age of adulthood – because with the help of games, alcohol, and more, our adulthood feels a little less like adulthood every day.