A mission for you, Liz - Contact this woman :)

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Diggo McDiggity
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A mission for you, Liz - Contact this woman :)

SHALERSVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- A 69-year-old grandmother has become the heroine of young video-game fans and the star of a Web log created by her grandson.

Barbara St. Hilaire plays video games 10 hours a day and spends a good part of her Social Security check on games.

St. Hilaire thinks the blog and media attention she's gotten is funny but doesn't quite understand it. However, she appreciates the free games showered on her by video game makers who want to share in the reflected glare of publicity.

And there are the bloggers she has met online. "I guess this is my form of traveling the world," she told the Akron Beacon Journal.

MTV profiled St. Hilaire, hired her as a video game correspondent and offered to screen her interview requests. It's all been, as her 22-year-old grandson Timothy St. Hilaire put it, a bit head-spinning.

"Well, last weekend was hell, but it's over," the grandson told his grandmother's fans on his blog oghc.blogspot.com/external link. The blog is named for her moniker, Old Grandma Hardcore -- as in hardcore video game player.

Grandma, who lives with her daughter and four grandchildren, moved with them last weekend from Shalersville in northeast Ohio to nearby Mantua and a more specious house that gives Grandma her own game room.

"We're in the new house, Grandma's game room is coming along, although there was some scratching of some furniture if you know what I mean," her grandson reported on the blog.

As for interviewing Grandma, "My head is spinning off my neck trying to make everybody happy with scheduling resolutions (it would be a funny sort of thing if it didn't hurt so much) and I want to help as much as I can, but we just moved; so things are tough for the moment."

With the new living quarters, Grandma's busy interview schedule and the Christmas holiday approaching, the St. Hilaire family holiday cards ran late. Besides, Timothy St. Hilaire said Grandma was busy breaking in a new video game, "Dragon Quest VIII."

Business Week, The Washington Post and the "CBS Evening News" all did stories on St. Hilaire and ABC's "Good Morning America" and The Associated Press called to line up interviews.

Along the way, Germany's influential Der Spiegel did a piece, and the Akron Beacon Journal weighed in with the assurance that her sudden fame was "completely logical in the present state of popular culture."

According to the trade group Entertainment Software Association, 19 percent of computer and video game players are 50 years old or older. The senior-citizen share was 9 percent in 1999.

Video games can be useful in maintaining eye-hand coordination as people grow old, said Linda McNeal, a Columbus consultant who works on recreation and activities issues for nursing homes and rehabilitation hospitals.

"It's also very good mental stimulation," according to McNeal, who said nonstop television watching can dull the mind.

Paul Alandt, who runs the 12 Golden Age Centers of Greater Cleveland, said seniors visiting the day centers spend a lot of time playing video games on computers.

"They are really loving it," said Alandt, who estimated one in five center visitors use the computers for games.

"Get a Life!"
Ron Jaffe AKA Diggo McDiggity
OLGA Admin and Member since 2001
eMail: ronjaffe@cfl.rr.com

Co-Founder of OLGA and member since 2002

lizwool
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Re: A mission for you, Liz - Contact this woman :)

Shall I see if she wants to join our group? Than she would have more time to spend TALKING to her family! (Gee what a concept!)

That @#%$ about hand-eye coordination is getting so old, I am ready to puke when I read it. I don't know anyone who doesn't have it. What does it help us do? Get our food to our mouths!

On your next interview, tell them you have great hand-eye coordination, because you play video games at least 10 hours a day, and see what kind of job that gets you.

Liz

Liz Woolley

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