‘Gaming Grandma’ Takes on Internet Ageism

2016.08.16 02

Shirley Curry is known to the online universe as the Gaming Grandma. She is an 80-year-old widow from Virginia who spends hours every day in front of her computer, much of the time playing the video game Skyrim. She has what’s been described as a huge cult following on YouTube, where people tune in in droves to watch her play and hear her running commentary. YouTube gaming channels bring in more than 3.5 billion views each month.

In addition to being a YouTube star at age 80, Grandma Shirley tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, emails, and is actually pretty much adored by the fine folks at Reddit, who are generally not known for their adoring ways.

I think it is really weird. There are a lot of older gamers on YouTube, but I just happened to use my real picture and was open about telling my age.

— Shirley Curry

No two ways about it: Grandma Shirley is a rock star. But even she has a problem with that. By making such a big deal about an older person just because they know their way around the digital world, it underscores the stereotype that most don’t. And that’s not true, says Grandma Shirley.

‘Gaming Grandma’ Takes on Internet Ageism