Grandmas at the Top of Their Game in the Gaming World

Debbie Walker

Sign me up! I want to be rich and famous, too.

Photo by Anthony Metcalfe on Unsplash

I thought gaming was for teenage boys. My grandsons can play for hours on end, and I have one who wants to be a professional gamer. Gaming is a lucrative profession. Dedicated gamers can make anywhere from $1000 to $15,000 an hour.


There are gamers with sponsors that are making millions with at least one as young as thirteen years old! I’ve got to get my grandsons to teach me how to play video games. Just think about it. In ten years I can make that kind of money. Sheesh.

Who knows, I could be a professional granny gamer. Hey, Gamer Granny, sounds like a great name.

Maybe I can be like Shirley Curry or Hamako Mori, ages 84 and 90, respectively. They are two of the oldest Grandma Gamers in the field of eSports.

These women are breaking the sexism and ageism barriers to become famous and rich. Sign me up!

But what exactly do gamers do?


Before the idea occurred to me to write about grandma gamers, I had no clue what this crazy world of gaming was all about. Well, I saw my grandkids watching a guy playing a video game, which made no sense to me.

It was like me watching someone on TV, watching someone on TV.

According to my grandson, a person can watch tutorials on YouTube to learn how a play a specific game. Apparently, the characters in each game have storylines. We can make up our own story as we go along to fit the game’s storyline.

From my understanding, a game has parameters. Okay.

There are many types of games. Some are strategy, horror, action, and the kind my grandson suggested I play — Sandbox.

This is a platform where I can be or do anything. I have options to choose from. For instance, I can be a superhero, wizard, animal, bad guy, good guy, etc.

I set up a YouTube channel and play the game online for everybody to see. That is how I gain followers. Kinda like writing.

I believe that researching the journey of our grandma gamers can offer a brief insight into the gaming process.

Shirley Curry

Shirley Curry is a Grandma just like you or me. However, she happens to have 900,000 grandkids. That is what she likes to call her followers, who look up to her as a Grandma. She is a gaming sensation!

When I watched my grandkids watching other people play, they were mostly guys who screamed and yelled at the game they were playing. Some even cursed. It seemed pretty toxic to me.

However, I played the video with Shirley and her voice was calm and soothing. She talked about the characters as if they were her own kids and she wanted to bake pies for them.

Shirley joined YouTube in 2011 to watch some of her favorite gaming channels and uploaded her first Skyrim video in 2015. That clip, in which she does battle with a giant spider, garnered 2.1 million views.

I don’t think, though, that Shirley has amassed the wealth of her contemporary YouTubers. Her channel is worth an estimated $37,000 according to the only source I could find. I wouldn’t mind making that kind of money just from my writing alone.

Meanwhile, Bethesda, in Rockville, Maryland, the studio behind the Elder Scrolls franchise, has promised to include her as a character in the forthcoming sequel to Skyrim.

However, Shirley had to pull back from gaming because of health issues. To get to this level of gaming, you have to play consistently, every day, 6–10 hours a day.

Sounds like writers. Hmm.

But the fact is, Shirley Curry is living the last half of her life the way she wants. And broke the mold of a teenage gamer.

Hamako Mori

Hamako Mori is officially the oldest YouTube gamer, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. She has over 40 years of experience; longer than most gamers have been alive.

Hamako started gaming in 1981 at the age of 51 realizing that her children and grandchildren were playing video games for hours. She joined in and liked it.

In 2014, Hamako began playing online to connect with other gamers from across the globe. She launched a YouTube channel in her native Japanese language and apparently posted at least four videos of her games per month, gaining popularity with over a million page views. Sure sounds good to me.

Currently, she has 250,000 followers that are also devoted to her every video. Hamako’s favorite games are sports and action games. She loves to play Grand Theft Auto V because there are no kids playing and have characters who are often celebrities and actors.

Wow, even I could live my life vicariously as a hoochie mama or a villain. Just kidding. Or am I? I want to be like her when I’m 90.

Grannies entering the world of gaming are taking the stage. Viewers and YouTubers seem to connect to them. I believe these women are surrogate Grandma’s to millions who gravitate to them.

The world is my footstool, and I reign supreme in the universe of Minecraft. Then I woke up.

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She writes honest and authentic articles to inform, encourage, inspire, and empower others to lead fulfilled lives. She is a writer, editor, and podcaster.


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