Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Kick back, relax, and allow the gamer grandma to give you a tour of a recent convention

Illustration for article titled Kick back, relax, and allow the gamer grandma to give you a tour of a recent convention
Screenshot: Shirley Curry (YouTube)

We’ve long been advocates for the stress-relieving properties of videos by Shirley Curry, the 83-year-old, Skyrim-loving grandma who gently broadcasts her gameplay and hosts online storytime as a necessary corrective to a streaming landscape otherwise filled with the kind of people who yell a bunch and shoot cans of G-Fuel with handguns. It’s with calm, nearly-dozing contentment, then, that we’re happy to report Curry has just returned from a gaming convention with a video detailing what she found there, all narrated in the subdued tones of a retired woman with an entire afternoon set aside to show you slides from her recent vacation.

Curry’s journey took her to PAX East in Boston, held the weekend before last. While a gaming convention conjures up images of flashing lights, loud noises, and bustling crowds to most of us, Curry’s collection of memories sands off those kind of sharp edges to present a montage with all the quiet calm of a Sunday morning spent sitting by the window with a cup of Earl Grey and a plateful of digestives.

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She describes “ambling along” the convention floor, taking in all the sights and being given game demonstrations. “More walking,” Curry says in Ambien-level tones. “This place is huge. It’s very tiring, but it’s fun.” We’re shown competition spaces filled with glowing monitors (“battles will be fought here”) and high-tech “gamer chairs.” Along the way, Curry praises her son’s camera work, is approached by admirers wanting to know if she’s “Grandma Shirley,” and meets up with her online friends

Toward the end, she shows footage from a panel devoted to the game her “son was waiting for,” Doom: Eternal—a shooter about gunning down and ripping apart demons in geysers of blood and guts. In this moment, we’re given some reason to hope that Curry will find in Doom a potential new game to play. If anyone can make obliterating the minions of hell with chainsaws and shotguns feel as relaxing as a warm bath or a soft blanket, it’s Curry.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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