Millennials are nothing new. They have been around for 30 years. Anyone born after 1981 is a member of the Millennial Generation, or Generation ME, according to Howe and Strauss (2000). This makes it more difficult to make blanket statements about Millennials because so much has happened in the past 30 years! For my research purposes of Gamers, I’d like to describe young adult Millennials as not having careers yet; they are still searching for their own identity, still trying to leave home; they are struggling with the transition from childhood to adulthood. They are celebrating their new Independence as they wriggle from the chains of loving, punitive, guiding, or neglectful parents. They are in the midst of a pivotal transition where for the first time in their lives they can look back on their childhood in it’s entirety and reminisce. These are not new ideas, except for the fact that technology plays a critical role in this transition. What role do games play in this transition? Why do most of my participants have such nostalgia for specific games?
I would classify a Young Adult Millennial as anyone 18 or older who has yet to find a career. Let’s call them Y.A.M.s: They’re like potatoes, but nobody knows what to do with them. They’re hard and sweet, laying in big piles together at the grocery store, or in the bottom of my produce drawer in the fridge. Next to the potatoes, they are awkward and weirdly shaped, not as easy to deal with. They have the sweetness of young tender carrots, but they are potato-wanna-bes.