Video game addict great-grandmother reveals how she plays with her consoles for eight hours a day

A great-grandmother who describes herself as a “video game addict” plays for up to eight hours a day – even getting up in the middle of the night.

Bridget Odlin was already ahead of her time when she picked up her first controller over 40 years ago.

She bought a Nintendo console with a Super Mario title for her son Andrew, then aged 13 – and became hooked.

Bridget is so well known in gaming circles she is promoting a national tournament later this month at the age of 76.

The former council debt recovery officer, from Louth, Lincolnshire, said: “I clearly remember Andrew wouldn’t let me have a go and told me, ‘Oh you’d just ruin it’.”

“But I was really curious and, soon after, my husband bought me my own console, together with another copy of Mario and I absolutely loved it. I was hooked.

“My son couldn’t believe it. He told everybody at school, ‘My mum plays video games!’

“It really helped us to have a connection. Teenage boys are hard to understand at times, but my gaming gave us a level playing field and something to talk about.”

She added: “We even started playing games together like Mario Kart.”



Bridget with her console collection
(Image: PA)

Andrew died suddenly in 2009 but the mum-of-three, who has nine grandchildren aged between 30 and seven and two great-grandchildren aged one and seven, still thinks of him whenever she plays.

Bridget, who suffers from the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), says gaming has kept her sane during the coronavirus pandemic.

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She said: “I’ve played lots and lots of games while we’ve been in lockdown. It’s kept me sane.

“Because I’m shielding, I’ve not been to the shops or anything, so gaming has been a lifesaver.”

Bridget’s husband Philip, 68, an ex-motorcycle mechanic, is now also a gamer.

He always supported her obsession – and has even bought her each new Nintendo and PlayStation console as and when they have been released.



Bridget’s husband Philip playing some games
(Image: PA)

She said: “He always bought me new consoles when they came out, because I never lost my thrill for gaming.

“I’ve played hundreds of games and Philip really does indulge me.”

Bridget has since managed to persuade motorcycle enthusiast Philip to take up the hobby after he started telling her what to do in a videogame she had taken on holiday to Lanzarote.

A fan of open-world and puzzle games such as Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, she admits to sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night to solve gaming conundrums.

She said: “If I get stuck with a puzzle and wake up at 2am thinking, ‘Oh, I know how to do that,’ I’ll get out of bed and turn the console on.

“I’m an avid gamer, I’m addicted.”



Bridget is keen to encourage other older people – and families – to pick up controllers and get gaming
(Image: PA)

Her passion for gaming also makes her a super cool gran, as she often bonds with her grandchildren over a console and says her knowledge of videogames helps to close the generational divide.

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Bridget believes that gaming is good for the brain and is keen to encourage other older people – and families – to pick up controllers and get gaming, especially during the pandemic.

And she is delighted to be promoting the Cadbury’s Heroes League tournament on November 14 on live streaming platform Twitch, which is being staged to raise awareness of the benefits of gaming.

She said: “People say video games are just for teenage boys sitting in their bedrooms, but they aren’t.

“Gaming is an activity that can be enjoyed as a family.

“Through my gaming, I’ve become closer to my children, my grandchildren and I hope, when they’re old enough, to enjoy it with my great-grandchildren, too,” she said.

“Children can quickly outgrow their grandparents when they become teenagers, but our love of videogames means we can always find common ground.

“I think I’ll be in my wheelchair and still playing.”

For the chance to connect with your family over gaming and Cadbury Heroes, visit the Cadbury Instagram page or watch the tournament on Twitch on November 14.