The grandmother who describes herself as a “video game addict” plays up to eight hours a day – until waking up in the middle of the night.
Bridget Odlin was ahead of her era when she chose her first console in over 40 years.
She bought a Nintendo console with the Super Mario title for her son Andrew, who was 13 – and she got hooked.
Bridget is known in the gaming circles that she is promoting a national championship later this month at the age of 76.
Former Board Debt Recovery Officer, from Louth, Lincolnshire, said: “I clearly remember Andrew not being allowed to go ahead and he said to me, ‘Oh, I ruined it.’
“But I was really curious, and soon after, my husband bought me my console, along with another copy of Mario and I absolutely loved it. I was hooked.
“My son didn’t believe it. He told everyone at school,” My mom plays video games! ”
“It really helped us get in touch. Teen boys are hard to understand at times, but my game gave us an equal footing and something to talk about.”
She added, “We started playing games together like Mario Kart.”
Andrew passed away suddenly in 2009, but a mother of three, who has nine great-grandchildren ages 30 to 7 and two great-great-grandchildren between the ages of 1 and 7, she still thinks about him whenever she plays.
Bridget, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), says the games kept her safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
She said, “I played many, many games while we were in lockdown. It made me sane.”
“Because I defend, I didn’t go to stores or anything else, so games were a lifesaver.”
Philip, Bridget’s husband, 68, a former motorcycle mechanic, is now a player as well.
He always backed her obsession – and bought her every new Nintendo and PlayStation console when it released.
She said, “He always bought me new consoles when they came out, because I’ve never lost my desire to play.
“I’ve played hundreds of games and Philip is really happy.”
Bridget has since persuaded motorcycle enthusiast Philip to take up the hobby after he started telling her what to do in a video game that she took on vacation to Lanzarote.
A fan of open-world and puzzle games like Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, admits to sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night to solve games’ puzzles.
She said, “If I got stuck with a puzzle and woke up at 2 am thinking, ‘Oh, I know how to do that,’ I’ll get out of bed and turn on the console.
“I’m an avid gamer, I’m addicted.”
Her passion for games also makes her so adorable, as she often ties to her grandchildren via a console and says her knowledge of video games helps bridge the generational gap.
Bridget believes games are good for the brain and is keen to encourage older adults – and families – to pick up consoles and get toys, especially during the pandemic.
She is happy to promote Cadbury’s Heroes League on November 14 on the live streaming platform Twitch, which is organized to raise awareness of the gaming benefits.
She said, “People say video games are only for teenagers who are sitting in their bedrooms, but they’re not.
“ Children can quickly overtake their grandparents by becoming teenagers, but our love of video games means we can always find common ground.
“I think I’ll be in a wheelchair and still play.”
For a chance to connect with your family via gameplay and Cadbury Heroes, visit the Cadbury Instagram page or watch the tournament on Twitch on November 14.