Internet celebrity ‘Skyrim Grandma’ finds the fun in video games at 86

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Video Game Addiction Now Considered Mental Health Disorder

She’s an internet sensation with more than a million followers

Back in 2015, Shirley Curry’s life changed forever. The 79-year-old woman woke to 11,000 emails flooding her inbox. Her first ever “let’s play,” a common phrase for video game walkthroughs streamed for entertainment, had gone viral. Curry, now known as “Skyrim Grandma,” became an internet celebrity overnight. The older adult was shocked and confused.

“I just sat there and cried,” Curry told PC Gamer in 2016. “It scared the puddin’ out of me. I didn’t know what to do.”

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After reading through some of her fans’ emails, however, Curry knew what she needed to do.

“When I realized the kind of comments I was getting, it got really fun,” she said. “Some of them were really touching, and as the days went on and the comments kept coming I started getting attached to these people. Some of them would really make me cry and some were so hilariously funny I’d just sit here and laugh. They were all so very sweet.”

The twice-widowed Virginia grandmother of nine’s family just got a lot bigger.

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Curry’s passion for gaming started much earlier, back in the acid-washed denim days of the ‘90s.

“I became immediately addicted,” she said about playing her first game, gifted by her son. “I would play day and night until I would turn into a zombie. It was just fascinating that I could do something like that—that I could build cities. I got to playing it so much I had a whole continent that I had taken over and had ships built all around it so no one could get in. I was always winning.”

In 2014, Curry discovered the video game “Skyrim” — the game that propelled her YouTube channel to icon status.

“It was like being in a movie and I could do whatever I wanted to, go wherever I wanted to,” she said. “I just fell in love with it.”

Curry now has more than a million followers on her YouTube channel, merchandise, a Patreon subscription channel and more.

“I’m Grandma to all of them,” Curry said, speaking on her fans and followers. “That’s the young ones, to those in their 30s and 40s, and even the older ones—all of them call me Grandma. They’re all so sweet. You can’t help but care about them. There’s children who make comments in such a way that makes me feel like they don’t have anyone. And then I get people who say that they are put down or told that they can’t do this or they can’t do that and that I inspire them to go ahead and do whatever they want to do.”

Since speaking to PC Gamer in 2016, Curry — now 86 years old — has continued playing “Skyrim,” making let’s plays and being a grandmother to hundreds of thousands. The “Skyrim Grandma” is even set to be featured in her favorite video game’s sequel, “The Elder Scrolls 6.”

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