Meet the Grand Dames, the internet’s grandma gamer squad

Maybe you’ve heard of Shirley Curry, aka the Skyrim Grandma, who became a YouTube celebrity in her 80s thanks to videos where she explores Bethesda’s open-world RPG and its many user-made mods. A combination of wit and a welcoming tone (her first video began, “Hi, this is Gramma Shirley and I’m playin’ Skyrim! I thought I’d like to take you along with me if you’d like to go,”) have won her thousands of devoted followers.

But Shirley isn’t the only “grandma gamer” on YouTube. She’s one-quarter of a group who call themselves the Grand Dames, four older women who play a variety of videogames and meet virtually once a month to record a livestream tea party for their collaborative channel. They have their own merch, including branded teacups, and a following who see their age not as a novelty but a feature. They bring a huge amount of life experience to their videos, and aren’t afraid to speak their minds.

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