Playing video games is not something most people will add to their hobby list, but why is that?
I like writing articles about what a hobby means and what can be considered a hobby since I’m a person with not so many “commonly accepted” hobbies, however I have a pretty active life, but when someone ask what hobbies I have it’s hard to come up with a clear answer.
The thing is that my wife and I like playing video games, we don’t spend a lot of time, but we like playing them from time to time, be it together(multiplayer or online) or each of us with our own game or back seat gaming.
We always go for a walk every day since we work from home and feel the need for fresh air, so we do more every day than 10.000 steps just walking in the city or a park nearby. We also like watching and discussing movies, trying every restaurant we can to try different foods, playing board games, exercising (we have a small gym at home), and having a pretty active social life.
But when you look through those activities is hard to pick one and confidently say, “This is my hobby” even if we do them regularly.
So this is why I decided to write articles about hobbies to let you know that there is more to what can be a hobby than people commonly accept as a hobby. If you don’t enjoy fishing, hiking, DIY crafting, or things along this line, you don’t have to say that you have no hobbies in life yet.
Is playing video games a hobby?
Playing video games is considered a hobby because most people play them in their leisure time, which brings them joy or relaxation.
Yes, playing too much time video games can have some significant downsides, but any hobby can also have downsides if you are doing it too much.
What is the difference between playing 6 hours of video games or chopping a piece of wood in your garage for 6 hours without taking a break? We talk about hobbies, if someone argues that you might make money out of what you create as a hobby, then it is not only a hobby it is a hybrid between work and hobby, and you can also make money from video games if you are good at it, so there is actually no difference.
If done for pleasure and not excessively, playing video games can be a great hobby, and it’s accessible to way more people than some traditionally accepted hobbies.
Many people criticize video games as a hobby way more than other hobbies, but at the same time, I know people that are spending too much time with their traditional hobbies and they don’t pay enough attention to family and so on. Many people that criticize playing video games didn’t grow up with them, and it is quite hard for them to understand what video games can do for you, the good parts and the bad parts.
I’m 30, so I’m kind of in the middle, I had some video games when I was a teenager but not many and not as good, so I had to go outside and play with the other kids more, but I remember how much I enjoyed playing video games with my friends when we had them and still go outside from time to time. Also, we went outside and stayed with other kids even when we didn’t want since there was nothing better to do in the house, but now, most people from my generation pretend that it was always what they wanted to do, and they wouldn’t play video games even if they could. Except for the first time when they had the chance to play a nice video game, they went crazy and didn’t see the sunlight for days.
My point is that, the excess is the problem, not the video games themselves, but we can do everything in excess, not only video games.
Let’s see a few good reasons why video games can be a great hobby since they also have some benefits.
6 Reasons video games can be a great hobby.
1. Increase intelligence
Here you can find a study proving that playing video games can improve intelligence, even though it is a controversial claim for many people.
I would add that it depends on the game itself since there are some brain-dead games for sure, and if you want to cherry-pick, you can. However, most games are quite complex, and you have a lot of things to think about when you play them. It’s obvious that a video game can be more complex than playing chess since you can customize and add way more rules and elements that come into play.
I can say this from my own experience, I played Dota for a long time, and that is a very complex game with more than 100 characters that have different strengths and weaknesses. You have to think about what you have to choose according to what your opponents have. There are hundreds of items that you can go for that can differ from one game to another because your opponent has a different character, or you have in your team someone who changes the circumstances, and so on. You can only imagine that you have to make hundreds of decisions in every game, which differ greatly from one match to another.
Playing that game helped me a lot in life regarding adaptability to different circumstances, fast thinking, calculating percentages and chances pretty fast, and more.
Video games are complex, and usually, you can do many things in a game, so you can be as creative as possible. There are games in which you build houses, cities, different maps, and so on that have no limit when it comes to how creative you can be.
In real life, it is harder to find activities that stimulate creativity as much since more physical barriers come into play. It is impossible to build a house how you want just to see if you like it or not and then change it completely on the same day to see different variations, and this is just one example from one game.
Some people are more competitive, and they would like to have someone to compete with, even when we talk about a hobby. The good part about video games is that they are very diverse, and you can choose how you want to spend your time, you can compete with others, you can play alone, you can play with your loved ones, and so on.
I know I just talked about competition, but as I said, you can play video games however you want, but one thing is for sure, all of them will disconnect you from the real world and your problem, so video games can be relaxing and refreshing after a long day of work.
Not many things can disconnect you from your day-to-day routine as well as a video game can.
Of course, one of the most important elements of video games as a hobby is that they can also be fun, some are fun, competitive, and complex at the same time.
Video games can be played online with many other players, so it can be a nice way to socialize, which is a good thing when it comes to playing video games as a hobby.
I would not encourage anyone to completely replace socializing in real life with socializing in real life. This is a site about social life, after all, but having the chance to socialize in a game is actually a nice bonus.
I played a game with some friends, and two of my friends even convinced their parents to play the game with us, and this was about 15 years ago when the parents were usually way more against video games than now.
I remember going to a friend’s house for a gathering, and his father asked us out of nowhere, “if we contributed with money?”, we were all shocked until he said, “For the guild”, he talked about in-game money since we were in the same guild(clan). It was fun, and having that in common helped us even socialize in real life with the parents and friends involved. If that is not a hobby, I don’t know what is.
Read Also: Fewer Friends Vs. More Friends
The conclusion is that playing video games has everything to be considered a hobby, but I would be careful since it is a hobby that has more chances than other hobbies to turn into an obsession.
Video games are more easily accessible to everyone and more convenient compared to other hobbies, and this makes them dangerous since there is little friction when it comes to starting to play video games, and you might not notice when you are doing it too much.
Organizing your time and having a plan which will clearly specify when you want to play video games and what you want to accomplish before turning on the computer for video games would help you a lot not to become obsessed.
This is what I do, every day I have to do my work, exercise(every other day), prepare food and clean the house or other things needed, talk to my wife to see what her plans are, and only after that do I play video games if I still have time.
I hope this article helped you and answered the question of whether video games can be considered a hobby or not.