What Would We Be Doing If We Weren’t Playing Games?

piano

I was planning out a schedule the other day, and I got to thinking about all the time I spend writing and thinking about video games. The reality is, more often than not, I don’t play them as much as I write about them, and that strikes me as odd.

I was further thinking about this topic when it came to gamers with children, and wondering how on earth they find time to play. With all the real-life responsibilities out there, how anyone finds time to play games is sort of amazing.

But this thought morphed into a question I asked myself: what would I be doing if I wasn’t playing games? What would I be doing if games weren’t such a huge part of my life?

Answer: I couldn’t really imagine not playing games. And I have a pretty spectacular imagination.

But if, if I had to, these may be some areas I’d be devoting more time to.

And how.

The image above is of my piano, Frances. As a gift to myself for playing for 20 years, we procured that lovely baby grand. Sometimes Frances is a he, and sometimes a she, but he/she is always Frances. I don’t play nearly as much as I used to, or even as much as I should (and I shy from the term “should”), but I always mean to play more. It’s a lovely experience, and I could do better to bring it about more often.

Which brings me ’round to wanting to learn how to play the guitar properly. I keep eying the Rocksmith game for PS4, as I’ve only ever heard great things about it.

Somehow games creep back in there.

bicycle

This is my bike, Wilford Brimley. I adore it, and I love riding it. However, I find that I don’t ride as often as I’d like or, again, “should.” It is easy to blow this one off by saying the area where I live isn’t terribly safe for bicycles (which is true), but I can always ride on the sidewalk (and I do), and I could always shove the thing in the car and get to a more bike-friendly place.

I hear fresh air is good for you.

beach

Speaking of fresh air, I’d like to go to the darn beach! My partner and I have lived in Southern California for seven years and I’ve been to the beach exactly three times. One of those times it was already dark, so I didn’t even really see much of it. I adore water (and I adore water in games), and I would love to haul myself to the sand to enjoy the nature we have available here.

This brings me to another game-related point: I love tropical locations in games. In a big, all about it, way. Going to the beach would be just like that, except real and itchier because of sand.

dancing

I love dancing. As I wrote about last Friday, I used to go nearly every weekend, but after we moved to California, it just wasn’t as convenient (location-wise) to go anymore. I miss this terribly. If I wasn’t playing games on the weekends, I’d love to be on the dance floor.

bizarre face

Yes, that’s me.

If I weren’t so focused on getting through challenging sequences of games, perhaps I’d have more time to make faces like this.

theatre

And certainly, the dearest area of interest to me (aside from games, obviously) is musical theatre. My life used to be filled with musical theatre, and it is devoid of hyperbole to say I miss it every day, all day. Not doing it feels wrong, and yet I’ve now been away from it for a decade. Where does the time go? What do we spend all those years doing?

The answer is rarely simple.

After thinking about each of those topics, I realize there is always still time to do them, gaming or not.

That is both a wonderful, and daunting, prospect. I think I needed to write that even just to remind myself that if we want things badly enough, we can make those things happen.

So I ask each of you in sincerity: what would you do if you weren’t playing games? Or larger still, what do you want to be doing that you currently aren’t? I would very much like to find out.

I think we can all motivate each other.

I’ve had enough of how the internet and social media can make us sad. In my own small way, I’m trying to turn it around.

And I’d love to start by finding out what motivates the gaming community.

Categories: games

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17 replies »

  1. Boy, that’s a scary thought… I would like to say I’d spend more time playing the cello, but that’s probably not true with all of my travel for work. I would definitely read more and maybe increase my time spent on the disc golf course.

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  2. That is a good question to think about. It really allows you to put things in perspective and see where you are focusing your time and energy. In reflecting on the past you are reminded of what has mattered most throughout your life, and in looking to the future you are able to shape how you will continue to spend your time.

    One for me is that I would also love to learn how to play the guitar, properly that is. I have one that I mess around on once in a while, but I’d really like to become proficient with it. One day I will make it happen.

    We just need to figure out a way to add more hours to the day. There aren’t enough of them. :P

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    • it’s a stimulating question to be sure. i actually found it both interesting, as well as somewhat unnerving.

      get rocksmith! and then let’s start a band! what are continents to people who haven’t really started playing the guitar yet?!

      i think with clever scheduling, we can accomplish far more than we think we can.

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  3. I recognize what you say, that actually you spend more time writing then you do actually playing the games. Same for me, my commute to work is a good time though without any interruptions and pure game time. And if I wouldn’t game, I’d probably read more!

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    • oh wow, you get to play games on your commute? no wonder you like handhelds so much! :)

      and there is always still time for reading. this month is especially good for books coming out. i’m really excited.

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      • Oh gosh, all kinds! I do tend towards fiction (genre of fiction doesn’t matter), but I also err on the side of classics. I love biographies, nature, sociology, travel, you name it. Honestly, unless it is about war (I’m just not into military and war as reading subjects), I’m all over it.

        Some of my favorite books are considered children’s literature: The Secret Garden (Burnett), The Wind in the Willows (Grahame), and The Little Prince (Exupery).

        A couple of books that I go back to again and again are To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee), Time and Again (Finney), The Fountainhead (Rand), and the above mentioned “children’s” books.

        There are three books in particular releasing this month that I’ve been super excited for:

        The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate (Jacqueline Kelly)

        Go Set A Watchman (Harper Lee)

        Armada (Ernest Cline)

        It’s a great month to be a reader!

        How about you? What do you like to read?

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  4. Wow, you really have a broad interest in reading! I do love different kinds of books, like in gaming there’s a mood for everything. There are a few that always have my undivided attention though, like Tolkiens books. I can read them multiple times and still not be bored.
    Other then that there are the books by David Eddings, particularly the Belgarion series, the Granny Weatherwax books by Terry Pratchett the books about The Raven by James Barclay. When it comes to fantasy books I often read from the young adult section, books by Angie Sage for instance or the Dragonrider books by Donita Paul.
    But sometimes I’m more in the mood for mystery books, Sue Grafton comes to mind, or mystery combined with Egypt in the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters. And then at times, a chicklet if fine too!

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    • this is what’s great about reading: there are so many types of books!

      oh! have you heard of a series of books called “kingdom keepers?” they are teen fiction in the disney universe, and the first book takes places at walt disney world after it has closed for the night. it seemed like they might be right up your alley!

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