Sunday, November 08, 2009

Your Hobby Sucks... but then again, so does mine

Everyone has a hobby, or at least something they enjoy doing when they are not working or sleeping. What is a hobby or pastime if not just a big time sink? I mean, let's think about this for a moment. There are twenty-four hours in day. Most of us work six to eight of those hours and sleep six-to-eight as well (for the sake of argument, we will go with the “normal” eight hour work day and eight hours of sleep per day). That leaves an extra eight hours to kill everyday. You have to fill that time with something (hopefully, bathing and eating are amongst those activities). So, the question remains, what to do with all that free time? Housework? Yardwork? Sure, those are things that need to be done, and on days that one doesn't have to be at work, there are even eight extra hours to be filled beyond the normal eight the other five days. So, people find ways to keep themselves busy or entertained to fill the void, right? The point is, no one really has the correct answer to this equation, but I would be willing to bet they think they do. Why? Because so many of us love to put down or criticize others who fill their free time with activities that we would not or do not enjoy, so therefore, their hobby must suck.

As a lifelong gaming geek who has enjoyed playing role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons and the like for over twenty years, I have always had to catch hell from others who do not understand why I play/played such games. Now that we have moved into the age of the Internet and World Wide Web, those interests in RPGs has moved to into the realm of playing MMORGPs such as World of Warcraft and D&D Online. Now, I freely admit that I am a bit OCD at times and when I take up a hobby, be it a game or other activity, I tend to become immersed in it to the point of being almost evangelistic when speaking of it. So, I can kind of see where I would get on someone's nerves who is not interested in those activities. However, that does not mean that I am wrong for enjoying them does it? I ask because sometimes I find people that seem to think I am. I hear questions all the time like, “Why do you play [insert name of game here]? That game is stupid!” or “That is such a waste of time.” To the first statement I'll say, it is a free country and your are entitled to you opinion. To the second statement, yes, it is a waste of time; that's the point! I have eight extra hours to fill everyday, and anything I do outside of work or sleep can be categorized as a waste of time (you know, except for household chores and the aforementioned bathing and eating). I want to be clear on this so I'll use all caps, ALL HOBBIES ARE A WASTE OF TIME! Yep, I said it. I don't care what you choose as a hobby, it is nothing but a waste of time. That's the point. If we aren't working, sleeping or doing chores, we want, (dare I say, need) our other time to be wasted doing something other than staring at a wall being bored.

I guess what I'm getting at is this. In the gaming world, geeks can become quite vicious when talking about or defending their particular game. People who play WoW think that people who play other MMORPGs are stupid. People who used to play WoW and quit talk trash to and put down those who still play, and it goes on and on an on; just find any message board on gaming if you don't believe me. But even outside of the gaming community people can become quite petty about things. Persons A and B both like to read, for example. Person A likes to read trashy romance novels, while Person B prefers Science-Fiction. Now, neither of these genres serve any purpose other than to be entertaining. They aren't scholarly books that might teach the reader something about history or politics or science or any of hundreds of other topics. So they both want to know why the other one reads “that crap.” And of course, Person C comes along and wants to know why either of them waste their time reading “that crap” since he “doesn't waste my time reading fiction.” Then there are the people who do not even enjoy reading at all and wonder why all the “nerds” are reading when they could just be watching TV or going to a movie instead.

Maybe I'm just over sensitive because it seems that gaming geeks like me seem to catch the most shit from people who don't get why we play games. But the real point to this whole diatribe is, no one truly has the right to question anyone else's hobby or pastime. Just because you don't enjoy, doesn't make it invalid and just because you do enjoy it doesn't make it “better” than mine or anyone else's. So, STFU and go play your games, read your trashy romance novel, watch you reality TV shows, pimp your rides, or whatever else cremes your Twinkie. Just remember to eat and bathe (especially bathe; that one is a non-negotiable).

~ JC

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