If Gaming Wasn't Your Hobby...?


I was just thinking about how much time, money, and other resources I put into the gaming hobby. What other things did I do with my time before I got fully invested in gaming?

1. I wrote novels. [Now I write adventures for my players.]
2. I read (a lot). [Now I read gaming books.]
3. I played more video games. [Now I play RPGs on VTT.]
4. I wrote and recorded music. [Again, that time goes into RPGs.]

Not to say this is a bad thing. It's a good hobby, and I've met many wonderful friends. But I'm left thinking - what could I be doing with my life if I wasn't so invested in RPGs?

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Solitary Role Playing
Robotics* and miniature rocketry were my hobbies before I discovered war games and RPGs. I would have continued that I guess. I started doing miniature rockets again just before Covid. Considering picking up robot kits now that they can be controlled with a smartphone.

(*we build a R2D2 using car wiper motors. It was primitive and didn't look at all like R2 at all. LOL)

I should add painting, sculpting and other visual arts.
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I probably would just concentrate more on my other hobbies - reading, exercise, homebrewing (mead and wine), making music (though perhaps what I do these days stretches the definition), playing videogames.

I was an avid concert- and club-goer, but right now I couldn't see picking that up again. One, I'm of an age where staying out late has significantly less appeal to me. Two, pandemic.

I used to publish a music zine, but I doubt I'd still be doing it now regardless of gaming. I've found my musical interest starting to fossilize, like I used to swear would never happen to me.

If all sort of gaming are ruled out (incl. video and board games), it's probably a lot of reading. Also weight lifting/body building (even though I discovered it only rather late in life and never lifted a lot, hitting the gym is something I miss since the pandemic started).
And in a fantasy world where someone drops the massive amount of money needed for a house on my bank account, I'd probably spend a lot of time just sitting in the garden, contemplating life and watching nature around me.


Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm one of the "I was so young when I started, I couldn't say".

I first met the girl who became my wife when she showed up to join a D&D game I was running. And we've now been married for 17 years. What my hobbies might be instead is by no means the biggest question I'd have.


No idea what other hobbies I would do. Before starting RPGs I played with Star War figures, watched kids cartoons and played a variety of kids games. I doubt I would still be doing most of those much these days if I didn't start playing D&D at age 7.

Neko Princex

I'd devote myself to my other interests; art, [creative] writing, entertainment (tv/movies and video games), photography and videography.

aramis erak

I was just thinking about how much time, money, and other resources I put into the gaming hobby. What other things did I do with my time before I got fully invested in gaming?
My other hobbies at age 15 were videogames and boardgames, and computer programming.
Not much has changed. I added heraldry in 1989.

Since music was part of my employment for over 15 years, and part of college for 6... I don't consider it a hobby. And age has disinclined me to practice much... The fiddles are too hard on the bad arm; the banjo and guitar have never been fluid, and my trigger finger issue almost guarantees that it remains that way (all 8 fingers, plus one thumb)...
I dabble a bit in programming - have since 1977.

My programming trek, by language: TRS80-Basic (on Model I), Applesoft Basic (on Apple II+), then TS1000 basic. then several more basics (Kaypro II, Adam)... finally, in college, VaxBasic and Hypercard. For VaxBasic, the test was "Here's some code... Execute it by hand. Show all work." Later, I learned C/C++ on a Mac... and then on PalmOS. I spent some time learning HTML and SSHTML And Newton Script on an MP130. Then tried BF, and Cathol. Tried MS-VB, much preferred Visual Mac Standard Basic... And Javascript, then a little Java, And TNT Basic (now multi-platform). Finally, Javascript, the Python. I like Python. Somewhere along the way, I started dabbling in Inform 6 and Inform 7.

I don't think any of them would end without RPGing. Without gaming entirely? I'd not be me at all; I'd probably have gone off on somebody and gotten meself arrested or worse.


I got into gaming at age eight.

I expect I would read a bit more, maybe watch more media, and hopefully, from a mental health perspective, do a different social activity I could do for a couple hours on weekend evenings to balance out the loss of the gaming social activities and connections.

I feel I have a decent balance of exercise in my life, I don't expect the time would be directed to more of that although I might have taken up a non-one person sport like fencing, martial arts, or continued with ultimate frisbee to get more social contact that way. Career probably would have interfered with that as much as it does in my actual life so I might still have done just running and swimming and such on my own schedule.

Li Shenron

I was just thinking about how much time, money, and other resources I put into the gaming hobby. What other things did I do with my time before I got fully invested in gaming?
Considering that I started RPGing when I was in school, it's hard to think of a time before... nevertheless I have never been near "fully invested", maximum maybe spending 20-30% of my free time at the highest historical peak, so I think I would have more or less done the same other things.


Baronet of Gaming
I would just be reading sword and sorcery books ALL the time rather than part of the time. I might be writing some stories rather than trying to write modules. Besides that, I'm not sure. I've been gaming since I was nine, so I'm not sure where I'd be now if gaming wasn't in my life.

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