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  1. #1
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    Hobbies for Former Gamers/Those on Break

    Lately I have found video games...disappointing, to some degree. I had a good run with Dark Souls, which got under my skin but which frame rates made - literally - unplayable in Blight Town.

    And now...now I just can't go back. I stare at my Steam library and I want something that challenges me. Something tighly designed, well thought out. Something that focuses on atmosphere over narrative, mechanics over story telling.

    I can't find it. My library states back. Silent. Contemplative. Daring me to walk away. To take a break. Maybe a long one. Maybe a permanent one.

    So I am wondering: Can any recommend good hobbies for someone on a (possibly lengthy) hiatus from gaming? Preferably something engaging and perhaps even a little challenging. Or something relaxing. Either one would be nice, so long as it captures the attention, does not involve expensive collectibles and isn't a jigsaw puzzle. As I contemplate the very real possibility that I am not a target demographic for video games I wonder what other people - and especially former gamers - do with their free time when not gaming.

    Look forward to others chiming in.

  2. #2
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    Learn piano/guitar/other instrument. Playing music is challenging, engaging, relaxing and beautiful thing.

  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node fiddlesticks's Avatar
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    Well, what do you like? Do you have any hobbies aside from gaming? Are you interested in literature, film, music, theater, arts and crafts or any sports? The easiest way to find new interests is by building upon existing ones.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Have some kids (if you don't). They challenge you in all dimensions.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    How about going back to colleage...... virtually?

    I have been studying online, specially Science and Economics subjects. I have missed too much during my formal education years, and is so surprised yet excited that there are some very generous educators who are willing to not just share their knowledge. They are really input huge effort in developing courses in specific formats to facilitate effective learning.

    Many of those courses are free. It seems there is a specific term for this kinda education, MOOCs. You have access to broadband Internet and a desktop and you are good to go. Coursera is probably the most famous one due to its marketing (of course, it is commercial). I notice another one, EdX. This is a very useful one, too.

    Thanks those teaching staffers involved, you are all making history.

  6. #6
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    Very good ideas. My father's tried recently to talk me into learning guitar. He's taken it up as a hobby & finds it both challenging and relaxing. I have also contemplated returning to school for my Bachelors. I might just do it, though money is the big barrier in that regard right now.

    Fortunately, I have no children. Only cats. So that frees up some considerable time for me. Which is both good and bad. Boredom isn't something I cope with well; really looking to fill the hours and more and more considering a musical instrument as a real possibility.

  7. #7
    Activated Node Eric's Avatar
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    Harmonica is a lot of fun with a relatively low time investment. Sounds great accompanying a guitar too.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    Yep, music is great if you're that way inclined and supports everything from hardcore dexterity and mind bending challenges to just relaxing and making sounds happen. If you have friends who'd be into some board games or PnP RPGs that might be another way of doing some gaming without having to go anywhere near the aspects of it that you don't like.

    Ultimately your interests will dictate what kind of hobbies you'll stick with. Whenever I've taken breaks or cut down on my gaming habit I usually end up spending a lot more time outside, just walking and exploring, which is nice. I'm lucky enough to live within walking distance of a huge park area, two nature reserves, the botanical gardens and the ocean, so there are plenty of places to explore.

  9. #9
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/foru...l=1#post439533

    feel free to join us ^, we're havin a blast. i can't speak for the whole group, but im having a lot more fun playing with our collective imagination than ive ever had playing a video game. the dungeon world mechanics are so simple and elegant that the story practically creates itself - it just flows out of us, with intricacies that could never be born from the mind of just one person.


    personally, my favorite "hobby" is meditation. its basically you vs yourself. there is no better opponent. its also an extremely ancient science with a ton to discover.
    philosophizing itself is a wonderful past-time. there is a lot more to reality than meets the eye. once you start digging deeper, you realize that the rabbit hole is just the beginning.

    im also finding that working on one's relationships, especially with one's family, is an extremely rewarding "past-time".
    Last edited by cardinaldirection; 16-03-2014 at 07:43 AM.

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node TWChristine's Avatar
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    Listen to this dude CardinalDirection, he knows what he's talking about. Oh, and give my love to the princesses!

    As for the topic I think I know how you feel as for probably the past few years I've been firing up my comp like usual..start up a game and then sit therefor a moment before closing it. Then maybe starting something else..closing that. Or I'll just sit there staring at the desktop WANTING to do zomething but feeling so bored with my options. It's really confusing because gaming has been my exclusive hobby for going on two decades now (god that makes me sound old) that I don't k ow what else to do with my time. Which is why you get me quoting 80s movies like above.

    With that sais I have been enjoying things more now that I've started hanging around the RPS mumble and playing things with others; though I might be different than you in this regard because I've always only played SP games, so adding in an organized group plus good people has been interesting.

    And to go back to what Cardinal said in the beginning, anyone's welcome to join us if they like! :)
    Steam: Am I Doing This Right?
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    I shut down The Quanta Cat.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Yeah you can join us at Dungeon World always good to get new players.

    I second trying to find a board game club around you if you still want gaming but are bored of video games. The interaction and mechanics and just cool discussions ive been having is addictive and is one reason I might not be able to go back to video games.

    Educating yourself is always a good option and with the internet its easier then ever. Pick a subject you really want to learn and get searching bet theres thousands of tutorials and courses out there.

    And remember to kick your own butt im an expert in knowing I can do nothing during the day so yeah I have to kick my own butt.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by TWChristine View Post
    Oh, and give my love to the princesses!
    princesses? *raises eyebrow

    party on dude,
    *air guitar
    and
    be excellent to each other.

    =]


    aren't you supposed to be at werk? you mean to tell me you get paid to rps? hire me!

  13. #13
    Network Hub Nahru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcompany View Post
    Lately I have found video games...disappointing, to some degree. /snip/ And now...now I just can't go back. I stare at my Steam library /snip/ I can't find it. My library states back. Silent. Contemplative. Daring me to walk away. To take a break. Maybe a long one. Maybe a permanent one.
    Quote Originally Posted by TWChristine View Post
    As for the topic I think I know how you feel as for probably the past few years I've been firing up my comp like usual..start up a game and then sit therefor a moment before closing it. Then maybe starting something else..closing that. Or I'll just sit there staring at the desktop WANTING to do zomething but feeling so bored with my options. It's really confusing because gaming has been my exclusive hobby for going on two decades now (god that makes me sound old) that I don't k ow what else to do with my time.
    I can relate to a lot of this. Plus, I still frequent Steam store and others, thinking that perhaps there is something that will catch my attention, but even if it does, it just does not seem to be enough. Strange, as I know game can bring me a lot of enjoyment, but I cannot force myself to go through it. For countless reasons. Currently I only play one game (multiplayer PBEM) and I have lost most of my interest in it as well.

    Anyway. The extra time I got by not playing games (much) has enabled me to do some outdoor activities. I live in a town surrounded by hills and mountains, so mountaineering has become my sort-of-hobby. I go to a mountain at least once a week (Saturday and/or Sunday) and to climb to the top I need circa 3 hours of walking. There is a trail and it is not really a big mountain, of course. Quite challenging and refreshing if I may say. Also, during that time I like to take photos - of plants, animals (usually insects), the scenery. I quite enjoy it.

    I have also started writing down my thoughts about various matters, to be able to follow them more closely, usually some philosophical stuff (philosophy has enormous importance and impact in one's life I think, provided that one wants to open their eyes to the reality and plunge deep into things that matter most; but enough of me for now).

    Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go out, to hills and mountains.

  14. #14
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    A lot of this expresses exactly how I feel about games. The sitting there, staring at the Steam store and thinking that its there, that I just missed it somehow. That one game that will catch and hold my attention. That experience I need to make the hobby interesting once more.

    But I never find it.

    So now I'm playing with my cats on and off when they want to and reading more books. And watching movies. Might also take up the guitar or some other instrument pretty soon too.

    Looking back I find myself wondering if gaming has gotten in the way of the rest of my life, and I think perhaps, here lately, it has. I might not be gone forever from the hobby but its time to become a lot more selective as to the games I will play and how I spend my time.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcompany View Post
    So now I'm playing with my cats on and off when they want to and reading more books. And watching movies. Might also take up the guitar or some other instrument pretty soon too.
    Talented cats.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by icupnimpn2 View Post
    Have some kids (if you don't). They challenge you in all dimensions.
    I think he wanted a hobby, not a "forget about any kind of life for 15 years" thing.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node TWChristine's Avatar
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    I just wanted to pimp out the fact that we were planning on having a Dungeon World game today around 7pmUTC (4pmEST), though two of our members can't make it...SO..today would actually be an excellent chance for any new people that are interested to join in (otherwise we might push back to Thur). If anyone is, just follow the link Cardinal Direction posted above to get the basics as to what you'll need, which honestly is mainly just setting up on the RPS Mumble server. Other than that, you can always message me on Steam and I can help you out. :)
    Steam: Am I Doing This Right?
    Rock, Pen&Paper, Shotgun

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