Beyond Gaming

One of the many cool things about the gaming hobby is that being a gamer isn’t just about those times that you are playing games. I didn’t play anything this last weekend, but I did read some rules for a game that I want to try and I built some terrain that I plan on using the next time I play Dungeons and Dragons. I also watched an episode of Tabletop and got some old Magic the Gathering cards together to sell.

There’s more to a hobby than just the time you spend actually engaged in the process. This is very true for gaming, and I imagine that it’s true for most hobbies, except maybe knitting. Here are some of the non-gaming activities where I spend most of my time.

  • I read about new games. Boardgamegeek is my primary source of news about new games. I have escaped the cult of the new, but I do enjoy seeing what is coming up in the world of board games.
  • I read rules. This takes up most of my non-gaming time. I read rules for games that I plan on playing that I either have never played or just haven’t played in a long time. I also like reading RPG rulebooks and setting books, even if I never end up playing those games.
  • I watch videos about gaming. I think more than anything else, being able to watch game demonstrations online has changed how I approach learning more about games. It really doesn’t seem that long ago that I used to read and post in newsgroups using a dial up modem. Now I can search for a particular game and then watch a video of someone reviewing or playing it. I still find that amazing. I don’t think younger gamers really appreciate how great it is that we have that kind of resource.
  • I make stuff. Gaming gives me an excuse to build stuff, which I find very relaxing. It’s great to just sit and Zen out while making some 3D terrain, painting miniatures, or creating new ways to organize game bits.

Think a bit about all the things you do that are centered around games and gaming but do not include actually sitting down and playing a game. I think you will be surprised.