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by Sophia Connelly April 20, 2021 8 min read

By this point, most of our friends and family enjoy video games.

They’re found in almost every living room, bedroom, and phone.

Coworkers discuss the latest releases for mobile games, and cousins message us about the newest character in our favorites.

Video games are everywhere.

For many of us, video games are simply a hobby.

We consider ourselves gamers when we have passion for the game itself, or a wide array.

With this common pastime being so easily accessible, the work-life balance becomes frayed.

In this article, we’ll show you what it means to be a responsible gamer.

What Does Being a Gamer Mean?

There’s a bit of a difference in terms of just enjoying video games, and being a gamer.

There’s nothing wrong with either one!

Being a gamer is not even necessarily the time spent on the game or the knowledge of it.

A gamer is someone who is passionate about video gaming.

For them, gaming isn’t just something to pass the time, but is something that they strive to do better at, or strive to get into, to enjoy the fandoms, to consume the material around.

For instance, I certainly have friends who game often but don’t consider themselves to be gamers.

They don’t care much for the lore, they aren’t focused on getting improved in the game, and they really play it as a way to pass the time.

That’s okay!

There’s nothing wrong with this mindset.

For them, there are other interests that consume their time and hearts.

For me, I’ve been an avid gamer for a while.

When a game is released that I’m passionate about, I can’t get enough of it!

Every bit of lore, every trailer, is mine to enjoy.

Even if it’s not new material, there are things about the game that I may know off the back of my hand, able to recite the facts about my mains as easily as a biologist could explain photosynthesis.

It’s a matter of how interested in it someone is.

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Can I consider a gaming hobby?

Gaming as a hobby is quite common, and unless you’re a professional on the esports scene, that’s likely all gaming is to you.

That’s okay!

Gaming can be a fun way to relax after a stressful day at work, or simply a good way to catch up with friends.

Let’s run through some of the benefits of gaming becoming one of your hobbies.


The Gaming Community

How does gaming create a sense of belonging to a community?

Gaming allows you to work with others, whether they are people you know in real life or strangers you’ve met.

While this may seem scary, it’s just like meeting someone for the first time.

Only in the gaming scene, you have a clear goal in mind.

You have strengths and abilities that can benefit each other in order to reach that goal.

And at the end of the day, if it doesn’t work out, you can simply find someone who more accurately fits your comfort levels.

This is why gaming is such a safe hobby, especially for those who are stuck home during quarantine.

While it may not be safe to socialize face to face, in a game setting it’s perfectly normal and even encouraged to build a sense of camaraderie.


The Teamwork

How does gaming help with teamwork and build a collaborative mindset?

Teamwork during a game session

The nice thing about gaming is that you can choose games that allow you to work in co-op, meaning literally ‘cooperative’ games, or you can play solo.

If you’re comfortable, you can work with other people just like you, sitting at their computers or holding their phones.

You can learn how to communicate in a relatively safe setting.

If you’re shy, or just want to do your own thing, you can play solo and still learn teamwork.

Solo games will often place you with other characters.

Think of Genshin Impact, where even when you’re technically doing all of the work yourself, you’re playing with a team you create, and often NPCs are speaking as if they’re working alongside you.

This fosters a sense of responsibility and communication within the game.

Even if it’s not exceptionally real, it does allow for you to grow your skills until you’re ready to communicate with others in the game.

 


The Goal Setting

How does gaming help with goal setting?

Video games have a clear sense of goals.

The player is given missions or quests, and once they achieve them, they receive some sort of a reward.

This is huge! In the real world, it can be difficult for people to feel as if their hard work is rewarded.

But in a game, the rewards are clear, as are the goals, and the achievements.

It’s a sense of accomplishment for many, to successfully complete something.

For people whose everyday life may not offer them this sense, video games are an important reminder that they are working hard, and their hard work will pay off.


The Storyline

What can a gaming storyline show me?

Oftentimes, adults lament their inability to get through a full book anymore.

They feel that they waste their time on social media, but also feel that they don’t have the time to sit down and read through a story cover to cover.

This is completely understandable, and common for a variety of reasons.

But video games allow a sort of in-between.

While social media offers some reading material, it’s in short spurts, and largely is at random.

Video games, of course, have their own storylines.

While you may not immediately think of them as being similar to books, their plotlines, character arcs, and morality questions are all contributing to the overall story.

Only instead of being a passive appraiser, the player is causing the events to change.

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Visual novels are a great option for those who prefer slow-paced reading.

And they’re exactly what they sound like.

The player reads through prompts at their own pace, while the characters onscreen may or may not move, depending on the game.

There are so many available for mobile form, it’s not even funny.

But other games have their heavy plotlines too, especially single-player games.

And of course, there’s all the lore to consume, in the form of videos released by the parent companies, and the websites.

Sometimes, there’s even comics or manga material to read!

The excitement generated by this amount of interest in a game doesn’t have to stop there.

While it can be hard to find book clubs that are running at the moment, finding other people who like the same games that you do is easy!

Most social media does have some form of ‘fanbase’ for popular material.

Some of the longest-running games even have their own forums dedicated to learning more about characters, abilities, and ideas of what’s coming next.


The Gaming Art

What is gaming art?

Does this seem like a weird thing to bring up?

Gaming art is the inside of every game, the beautiful visuals existing for you to enjoy.

For artists, it’s incredibly important not to get burnt out.

Creating something requires ideas, passion, and exposure.

An artist needs to see other art in order to more easily generate their own work.

For gamers, this exposure happens on a daily basis, even on the way to work.

They get to witness multiple artistic styles, each one tailored to the type of game they’re playing.

There are countless examples of color studies done on specific scenes in games.

Think The Witcher and the assortment of characters, landscapes, and settings available to appraise.

Each of these has the potential to not only be inspiring but to teach artists about what published art looks like, in its many nuances of use.

There are so many layers to this type of work, including the designs of characters in 3D and 2D models, the layout of the menu selection, and even the contribution of voice actors and background music.

Artists have a wide range of careers within the scope of gaming.

Many gamers go on to become graphic designers, who create the characters or landscapes found within games.

Many more become game developers or programmers, formatting how the pieces of the realm fit together.

Some design the promotional material, others the music.

All of these jobs are also accessible for those who become professional gamers.

Check out our article here for more information on these options.


Balance Gaming and Life

Should I Quit Gaming to Improve My Life?

Some people find that gaming takes up too much of their time, or that they forgo their responsibilities in order to continue leisure activities.

The common reaction to these issues is to attempt to forfeit relaxation time entirely, in order to focus on ‘more important matters’.

But humans don’t work like that.

People require time to unwind, otherwise, they suffer from burn-out, fatigue, and a loss of purpose.

There is nothing to gain from continuously working, without taking any breaks, and while forfeiting every means of entertainment.

Thankfully, even if your schedule is ‘busy’, to put it in kind terms, there are options for a few minutes of relief.

Mobile games are exploding at the moment, allowing commuters to play along on the bus, train, or while walking.

Handheld consoles allow for an easy setup and access at the press of a button.

While it’s important to fulfill your responsibilities, this knowledge is nothing new.

You’ve known that for a long time, and have a good understanding of it.

You simply need to be able to take a break without it interfering.

For parents, this might mean incorporating your game time in with your kids.

There’s no real age limit on those games they enjoy, so why not join in?

It’s good bonding time.

For students, this can mean game nights, as long as you take snack breaks and head to bed at a reasonable hour.

This is what keeps gaming healthy rather than allowing it to seem like a burden.

How to Balance Gaming and Other Hobbies?

An egirl having also an outdoor hobby

It’s also important that gaming is not your only hobby, especially if you’re a streamer or work with games.

For more information on gaming on the professional level, refer to our article here.

Gaming is a very mobile hobby in that it can be used in multiple settings, but at the end of the day, your body tends to remain stagnant.

The first step here is to try and change your seating.

Get up, move around, do a little dance.

Purchase a VR headset or games that require movement.

And try to put time and energy into your other hobbies as well.

Try your hand at writing, or photography.

Try to go for walks, or play a sport.

While the pandemic may be impacting your ability to head out in full teams, you can still run practices with yourself.

Listen to your favorite music while you do.

After every hour or so of game time, it’s good to get up and move around.

Fit in a few chores, like taking out the trash or doing the dishes.

This lets you balance those responsibilities with your need to enjoy your time at home.

It’s important that you don’t force yourself to get everything done at once.

You don’t have to win the game today, and if it’s not going well for you, take a break from it.

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Conclusion

Becoming a gamer is a lot of fun, and relieves stress found in everyday life.

It can allow someone the freedom to choose interactions that they are comfortable with and gives them ideas for their own work.

While we’re stuck at home, it’s a valuable asset to our overall health and wellbeing.

Sophia Connelly
Sophia Connelly

Sophia Connelly is a columnist for Dubsnatch. She studies Psychology and is an avid gamer in her free time. Diablo III and Horizon Dawn are her favorite getaways.



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