In Regards to Our Hobbies, We Need Some Perspective

I don’t remember the first time I played a video game.  I remember laying on the floor with my brother in the afternoon, sitting at school on the playground with a GameBoy, cuddled up on sick days with a controller and a blanket, playing video games–but I don’t remember the first time. I only ever remember loving video games, loving playing them with my friends, loving to have those moments alone to soak them up only to share them later–and I’m thankful for those moments: thankful of the friends I’ve made because of them, of the parts they’ve played in cultivating the things that I’ve at different points wanted to be, and for the numerous impacts they’ve had upon my life that I can share with my kids one day.

I’m thankful for video games, I love video games, so what I’m about to say may seem contradictory or blasphemous, but in no way surprising: they aren’t that important.

No hobby is.

Sure there are things that some people love more than others, but there’s a difference between a hobby and a passion and when you aren’t actively contributing and creating something, when it doesn’t have a hook in your life and your thoughts the way coffee roasters feel about their coffee or an artist with his work, then it isn’t quite a passion–it’s more of a hobby.  And hobbies by definition are activities done at leisure.  They don’t necessarily lead to something, they don’t have to bring up something inside you.  Sometimes they do, and it’s wonderful when they do, but by and large, hobbies are simply side activities for most people, done when there’s nothing more important to do.

That’s why it sometimes amazes when stuff like this happens: over the weekend, rumors trickled out that Final Fantasy XV, a game over 10 years in development, would be delayed from its release date this September 30 to a new date two months later, on November 29.  10 years, two months–thats not a huge deal.  But when those rumors seeped out, people lost their minds.  Any site that reported the rumors fell victim to inflammatory accusations, and despite the truth of the situation, and how comparatively unimportant said situation was, people couldn’t take the news.  The same thing happened a few months ago with the game I was talking about in my last blog post.

And the unbelievable part of it all is that some people aren’t kidding.  Sift out the trolls, the people who are just irrationally angry for no reason, there is a subset of people who feel legitimately angry, that feel like because a game was delayed that it is a personal attack on them–that it should affect their mood.

There’s something sad about that.  There’s something sad about the man that puts his hopes in a college kid throwing a football around for sport.  There’s something sad when that man is a grump Monday morning when that team, and that kid, let him down.  There’s something sad about that. And…I don’t know.  I get it, in a way.  For some people, video games are everything, or sports is everything, or dancing, or hiking, or paddleboat hunting and so when they get so locked in, so focused on that thing and that thing lets them down–it’s personal, it hurts and they react. But there’s some perspective to be had for those people, and it’s this: there’re things in life that are genuinely worth fighting for, things worth pursuing, and things worth doing, and in every person those things are different and completely unique to them.  And when they, when you, parse it all out, separate the stock, and discover what’s really important, realize that there are battles worth fighting, and battles not worth it at all, and if with all of the things you could be worried about everyday, a game’s two month delay sets you off, then there’s more wrong with you than you probably realize and you may have some things to set straight.

That being said, two months is my limit.  Any more past that and I’ll throw things.

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