Note: I wrote this back in 2009. Ever since my summer of being anchored to the kitchen table playing World of Warcraft, the fine line between hobby and addiction has been on my mind. Enjoy! – Bryan
“Hobby: an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.”
What happens when a hobby starts to consume ones waking thoughts?
In my pursuit of finding the balance between my electronic hobby and life, I have found myself walking a fine line between hobby and addiction.
Video games are not a casual hobby but a culture. At one time the video game culture was regulated to ones living room but this is no longer true. The Internet now serves to connect a gamers living room to the rest of the world. News, reviews, and varying editorial run rampant and at different levels of professionalism.
“Culture: the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.”
No longer are we, as a society, unplugged. The Internet is present in our cellphones, handheld game systems, and even local coffee shops. Not being able to unplug allows one to have constant access to the vast reaches of cyberspace. For me, this means that I have unlimited access to the gaming culture. Throughout the day I find myself reading various videogame related sites. On the outside, there is nothing wrong with this, but I have found myself treading the fine line between hobby and addiction.
As a Christian, I find that my love for videogames and video game culture are often in conflict with my spiritual life. There are times when I should be praying when instead I am thinking about the latest MMO; times when I should be reading my Bible and instead I am reading the latest video game magazine.
To fight against the tide of addiction, I have found that it is best to take a step back and remove whatever it is that is dragging me down. Balance between my hobby and life is not what I seek, but order in the my life’s priorities.
Find yourself overwhelmed by a hobby? I encourage you to take a step back and find order.