In the early days it was Zork, Zak McCracken, the King’s Quest, Quest for Glory and Space Quest series of games (and anything/everything from LucasArts and Sierra for about a decade), on to the second generation of things like Baldur’s Gate, Fallout, Icewind Dale, Diablo and the subsequent series of games that spawned out of those, from the sequels to the new evolution, such as Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic,, Dungeon Siege, Morrowind and numerous other choices, all the way up to the modern era with ongoing Elder Scrolls, Assassin’s Creed, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Crysis, Halo and other series stepping up to the plate.
And when I’m not playing single player RPGs I have my stalwart MMORPG companions that I’ve been involved with since the mid-90s when I started with Shadows of Yserbius and moved on to EverQuest, EverQuest II, World of Warcraft, Star Wars: Galaxies, Guild Wars, Tabula Rasa, The Lord of the Rings Online, Aion and now Star Wars: The Old Republic while I wait on Guild Wars II and EverQuest III.
In short, I’m a gamer. I don’t play every game that comes out, but I play the majority of them. And I play at least a couple of hours just about every day of the week, usually in the mornings when I’m first waking up and drinking my three cups of coffee. After that I have breakfast, play a little more and then I work out, shower and work for a few hours. I usually go out in the afternoon for a few hours (beach, hanging out with friends, walking), come back, take a short nap, get up and do some more work before I either watch one of the TV shows that I follow, go out with friends/girlfriend or play some more games.
When I first got started as a digital nomad and was just getting started in my career as a writer, the first gig I got was based specifically on my time in MMORPGs as a worldwide, top 10 guild leader in Everquest II and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (18 months in beta, 6 months in live), as well as writing up RPG storylines for friends and guildmates to participate in. I started writing articles for GamerGod, along with EQ2-related articles and strategy guides. I moved on to writing for MMO Hub regarding the balance between RL careers and in-game careers as a guild leader/officers/members of a raiding guild and then onto writing strategy guides for Killer Guides (EQ2 and LOTRO) before I stepped down from the guild leading capacity and just started gaming as a peon.
In other words…I was getting paid to write articles and guides about something that had been my primary passion aside from travel for all the years previous: gaming and exploring the world have always been my two favorite things (aside from reading, which I can’t even consider a hobby so much as a side effect of my addiction and my career choice as a writer; it’s just something that is as natural to me as air and water).
I firmly believe in the need for people to have some form of hobby or passion that is theirs and theirs alone. One that isn’t necessarily shared with your loved one (although it’s great if it is shareable), but is in every way, shape or form the very essence of you. It might be painting, singing, acting, watching TV, sports or some other form of “entertainment” that is enjoyed for the pure aspect of entertainment, but it is something that you enjoy indulging every spare moment you get.
Some people call these breaks mini-vacations, and promote that you take numerous variations per year, enjoying the spoils of war and treating yourself to the nice life so you can be rejuvenated in your job/life back home. And while travel is one of my major motivators, one of my personal “vacations” is the fact that every morning I have the freedom to ignore the world for two to four hours, drink my coffee, escape reality and indulge in some absolutely perfect “me” time that is categorized as purely entertainment.
Everyone needs pure entertainment in their lives, and it’s one of the things I enjoy so much about living abroad in other countries. It’s in all the guides I write, and all the lifestyle products: absolute freedom and early retirement. When you have the first you have the latter, and you can have all the time in the world to set aside for your hobbies. It relieves stress, enables you to enjoy life by allowing you ample time to spend on the things you want out of life and ultimately helps create a more creative environment for your mind to thrive both at work and at play.
I’m going to be writing an ongoing series this month talking more about the benefits of gaming and traveling, and how you can find spare time no matter where you are in the world to enjoy the little hobbies in life that make yours worth living. I’ll also be covering some of the ways that gaming can benefit your life socially while on the road, as well as the business connections it can lead to.
You can work as hard as you want but if you aren’t rewarding yourself with the spoils of that hard work there’s really no point in it. Live life, don’t simply work to live.
What are some of your favorite games of yours over the years, and what are some hobbies that you find inspiring in your down time and utilize as a daily or weekly “brain reset”?